Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Thursday Hike: Native American Ceremonial Stonework Hike

Thursday January 6, 2022 @ 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Join us for our free-guided trail walks on Thursdays.  Walks are open to all ages with our target group being agile seniors.  Please keep in mind that these are wooded trails with stumps, roots and rocks so be sure to wear hiking boots or good walking shoes. If the weather is icy you should bring stabilizers or something for traction. If a lot of snow bring snowshoes. Be aware that our hikes leave promptly so be on time!

The terrain is quite hilly, and while we will be on trails for the majority of the hike, most of
the stonework we will see is slightly off the trail, so walking sticks are highly recommended. As
we will always be near a trail, anyone wishing to head home can easily do so at any point without a
guide, as the trails are well marked. You can either photograph the trail sign map at the beginning
of the hike or print out a trail map from the Lyme Land Trust site before the hike. Expected hike
time is 4 hours, so bring either a quick lunch or snacks and water.

Cancellation Policy: Heavy rain or snow cancels walk, hopefully to be rescheduled at a later date. I will be there for light rain or snow if anyone wants to hike. Questions about cancellation can be texted to me at 860-908-3870 after 6:00 AM on the day of the hike.

Hike Description: Native Americans occupied this portion of New England for 12,000 years before the
arrival of European settlers. As an expression of their spiritual lives, they built over two dozen
different types of stone structures from Nova Scotia to Georgia, and countless examples of their
work still remain deep in the forests of New England. On this hike I will take you on a tour of
some of the Ceremonial sites that remain in Hartman Park and explain what is known about the
stonework you will see. As the description below from the Land Trust website explains, you will
also see many Colonial and post-Colonial examples of stonework on the hike. Hartman Park provides a
clear example of the intermingling of both culture’s stonework. It is only recently that the Land
Trust has begun recognizing Native work on their land, and the new signs on the property are
beginning to point out these structures. Lyme Land Trust Description of Hartman: For thousands of
years prior to the arrival of European settlers, the Corner Trails area was a seasonal hunting
ground for the Nehantic Indians. After the establishment of the Saybrook colony in 1635, the
English set aside this land as an Indian hunting ground, while reserving the right to harvest the
valuable timber. During colonial times, subsistence farmers set up homesteads in the area. Freed
African and American Indian slaves were welcomed into the area along with European settlers. In
1800, the census record states that there was a multi-racial community of fifteen households in the
area. Indications are that the farmers were able to eke out a living by cooperation with their
neighbors – sharing tools, barns, and labor. The destructive agricultural practices of the time
damaged the already marginal farmland and most of the inhabitants moved to more fertile lands by
the 1850s. Although the land has been undeveloped for more than 100 years and the cleared pastures
have been replaced by mature forests, there is still evidence of this once active agricultural
community. The elaborate stone walls and stone foundations that lace the area are a beautiful
legacy left for us by inhabitants from long ago.

Meet at Main Parking Lot – Head north from Beaver
Brook Road onto Gungy Road. Go approximately 1.25 miles. Parking lot is on right – it is a semi-circular loop off and back onto Gungy Road.

Leader: Mark Starr, you can call or text me at 860-908-3870 on the morning of the hike after 6:30 AM.
Due to the COVID:
• We realize lots of people have concerns about getting together. Therefore, please sign up
with leader so that person will know how many are coming. If no one signs up the leader
may not show up.
• Social distancing of 6’ apart.
• Everyone needs to have a face mask in case it is needed.
• Carpooling is up to you or the leader. Keep in mind some folks may be uncomfortable having
someone share their vehicle. An alternate way is to caravan.

  • Inclement weather cancels and if in doubt, contact leader.
  • If you wish to bring a dog please contact the leader as some properties do not allow them.
    However, if a dog is present they must be leashed at all times.
  • If you wish to get the hiking schedule emailed to you contact Lauren Barber,
    [email protected] and ask her to put you on the Thursday hiking group email list.

In State Management areas everyone is required to wear 200 square inches of solid daylight
fluorescent orange from the second Saturday in September to the last day of February and the last
Thursday in April to the last day in May, annually.


Thursday January 6, 2022
9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Event Category: