Real Fit for Real Life
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This week's hike was actually solo for me, and it was nice-- nobody whined or asked, how much longer?? ;) But as I hiked, I did consider just how kid-friendly each trail was. So here goes . . .
Finding Farringtons Park (or Farrington Woods as the little wooden sign says) is a little tricky. It is located in Danbury, very close to the NY border-- in fact, at first I passed the entrance and had to U-turn, crossing the state line twice to get there! Basically, heading east on 202, look carefully for an obscure entrance that appears to be a private drive. In fact, you will have to drive past a few private properties on a gravel road before locating the parking lot on your left. It's small and has no restrooms, so make sure you've all pottied beforehand! There's a Starbucks nearby just in case ;) From my research, this park is still under construction, so they should be adding restrooms and more marked trails by Spring!
I will say right off the bat, this isn't my favorite hike I've done in the area, simply because it is so close to 84 and you can hear the traffic noise for much of this hike. That said, it had some pretty views that still make this a worthwhile hike, and some city-folk are comforted by the sound of traffic, knowing civilization is not far away! Also of note: this is a great site for mountain bikers! In fact, I felt it was geared more toward bikers than hikers, with several options of bike trails.
Hikers will want to start on the right of the sign, stay on the white trail. The initial stretch of trail is really pretty, flanked by ferns and tall marsh grasses. At the fork, go straight on the wider, rockier path. (I read that the trail is so wide because of decades of jeeping! So that's a plus for kids who don't like the woods to touch them at all while hiking-- very wide trails!) This is a gentle climb with some interesting old rock property lines. At the fork, take the red trail (about .27) This takes you onto the soft dirt trail and continues a gentle climb. It does begin to get steeper but not for too long. Veer left at the top around .73. You'll notice on the right the remains of a chimney, which I assume is all that remains of Isabelle Farrington's residence. I couldn't find much info on the history of the land, only that the city of Danbury purchased it in 2010 to turn it into a recreational haven, which in my opinion is always a great cause! Anywho, if you'd like to capture a pic of the chimney, you'll have to go off-trail, so be sure you have long socks & pants and always be mindful of where you are stepping! Also be aware of how best to get safely back to the trail.
Continue your hike, & at about .85 you will come to Sanford Pond, which is a very serene sight, especially in the fall-- the blue of the water & sky accented surrounded by green with accents of reds, oranges, and golds is just exquisite. Here is where you will finally lose the traffic noise, too. The trail by the pond wasn't yet marked, but you will notice bright pink and orange ribbons tied around trees, designating the bike paths. At this point, the trail fizzles out a bit currently. But having hit the 1 mile mark, I decided to backtrack and hike back in, for a nice one-hour hike.
On the way down, there are stretches where the rocky terrain can be sketchy. So with kids, hold hands or use hiking poles. Otherwise, it's an easy hike for the entire family & you can head to Trader Joe's after for some healthy treats :)
Mother of 3. Fit-philosopher. Showing my kids how to be fit via living life to the max. Newbie photographer. Simplistic cook who shares easy, healthy meals. Lover of kid-friendly hikes & getting outdoors & unplugged.