A Discover Norwich Trails “visit to Pluto” on the Hazen Trail

Photos and story by Stephen Flanders, Norwich Trails volunteer

Socially distanced, ready to hike!

On May 30th, seven explorers assembled at the trailhead to the Hazen Trail from parking on Montshire Road for the first hike of the Discover Norwich Trails program. They ranged in age from pre-school to over seventy. The youngest and oldest were honored with a Norwich Trails sticker, as was everyone in-between.

The Norwich Trails sticker

Maintaining social distance, yet within voice contact, they set off to find Pluto. After 0.6 miles they encountered the trail leading from the Montshire Museum and soon thereafter, encountered the planet, Uranus.

Soon the trail became very scenic with moss-laden cliffs on the uphill side and dramatic gulfs on the downhill side. After half a mile, they encountered a beautiful hayfield. Along the way, they encountered Neptune, which was near some views down to the Connecticut River.

Finally, near the VELCO power lines, they came to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt.

Some of the party forged ahead, some retraced their steps. Those who went forward found a trail down to the river past a waterfall.

This hike was part of the Discover Norwich Trails program, which features a different trail on the last Saturday of the month, through October. Here’s the map for the 3.2-mile out-and-back trek to Pluto on the Hazen Trail:

For other completed Norwich Trails Discovery hikes, click here.

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