Telling Our Story at the Hammonasset Festival


The theme of the festival was “Celebrating Nature and Native American Heritage.”

The traffic was steady at the Shoreline Greenway Trail table all weekend as SGT volunteers listened, answered questions and talked about the project during the annual Hammonasset Festival, held at the Guilford Fairgrounds on Saturday, September 30 and Sunday, October 1.

We had a visible presence in a corner of the fairgrounds barn, where—led by SGT board member Kristen D’Souza, who organized our participation in the festival—we handed out maps of current trail sections, discussed future plans and held a raffle for two children’s bicycle helmets. Congratulations to raffle winners Leia from Ansonia and Tula from Centerbrook!


SGT Board Chair Judy Miller talks with a visitor to our table.

People who came up to our table were enthusiastic about the project, and their thoughts, ideas and questions inspired us. It was wonderful to hear people say how often they use completed sections of the trail in Madison, Branford and East Haven—and how much they’d like to see more bike- and pedestrian-friendly connections on the Shoreline. We met many new supporters and potential volunteers, and we started a few conversations toward future partnerships.

Thanks to the Friends of Hammonasset and the staff of the Guilford Agricultural Society for providing such a warm, welcome and wonderful place for us to listen to people and tell our story.

Shoreline Greenway Trail Takes Part in Trail Census

The Shoreline Greenway Trail at Hammonasset Beach State Park is one of 15 trails participating in a study intended to help the state, trail organizations and towns better understand who’s using trails and why, what economic impact trails have on their communities, what amenities users want, and how trails can be most soundly built and maintained. IMG_9027 Crop for SGT

Information from the Connecticut Trail Census, which will be conducted through the end of 2017, will be made public. It is expected to provide trail advocates with data to help promote the value of trails in their communities.

Data is being collected around the clock by an infrared counter at Hammonasset, with analysis done in waves throughout the year. A team of trained SGT volunteers is assisting the project by monitoring and calibrating the counter and by conducting face-to-face surveys on the trail. The raw data collected to date suggests that the Hammonasset section of the Shoreline Greenway Trail is one of the most heavily used in the state.

The sites participating are all paved or crushed stone, multi-use trails. They were chosen for the program based on their leadership, volunteer participation, ability to administer counters and collect data, connections to other trails and amenities, trail length, and demonstration of how trail managers plan to use and communicate the data collected.

The census is being conducted in a partnership involving the Connecticut Greenways Council; Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments; UConn College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources’ Department of Extension and the Center for Land Use Education and Research; and the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

If you’d like to be part of the project, especially by helping conduct on-site user surveys, contact Ginny Raff, chairperson of the Shoreline Greenway Trail’s Madison team.

Garden Club of Madison donates plantings to the Trail

Garden Club of Madison donated plantings for the Hammonasset trail section. Photo credit: Cathy Marsh Photography

Garden Club of Madison donated plantings for the Hammonasset trail section. Photo credit: Cathy Marsh Photography

A big thanks to the Garden Club of Madison for donating plantings to the Madison section of the Trail!

Members of the Garden Club, including President Jody Godbout recently watched the installation of the native planting material chosen to soften the walkway area at Hammonassett State Park. Landscape architect Barbara Yaeger donated her services to design the planting being installed. Pictured here (all from Madison) are Perry Rianhard who leads trail development in Madison, Susan Rianhard GCM, Jodie Godbout, President GCM, Lee Haines GCM, Ted Raff, a trail volunteer, Meg Mack GCM, Barbara Yaeger, and Steven Mack, a trail volunteer. For more and

Thanks to Cathy Marsh Photography for the beautiful photo!

In April, En Plein Air Returns to the Trail!

Painters work on pieces along the Hammonasset Beach State Park section of the Shoreline Greenway Trail in Madison



Saturday, April 2nd
10:00 am
 Hammonasset Section
Madison, CT

We will walk the beautiful Hammonasset  section — about 2 miles round trip, pretty easy, through forest and along salt marsh shores.  The wall will feature artists painting en plein air along the trail as we stroll by and stop and chat about their work.   The walk will start at the eastern trailhead parking lot just east of the entrance to Hammonasset Beach State Park. Exit 62 from I95.  South to Route 1.  Left on Route 1.  First right into the parking lot.

For more information, contact Ginny Raff at or 203-318-9649.  Artists who want to participate should email Ginny for details.