The Connecticut Forest & Park Association organized the construction and maintenance of the Matacomet and Mattabesett Trails in the 1930s, as part of a statewide vision for a blue-blazed hiking trail system.
Further north, in 1951, a professor of botany at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst named Walter Banfield led a small group that began creating an extension of Connecticut’s Matacomet Trail that would extend to Mount Monadnock in New Hampshire.
Connecting the two trail systems and adding the 17-mile Menunkatuck Trail to the south created a continuous 215 mile footpath through two states now known as the New England Trail.
As a side note, it is possible to continue north from Mount Monadnock to Sunapee Mountain in New Hampshire, via the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway Trail (a distance of 49.1 miles), which my friend Wayne Cyr and I did in the late 1990s.
In the spring of 2015, we set out to spend a week hiking north on the New England Trail from the Connecticut shore to as far north as we could get in one week — a trip to be covered in my blog.