Metacomet Trail

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The Metacomet Trail extends from the Long Island Sound to the Massachusetts Vermont border. One of the trails for the UGRR travels the same path from the Long Island Sound but up past Vermont. The Metacomet trail is the map on the right, the andUnderground Railroad is the map on the left. As you can see, they are very closely related, and in history both may have been traveled by fleeing slaves. As fleeing slaves traveled up the east coast, the Underground Railroad and the Metacomet trail were very similar and may have overlapped. The trail goes through major cites, or close to major cities, and claimed to potentially help create hotbeds. Places like Florence, North Hampton, were on these routes, which is why many fleeing slaves settled in those places.
The trail was originally used by Native Americans (Wampanoag tribe) who lived in New England, for trade and migration routes. After this Native Americans used the trail in King Philips war to move forces and both attack and defend. This is when the famous King Phillips cave came about, because he watched the burning of a village in Simsbury allegedly during the war. After this when the English settlers had taken over the area, it was used as a trade route and a route to move up and down the northeast before roads were created. Since then they have been dubbed as historic trails, and are kept as close to natural as possible so people can walk them and appreciate their value.
The trail was possibly used and preferred by fleeing slaves for multiple reasons. One reason is that the hike is considered moderately easy, this is important because when running for your life, you do not want to be traveling a back breaking journey, instead you want to be able to put many miles on each day. This trail was also in great condition in the past, because of how much people used it, and they respected it, because they knew that future fleeing slaves would use it. In the current world the trail is in great condition because it is registered as a historic landmark, so people are required to take care of it. All parts of the trail are also close to roads. There is no part of the trail that is farther than a few miles from a public road. This could have created an easy way to obtain supplies for the journey, while evading the law.
Specific to our area, the trail was used near Old Newgate Prison to transport copper. The copper mine soon failed, however. In West Suffield, on the West Suffield Mountain, part of the Metacomet ridge is present. Because of this, many people visit the trail, adding another historic site to Suffield. Because of this I think that for a class period we should go and walk the trail. The trail could provide many possible artifacts of the fleeing slaves, and many other ideas on where they might have stayed in West Suffield. With this trail it would be easy to centrally locate houses on the UGRR, people who maintained it, and a opportunity to get Suffield in the historical records again.

This entry was posted in 21st Century Learning, American Studies, Habitat Management, HOT Logs Dec. 2013, Local History, Native Americans, Nature Trails, Uncategorized, Underground Railroad and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Metacomet Trail

  1. ahglennon says:

    A very informative piece! I really enjoyed this information and I think it applies to our class very well. Do you know of any specific sites our class could see by walking it come spring? As I said in Ross’ article, the use of “UGRR” should be specified before abbreviating as people other than our class read our material and are not completely familiar with our language. I liked the inclusions of the map as well.

  2. 14dlw says:

    This is truly some great information you have put together here. This piece is very relevant to what we are trying to do in our class. I wonder if we could have a potential field trip location here? The only thing I can find for you to polish could be to look for a better picture of the map.

  3. 14bsd says:

    A great piece with some helpful information on better understanding the underground railroad. I would suggest that you say what UGRR means before abbreviating it. Also, Do you think that without the war on king philips that some of the trails would have not been created? I agree with Daniel that if your going to use an image make sure that its clear what your trying to show, however good piece writing-wise.

  4. Jack Frank says:

    This was an interesting peeve of writing. I would perhaps expand upon the section where you talked about King Philips war and its relationship to the Metacomet trail. Do you think that there should be a more accurate picture of the Metacomet trail?

  5. 14ross says:

    Nice work Jimmy. First off I want to agree with everyone else by saying the picture could be clearer, but still, better to have a picture than not to have a picture. I like how you added some brief history of the trail and that you added the two links at the end of the piece so people could do some research of their own if they wanted to.

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