American Literature New England Authorsí Series  LbNA # 1690

Placed DateApr 29 2003
LocationTolland, CT
Planted Byroseann    
Found By SL
Last Found Jan 2 2012
Hike Distance?

Tobiasson Memorial Forest, Tolland, CT

Tolland County

Clue difficulty - easy

Hike difficulty- easy, 1.4 mile loop


Placed by Churchill and the Pinecone, March 17, 2001

Dedicated to the late Doris Tobiasson, former Tolland High School English teacher. Mrs. Tobiasson loved the New England authors and landscapes. We are grateful for her gift of inspiration. She and her husband donated these 82 acres to the Joshua Trust.

Route 84 to exit 68. Turn North onto route 195. Take first left onto Cider Mill Rd. Turn left at stop sign. (.3 miles will take you to Penquin Puzzle Box at Crandall Park.) At next stop sign, stay right on Grant Hill Road. Cross over Metcalf Road. Pass Gehring Road on the right, go up steep hill. Take left onto Noah Lane. Drive to end of cul de sac, and park near the trailhead.

Enter Tobiasson Memorial Forest, follow loop trail in Counterclockwise direction, stay right, and follow yellow blazes. (Be careful to head to the right of the signs at the very start, even though it looks like the trail goes only to the left)

Thoreau, Emerson and Longfellow followed the gentle, meandering trail one lovely sunny spring morning. At .2miles there stood a giant black birch tree on the left side of the trail. This tree is thought to be the 4th largest black birch in the state of Connecticut. The tree stood alone, and itís massive dark limbs curved outward before they headed toward the sky. As the men strolled around the tree to gaze at itís ten-foot circumference, they noticed a ladies golden locket in the trunk of the tree. Thoreau knew immediately to whom it belonged. As he retrieved the locket he said, "This belongs to a gracious lady of this town who appreciates great writers. We shall return it to her after our walk."

The three gentlemen continued on along the trail. Thoreau suddenly stumbled over a large grapevine, which was hanging across the trail. As he fell to the ground his journal tumbled out and became lodged in the eastern side of a stonewall. Once he pulled it free, they continued walking and passed through the opening in the wall.

As their journey continued, they noticed yet another stone wall coming into sight on their left. The trail took a sharp turn to the left through this wall. Before they made the turn, they decided to sit on the stonewall at the base of the large tree. Emerson began to think about the last meeting of the transcendental club in his town of Concord Massachusetts. As his mind wandered, the large flat stone beneath him began to shake. He rose to his feet so that he could have a look under this cold flat seat.

Their morning stroll continued, and the men found themselves passing through another stonewall into a small grove of pine. Thoreau was always out in front. It was not uncommon for him to walk 20 miles a day.

They crossed yet another stone wall and went downhill to cross a small wooden bridge. They continued through the woods, looking forward to crossing the brook yet again.

The breeze carried the sound of a noisy brook as it passed through a small gorge. The authors crossed the brook and Longfellow began to think of Hiawatha. Longfellow was familiar with the Native Americans living in the Boston area, and knew of their great fishing skills. The men stopped for a short time to fish in the stream. Once they were finished, they crossed the stream and continued on the trail for 110 paces. The trio sat down on a large rock on the right side of the trail, and prepared to clean their fish. As Longfellow was seated on the Southeast side of the rock, he bent down to retrieve his knife, which had fallen under the rock.

They finished their walk, contented as always with the peacefulness, which they always found in the woods.