Saturday, October 20, 2012

From A Small Town To Nature On The Airline Trail

 
I recently went for a bike ride on the Airline Trail and was pleased to discover that it had been extended to Main Street in East Hampton, Connecticut. I talked to the owner of a local coffee house who said that hikers and bikers who use the trail have been coming to her shop since it was extended.
The trail was formely a train track built in the 1870's eventually connecting Boston to New York. It's now a recreational trail for  people to walk, ride their bikes or even ride their horses. It's a nice feeling to be able to cruise through the woods from town to town without a car in sight.
Riding this trail by bicycle is a breeze. I'm not one that desires the challenge of climbing hills on a bike so this trail is perfect for me. You can pedal for 30 feet and the coast for 50 feet. I stopped frequently for breaks. There are several places where bridges cross streams giving you great views.
I can't believe that I saw a Barred Owl two days in a row! I saw this one at Hammonasset while with a Birdingpal  who was visiting from New Zealand. Then I saw another one the next day while on the Airline Trail. Barred owls are probably the easiest owls to find in Connecticut during the daytime but I'm always excited when I find one.
I ended my bike ride at the Raymond Marsh portion of the trail in Hebron. this can be a very birdy spot, especially in the spring. it was quiet on this particular day. I did see some Easterrn Bluebirds, Tree Swallows, and Mallards.
 There were also lots of Ruby-crowned Kinglets. These birds can be a real tease. They land right in front of you but move on so quickly that they're gone by the time you try to get a picture.

Turning old railroad lines into trails used for recreation is a good example of recycling something old into something new and useful. Connecting the trail to a local town is a common sense approach that benefits businesses and nature enthusiast. I hope this a trend that continues in the future.

10 comments:

dAwN said...

Jeff and I have biked that trail before..very nice! Awesome Owl shot!

Dostoy said...

As always, an awesome post. Thanks for sharing!

Larry said...

dawn-Thanks-the owl stayed on the branch until I got a photo like a good owl should.

Cindy said...

What a beautiful trail..super Kinglet shot..and that owl! Bet he was interested in catching a lifer from New Zealand :-)

Chris said...

Sounds like a nice trail Larry and congrats for the barred owl and the kinglet!! You got beautiful pictures of them and of the trail! Well done mate!

Larry said...

Cindy-The birde from new Zealand was quite pleased with the owl for sure!

Chris-thanks Chris!

Backyard Bird Paradise said...

Great post! Seems like a nice trail and looks very similar to the trail near our home in Michigan.

troutbirder said...

This is just great. When I'm not hiking/birding with my GSD, it birding/biking at a slow easy pace. Life is good!!!

Kathie Brown said...

Larry, I just love this post! The photos are fantastic and are of places I know and love! I use to walk these old railroad beds when I was young long before anyone ever thought of making a trail out of it. I am so glad they did! And I just love that photo of the barred owl! Wow! One of the best I have ever seen! I see you have changed the look and the style of your blog. It's got you posting more often, which is nice!

Larry said...

Kathie-thanks-I think it's interesting when you see someone post about places you're familiar with.I used to walk the Portland section of the rail but that part was never added to the rail trail because of private property disputes.I changed the look of the blog but it messed up my old videos.I don't really plan on posting more it's just that I had a couple of ideas for short posts.