Walk Norwich

Walk Norwich is a pedestrian advocacy movement in Norwich, Connecticut. The goal is to promote walking, request pedestrian improvements (e.g., sidewalks, crosswalks) and to educate residents and guests about the ease of walking in and around Norwich. The objectives of the trails are to provide people with an interactive walking self-guided trail complete with trail marker signs, interpretive signs, and self-guided brochures.

Walk Norwich will be engaged in the following activities:
> promoting the city’s historic walking tours by updating the brochures and making them web-enabled
> working with the city and state to improve pedestrian crossings and to install / improve sidewalks in key locations
> working with the city to implement the recommendations in the Plan of Conservation and Development that relate to walking
> installing wayfinding signs to help guests find their way around our beautiful city
> working to develop a constituency (you and the people you invite) that can be informed and engaged in helping to achieve the goals listed above. Norwich’s approach is to develop the initial program over four phases, starting with the pre-colonial to American Revolution timeframe, then the Jeffersonian Period, followed by the Industrial Revolution, and completed with the Civil War and Civil Rights movements. The ultimate result will be copious walking trails, interconnected / networked to each other. Our concept is to create a walking map that mimics the well-known transit maps in major cities (e.g., Boston MBTA Subway Map).

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Walk Norwich Trail brochures can be picked up from the Norwich Heritage and Regional Visitors’ Center located at 69 East Town Street open May – October Wednesday –Sunday 10:00am-4:00pm.

Check out walknorwich.org to access the trails.

OUR CURRENT TRAILS:

“The Uncas Leap Walking Trail”

“The Uncas Leap Trail,” features the Native Mohegan Tribe’s rich history in southeastern Connecticut, including a legendary battle with the Narragansett Tribe, the tribe’s friendly relationship with Norwich’s early settlers (which close relationship exists today), and key sacred sites.

“The Heritage Trail ”

The Heritage Walk is a 2.8-mile roundtrip trail along the Yantic River connecting historic downtown Norwich CT to the remarkable Uncas Leap Heritage Area.

“The Benedict Arnold Walking Trail”

“The Benedict Arnold Walking Trail,” features Norwich’s infamous native son and discusses Norwich’s rich colonial era history and significant figures from the Revolutionary War.

FUTURE TRAILS:

Photos by Courtney Dubreuil
Photos by Courtney Dubreuil
Photos by Courtney Dubreuil
Photos by Courtney Dubreuil

“The Norwich Freedom Trail” trail will cover the Jacksonian Period in history and will include Norwich notables such as David Ruggles, James L. Smith and the Jail Hill National Register Historic District, located adjacent to historic Downtown Norwich. In addition, the trail will emphasize Norwich’s connection to President Lincoln during the Civil War.

Norwich has many important natives during this period, such as the Acting Vice President of the United States – Lafayette Foster, and Governor William Buckingham. There are also significant places, such as the historic Yantic Cemetery where many civil war soldiers are buried, and the Wauregan Hotel, where Lincoln visited.

“Norwich’s Millionaires’ Triangle” will discover Norwich’s Industrial Era in the Gilded Age. At one time Norwich had more millionaires per capita than any other city in the United States.

The rich and famous of the era, included William Slater, Leonard Ballou, and Henry Bill. Many of the homes are still in existence and are all convenient ly located near Slater Memorial Museum and the Chelsea Parade National Register Historic District.

This effort will include connectivity to the various mill village neighborhoods in the city (Greeneville, Occum, Taftville, and Yantic) along with the stories of millwork during that period.

HOW IS THIS PROJECT INNOVATIVE?

Steve and Jon from the Department of Public Works

This project will utilize 21st Century technology to reach a broad audience. Each historicsite located on the trails will be available on walknorwich.org and will provide smart phone users with easy access to information about the various historical sites located along these routes.

Way-finding signs for the self-guided walking trails will direct sightseers along the route and informational signage will be located at significant cultural sites.

Walking tour brochures complete with a trail map, color photos, trail information, and trail length / duration. The brochures will include information about local amenities.

GUIDED WALKS:

Please see the Walktober
or Second Saturday Walking Tours.

Beth Regan from the Mohegan Tribal Council of Elders and NHS President Bill Champagne give a guided Uncas Leap Tour
Beth Regan from the Mohegan Tribal Council of Elders and NHS President Bill Champagne give a guided Uncas Leap Tour

Upon special request and 3-4 weeks advance notice, the Norwich Historical Society can provide a guided Benedict Arnold Trail Tour for $5.00 per person

Bus Tour of the Benedict Arnold Trail for America's History LLC. Tour participants included James Kirby Martin, renowned Benedict Arnold Historian.
Bus Tour of the Benedict Arnold Trail for America's History LLC. Tour participants included James Kirby Martin, renowned Benedict Arnold Historian.

SCHOOL TOURS:

Please contact Consultant Regan Miner at minerregan@gmail.com for information on tours for the school system. Schools will be charged a nominal fee for our Consultant’s services.

TOURS OFFERED FOR SCHOOLS:

The Benedict Arnold Trail: – Students will learn about the significance Benedict Arnold and Samuel Huntington played in our country’s history. Students will see significant sites related to Huntington and Arnold.
– Students will learn about Colonial Norwich and what life was like in the 1700s.
– Students will be walking around the Norwichtown Historic District
– Alternate available option: Take a tour of Leffingwell House Museum

Questions for students to answer:
1. Investigate historical Norwich residents and their impact on Connecticut and national history → Samuel Huntington and Benedict Arnold
2.What contributions did Norwich make during the Revolutionary War?

Tour of the Colonial Burial Ground:
– Students will have a tour of the burial ground by a member of the Norwich Historical Society. The tour will include what a burial ground is, some of the people who are buried there, and information about famous gravestone carvers and the symbols that they used.