WALLINGFORD – The Butterfly Meadow Loop Trail is a fairly new walking trail located off Cheshire Road and is a part of the town’s open space offerings.
It can be found on GPS maps using the location tag “Wallingford Walking Trail, Fresh Meadows.” The trail has a walk-in entrance on the corner of School House Road and Cheshire Road’s three-way intersection.
Here are five things to know about the trail:
The Butterfly Loop is a short trail, less than half a mile total. Portions overlook fields, woods, and a small pond. The terrain is flat and the trail is lined with a gravel pathway. The edges of the trail have been mowed and are maintained throughout the year.
The configuration of the loop trail is unobtrusive – allowing visitors to experience nature up close, while being enveloped by flora and fauna.
In the parking lot entrance to the trail there is a posting of wildlife that is known to inhabit the surrounding areas. The posting lists the type of animals, as well as their life span, diet, size, and group name. Among those listed are bobcats, skunks, Canada goose, red fox, and white-tailed deer. The trail is also home to various species of butterflies and bees, which can be seen pollinating the assortment of colorful wildflowers scattered in the tall grass.
The Butterfly Loop consists of the short Pond Trail, which leads to a view of wetlands. Behind these trails is Tessa’s Trail which is a mowed grassy path through the woods. Across the street from the Butterfly Meadow is the Cheshire Road Trail, a short, paved pathway along the open space.
The Cheshire Road Trail is home to the Glacial Erratic boulder whose origin is detailed on a plaque contributed by the CT Geological Survey and the CT Recreational Trails Program.
There are signs posted warning of ticks at the entrances to each of the pathways that encompass the Fresh Meadows trails. These signs show a Backlegged Tick, otherwise known as a Deer Tick, in its various stages of development. The posting also contains suggestions to prevent bites, including wearing light colored clothing, using insect repellent, and placing clothes in the dryer after exposure to wooded areas.
These signs advise visitors to contact the Wallingford Health Department at (203) 294-2065 for tick identification and testing.
There is a portable toilet located in the parking lot entrance to the Butterfly Meadow Loop Trail off of Cheshire Road. There are also picnic tables near the pond and entrance. Benches can be found at the end of the Pond Trail and along the Cheshire Road Trail in front of the glacial boulder. Bird houses are hung on trees throughout these trails making them an ideal place to enjoy outdoor exercise while observing New England’s indigenous wildlife.
The Butterfly Loop Trail and the connected Pond Trail can be completed in approximately half of a mile. The flat terrain and gravel pathway make these trails optimal for beginners and those with physical limitations.
Kristen Dearborn is a Wallingford native, NASM certified personal trainer and author of the blog dearfitkris– https://dearfitkris.com/