REDISCOVERING THE OLD CONNECTICUT PATH


Welcome to the Old Connecticut Path!!
This site is dedicated to helping people rediscover the importance of the Old Connecticut Path from Cambridge, Dorchester and Watertown, Massachusetts to Hartford, Windsor and Wethersfield, Connecticut as a part of our country's history. Explore the Old Connecticut Path web site to rediscover the route of the pioneers who traveled from the Massachusetts Bay to Connecticut. Learn about the route they followed. Take time to experience some of the challenges they faced through virtual video walks along the Path today. Enter forgotten places and see the world as those pioneers might have experienced on their long journey west. For those who seek a family connection, explore the resources listing more than 400 families and thousands of individuals who came to America in those early years and whose descendants set roots all across our country. Visitors to Massachusetts and Connecticut can explore places along the Path through road tours and walks.

You are invited to learn more about the history of the Old Connecticut Path and its route across Massachusetts and Connecticut in the video "Rediscovering the Old Connecticut Path" (4 min 38 sec). Click on the picture (right) or link: Rediscovering the Old Connecticut Path

GO TO Guide to the Old Connecticut Path web site
Click on the link (above) or picture (left) to explore the Old Connecticut Path web site.
(By entering the site, you agree to the "Terms of Use" listed at the bottom of the page.)
Post your comments on the Old Connecticut Path Facebook page at  http://www.facebook.com/oldconnecticutpath or send your comments by e-mail to oldconnecticutpath@gmail.com

Rediscovering the Old Connecticut Path is an ongoing project. I hope that you will enjoy what you find today and come back again to follow our progress.


Best wishes to all who enter,

Jason Newton


ANNOUNCEMENTS

Visit the Old Connecticut Path!!
Spring & Summer are wonderful times to come home to New England. The Driving Tours & Walka provide a portal to quieter roads that link historic places along the Old Connecticut Path and special places to get out and walk along the Path. Visitors to Massachusetts and Connecticut who would like to rediscover parts of the Old Connecticut Path for themselves will find that the tours lead through small towns, scenic vistas, historic sites, and forest greenways. The pace of travel is slower, allowing time to enjoy the beauty of the land. Links to places where you can get out and walk along the Old Connecticut Path are also provided for those who wish to get a taste of the world the early pioneers traveled through.
Click  the OLD CONNECTICUT PATH DRIVING TOURS  link to go directly to the driving tours and walks web page.

UPCOMING EVENTS ALONG THE PATH

Connecticut Trails Day Weekend Walks Along the Old Connecticut Path (June 7 & 8, 2014)

Come walk along the Old Connecticut Path during Connecticut Trails weekend June 2014 as Ashford celebrates the town's 300th anniversary. The guided walks will connect the history of Connecticut's founders with the natural history of the land.

Where Natchaug & Nipmuck Meet along the Old Connecticut Path

Saturday, June 7 from 1:00-3:30 PM - A 2.6 mile walk along the Natchaug Trail to the section of the Nipmuck trail where the Old Connecticut Path comes downhill to Boston Hollow Brook. The Natchaug-Nipmuck walk is part of the Great Park Pursuits that combines CFP Blue-Blazed trails with state forests in addition to the historical significance of the Path. The walk has a moderate level of difficulty suitable for families with for older children (10 yrs+) and adults .

Name of Sponsoring Organization: Old Connecticut Path, Ashford Historical Society

Exploring the Path along Old Howey Road

Sunday, June 8 from 1:00-3:00 PM - A 2.0 mile family walk along the Old Connecticut Path following the old Howey Road corridor from Fliegel Farm (Joshua's Trust) to Langahmmer Woods (Ashford Conservation Commission) and back with the option for an introduction to Fern Glade for those who want a shorter walk to explore Knowlton Brook). This walk has a mild level of difficulty and is suitable for adults and families with younger children.

Name of Sponsoring Organization: Old Connecticut Path, Ashford Historical Society, Ashford Conservation Commission

For more information and pre-registration, visit the Connecticut Forest & Park Association Connecticut Trail Day Weekend website http://www.ctwoodlands.org/ OR contact oldconnecticutpath@gmail.com

ABOUT THE OLD CONNECTICUT PATH PROJECT
Mt. Hope River crossing on the Old Connecticut Path

The project to rediscover the Old Connecticut Path began as a family history project to find the route of the Old Connecticut Path from Cambridge to Hartford followed by my ancestors, Reverend Thomas Hooker and his family along with Reverend Roger Newton who married Mary Hooker to begin the Newton family in America.

Reverend Thomas Hooker and his congregation set out on a journey from Cambridge, MA to Hartford, CT in May 1636 along what came to be known as the Old Connecticut Path. This group was among those who followed the trail west through the unsettled wilderness to build a new life in Connecticut. Later generations descended from them continued their forefathers' tradition of migration west across the country. The Old Connecticut Path served as one of the the first trails followed in the nation's westward expansion.

While the Old Connecticut Path served as the gateway west for almost a century, it has now largely vanished from view. In places, the Path is hidden in plain sight. In others, only dim traces remain. Over the course of 375 years, the journey of two weeks is now two hours. Our “need for speed” has contributed to the dimming almost to darkness of the Old Connecticut Path. That which is slower and obsolete, we discard and soon forget. Over the span of almost four centuries, new routes were found to make travel more “efficient”. Finding the Old Connecticut Path is an opportunity to slow down, reconnect and see genius anew.

Rediscovering the almost forgotten route of the Old Connecticut Path has required many hours over the past three years exploring the woods and forgotten byways along the way to find traces of the Path and to confirm markers described in histories. 

You are invited to come along on the search to rediscover the Old Connecticut Path that has been guided by three questions:

1. Can the route of the Old Connecticut Path be reconnected all the way from Cambridge to Hartford?

2. After 375 years of human settlement and modern development, are there still wild places along the Path where it is possible to experience the wilderness as it might have been seen during the of the migration of the earliest travelers?

3. Are there artifacts left by the earliest travelers and settlers that mark their passage along the Path?

Answers to these questions along with the history of the Old Connecticut Path, the people and places along its route are shared with you within this site using pictures, video, historical maps and documents, and computer animation.

Why is it important to rediscover the Old Connecticut Path? Finding the Old Connecticut Path renews a connection with the Native peoples of Massachusetts and Connecticut who created the path and lived along its course for centuries. Finding the path connects us with the settlements and the people that took root along the path. Finding the path connects us to the families whose faith and vision of community and a better life lead them to take the first steps in our country’s westward expansion. Finding the path reveals the changes that man has made to the environment over 375 years. Finding the path provides us with opportunity to renew ourselves by getting outdoors to travel through time as we drive, walk, bicycle, and camp along the way. Finally, finding the path gives us the opportunity to preserve it for the enjoyment of future generations.

Rediscovering the Old Connecticut Path provides real treasures to be enjoyed in our time and worthy of preservation for future generations. For the multitude of descendants of those who first traveled west along the Old Connecticut Path, a gateway will be opened to allow you to walk in the footsteps of your ancestors.

Rediscovering the Old Connecticut Path is an ongoing project. I hope that you will enjoy exploring this site to see the progress made thus far, and that you will return from time to time to see future additions to the chronicle of the Old Connecticut Path.

Jason Newton

e-mail :  oldconnecticutpath@gmail.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/oldconnecticutpath



ENTER THE OLD CONNECTICUT PATH: Rediscover the Old Connecticut Path

Click on the link (above) or picture (left) to explore the Old Connecticut Path web site.

TERMS OF USE

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The Old Connecticut Path web site contents may be used for research, teaching and private study purposes. The contents including text, photos, maps, videos, documents and other media are solely for educational use without charge. Any substantial or systematic reproduction, re-distribution, re-selling, loan or sub-licensing, systematic supply or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden.

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