The first two trails in the Walk Norwich Trail System are the Uncas Leap Trail and the Benedict Arnold 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, and key sacred sites. The Benedict Arnold Trail features Norwich’s infamous native son and discusses Norwich’s rich colonial era history and significant figures from the Revolutionary War.
NHS recently completed the Norwich Freedom Trail and the Norwich Millionaires’ Triangle, part of the Walk Norwich, CT trail network. The Freedom Trail celebrates Norwich’s rich and diverse story of African-American heritage, highlighting notable people figures who played important roles in the movement to end slavery and advance civil rights before and after the United States Civil War. Lastly, the Norwich Millionaires’ Triangle Trail explores Norwich’s Industrial Era during the Gilded Age.
In total, the Walk Norwich trail network has five major trails, four of which are themed self-guided walking tours:
- Uncas Leap Trail – stories about the Native American Mohegan Tribe.
- Benedict Arnold Trail – stories about Norwich’s role in the American Revolution
- Freedom Trail – stories about civil rights in Norwich
- Millionaires’ Triangle – stories about the industrialists that capitalized on the Industrial Revolution during the Gilded Age
- Heritage Trail – the main spine of the network, as it connects many of the trails to each other along the Yantic River, a Connecticut-designated greenway corridor.
Our approach was to develop the initial program over four phases, starting with the pre-colonial to American Revolution time frame, 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).
OUR PARTNER TRAILS
The Heritage Trail is a 2.8 mile roundtrip trail along the Yantic River connecting the Downtown Norwich Historic District to the remarkable Uncas Leap Heritage Area.
The Troubadour Trail was created by Tom Callinan, a full time creative and performing artist since 1977, and resident of Norwichtown since 2007. The Troubadour Trail was created to use thirteen of his original songs, to provide visitors – whether onsite, or virtually, with musical interpretations of people, places and/or events in Norwich’s storied history. The Troubadour Trail is divided into 12 separate stops, within three distinct sections. Some of the stops overlap with stops on other components of the “Walk Norwich” project, such as the Benedict Arnold Trail and the Uncas Leap Trail.
HOW IS THIS PROJECT INNOVATIVE?
This project will utilize 21st Century technology to reach a broad audience. Each historic site located within on the trails will provide smart phone users with easy access to information about the various historical sites located along these routes. The web-based information can be sortable by type of story, type of asset, or a variety of other user-selected criteria, which will enable visitors to immerse themselves in the aspects of the story in which they are most interested. The GIS will enable proper coding to deliver these customized elements.
Way-finding signs for the self-guided walking trails will direct sightseers along the route and informational signage will be located at each cultural site. Walking tour brochures complete with a trail map, color photos, trail information, and trail length / duration. The brochures will include information about local amenities.
Self guided trail brochures can be picked up free of charge at:
The Norwich Heritage & Regional Visitors’ Center (at the outdoor information box), Norwich City Hall, Greater Norwich Area Chamber of Commerce, Otis Library, Slater Memorial Museum, and Leffingwell House Museum.
Ideal Skate Shop of Norwich is selling Walk Norwich merchandise! The proceeds benefit the Norwich Historical Society and the Walk Norwich Project.