MMM Trail is Now the New England National Scenic Trail

Thanks to a new law, H.R. 146, the “Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009,” signed by President Barack Obama today; the MMM trail has received National Scenic Trail Designation. Both the Connecticut Forest & Park Association and the Appalachian Mountain Club, have been instrumental in helping craft and pass this legislation. The New England Trail includes the Metacomet and Mattabesett Trails in Connecticut and the Metacomet-Monadnock Trail in Massachusetts; hence the MMM. You can learn more from the MMM Trail Study.

This is wonderful news for the environmental movements in Connecticut and Massachusetts. The Omnibus bill benefits many protected lands nationwide, but close to home, where we have the best trail system in the world, it is particularly important. The event was celebrated with a press conference this afternoon at the Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington, Connecticut. Hill-Stead was a fabulous place to hold the event because the MMM Trail crosses the property. U.S. Congressman, Rep. Chris Murphy (D) and U.S. Senator Chris Dodd (D) both spoke. They thanked a whole bunch of trail volunteers and especially thanked the CFPA and AMC. Eric Hammerling, CFPA’s Executive Director, also spoke, citing the countless hours that volunteers put into the trail system. Connecticut is blessed to have such a wonderful and committed cadre of environmental leaders. 

It is worth noting that the legislation will provide funding and grant opportunities. However, both CFPA and AMC are 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organizations. They primarily get their funding from members and donors, not from the government. The best environmental organizations in the country get it done with the support of the private sector. Their missions are so important because they are caring for the Earth and thinking long term…really long term. We are talking about a conservation movement that will benefit generations of children to come. 

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I sat in the front row and had a great view of the proceedings. I was kicking myself for leaving my camera on the counter this morning. I hadn’t planned to be at the event, but a last minute phone call from Jim Little at the CFPA spurred me to make time in my schedule to attend. I was glad I did and had to get by with some shots taken with my Blackberry. I think it does a better job as a phone and PDA than as a camera. 

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The press were out in force, and I wish it was the preservation of a trail system that attracted all the attention. The trail movement benefitted from the timing of this event, but sadly, Senator Dodd attracts a pack of reporters everywhere he goes nowadays. The scrum around him following the press conference was reminiscent of all his recent public sightings. He is hounded by reporters everywhere he goes, thanks to his complicated role in the global economic crisis as Chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. He is a lightning rod for the recovery plan and is a central figure in the banking crisis. Lately, he can’t seem to get out of his own way. Fortunately, he lent his support to this particular environmental bill, though I bet the reporters asked him more about one three letter abbreviation (AIG) than another (MMM).

It would be ironic if they also asked him about the automotive industry recovery plan, since motorized vehicles are not allowed on any Blue-Blazed Hiking Trails like the Mattabesett Trail. Vive le trails!

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2 Responses to “MMM Trail is Now the New England National Scenic Trail”


  1. 1 waghormley 1 April 2009 at 8:41 am

    Scott — this is great news! Interesting that the trail system starts in Northfield and Warwick, Mass — I am going to check it out next time we’re there — congrats on helping get this done.
    Bill

  2. 2 Micheil McLeod 17 November 2013 at 2:53 pm

    MMM would be better if Camping was permitted along the trail.


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