MERIDEN — Piles of brown, red, yellow, and green leaves lined the edges of the 10-foot-wide paved path as people biked, ran, and walked their dogs through the Quinnipiac River Gorge Trail on Sunday afternoon.
Hundreds were walking the path that hugs Hanover Pond for the first time, drawn by an afternoon grand opening ceremony. City officials, councilors, members of the Linear Trail Advisory Committee and more introduced the Gorge Trail on Oregon Road to the public and celebrated.
“People can expect a great view of Hanover Pond,” said Joseph Zajac, the chairman of the advisory committee. “It’s a great place to walk, meditate, and to lose your thoughts.”
A tour featuring information on trees along the trail was given by Briana Gagnon, a freshman at Lyman Hall High School in Wallingford, and Southington resident and Quinnipiac River Watershed Association member Peter Picone. Residents were able to learn about the different types of trees on the trail. There was also another tour of the four kiosks on the trail that tell the history of Meriden and the trail.
Deb Leck, a Meriden native visiting from California, was walking with her friend Diane Hamelin of Prospect. The two were enjoying the walk and foliage.
Leck grew up near the trail.
“I applaud everyone involved,” Leck said. “It’s a treasure that should be protected.”
“We haven’t been here in years,” Hamelin said. “There was garbage and it had been neglected.”
Running back and forth across the trail and peaking into the woods was four-year-old Charlie Lenart of Meriden. He wanted to explore “a secret path” but his grandmother, Mary Meah told him to stay in the main area.
“He likes to walk,” Meah said.
Charlie said he liked the trail “because at the end I see the high school.”
The two were enjoying their afternoon together and when they got home were planning on doing some baking.
“Nana said we’re going to make cupcakes,” Charlie said as he held onto the side of a wooden fence.
Walking back to the beginning of the path was state Rep. Mary M. Mushinsky, D-Wallingford, co-chairwoman of the Quinnipiac River Linear Trail Advisory Committee. She was walking with Cathy Granucci, the other co-chairwoman of the committee. They were admiring the work Meriden’s advisory committee did to put together the trail and wanted to come out to support those who worked on the Meriden section of the trail.
“We wanted to cheer for them because we know how hard it is to get a section built,” Mushinsky said. “It’s beautiful and it’s heavily used already.”