New GLT Trail Provides Access to Our Western Trails

The Friends of Holcomb Farm (Friends) and the Granby Land Trust (GLT) have collaborated to find a sustainable solution to a problem that was created in 2021, when flooding destroyed the pedestrian bridge that crossed the Salmon Brook behind Holcomb Farm, severely limiting access to Holcomb Farm’s western trails. The brook is too wide to ford and, after getting several estimates, it was determined that the cost of a replacement bridge was untenable (at least at this time), leaving the Friends of Holcomb Farm with a dilemma: how to provide access to their beautiful western trails.

Two years before the flooding, the GLT had acquired the Wilcox Family Preserve – just to the south of Holcomb Farm on Simsbury Road – from Steven Wilcox Hastings. The Wilcox Family Preserve had many gifts to give to the people of Granby, including: 1) the historic house (circa 1787) and barn, which the GLT gifted to the Salmon Brook Historical Society; and 2) fertile farm fields, which the GLT leases (at no cost) to the Garlic Farm. Lo and behold, the property had yet another gift in store for the people of Granby: a way to access Holcomb Farm’s western trails.

It didn’t take long for the GLT and the Friends to figure out an access point that would work, and this spring, volunteers blazed a trail through the Wilcox Family Preserve and onto Town-owned, Holcomb Farm property, then blazed a connecting spur to the Friends of Holcomb Farm’s existing network of trails.

The GLT has named the access trail the Hastings Trail, after the late Steven Wilcox Hastings, who agreed to preserve his family’s 45-acre homestead, rather than sell it to the highest bidder, when the GLT came calling back in 2019. One hopes that Steve would be pleased to see all his property has made possible, including this important, and beautiful, trail.

How You Can Access the New Trail

From Holcomb Farm, head south on Simsbury Road. Go past the Wilcox House and Barn and across the bridge that crosses the Salmon Brook. Park on the left, after the bridge, in the GLT’s Holcomb Hill Preserve parking area. Cross the street onto the Wilcox Family Preserve. Please proceed carefully across Simsbury Road; and once you’ve crossed, please stay out of the crop fields. As on all GLT properties, dogs must be leashed. A new sign identifies the beginning of the GLT’s Hastings Trail.

This trail follows along the edge of the beautiful, Wild and Scenic-designated Western Branch of the Salmon Brook for about ½ mile until it reaches the intersection with the Holcomb Farm property, linking into an existing system of public trails throughout the western highlands.

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