The Town of Portland now offers the public some designated bike routes. A 16.3 mile bike route makes a counter-clockwise loop beginning at the post office, and passing the quarries and several scenic views of the Connecticut River, ponds, and streams. The route (pictured here) is designed to maximize safety and avoid the steepest hills, while still covering a fair amount of distance.
Another map, the best in-town bicycling streets, guides residents to those routes that are relatively flat, have less traffic, and are suitable for cyclists of all ages and abilities. Cyclists are advised to check out the routes by car before cycling, in order to insure suitability for a given individual. Currently, the Complete Streets Group is developing a plan for bike route signage.
In the meantime, the Air Line Trail Steering Committee is working on its long-term goal of extending the Portland section of the Air Line Trail westward from its current, new terminus near the YMCA’s Camp Ingersoll and Job’s Pond. The plan aims at making it easy and safe to bicycle to the Air Line Trail from the town center.
These new routes were developed through the Jonah Center’s partnership with Portland’s Complete Streets Group (CSG), a citizen action committee. CSG is seeking new members from the Portland community. Meetings are generally held on the 2nd Thursday of each month in the Portland Library.
The Jonah Center, along with Coginchaug Area Transition and Ecosattvas Connecticut, invites the public to a free viewing of a 22 minute film, A Plastic Ocean, on Tuesday, October 16, 7 p.m. in Room 208 of Fisk Hall, 262 High Street, on the Wesleyan campus. Parking is available in the rear of the building off College Street. After the film, there will be a discussion about ways to combat plastic pollution.
From the filmmakers: “In the center of the Pacific Ocean gyre our researchers found more plastic than plankton. A Plastic Ocean documents the newest science, proving how plastics, once they enter the oceans, break up into small particulates that enter the food chain where they attract toxins like a magnet. These toxins are stored in seafood’s fatty tissues, and eventually consumed by us.”
This coming Sunday, September 16, from 9 to 11 a.m., paddlers will unite in a big effort to remove the remaining water chestnut plants from the lower Mattabesset River in the Floating Meadows between Middletown and Cromwell. If we can get about 20 paddlers, we have a good chance of clearing the main stem of the river for the first time in 5 years.
We will launch from the canoe and kayak launch at 181 Johnson St. in Middletown. For last minute questions in case of iffy weather, call or text John Hall at 860-398-3771.
While we prefer not to schedule paddles on Sunday, we are doing so in this case due to the Sunday availability of paddlers with canoes and in order to have higher water in the ebbing tide. Tide will be high at approximately 8 a.m. on Sunday. Tide is one hour earlier on Saturday.
Bags and gloves will be provided. Paddlers are required to wear life jackets and to sign a Jonah Center liability waiver and photo permission form. A porta-potty is located at the launch site.