Shepaug Serpent LbNA # 4347
|Placed Date||Jun 14 2003|
|Planted By||Po & Cakes|
|Last Found||Aug 20 2016|
Sea serpents have a long and varied history. For centuries sailors have blamed them for all manner of trouble befalling their boats and as a result, these water dwelling creatures have been hunted to near extinction. The more resourceful of them have migrated to freshwater environments for their protection. The serpent you are seeking today is one of these, taking up residence in the Shepaug River shortly after its birth. This serpent inhabited local waters close to four score years before the surrounding town of Washington was founded. It has eluded capture for some time due to a wily nature and the difficulty of the task before you. While the body of a serpent may be quite long, very little of it is visible above the water line at any time. One looking carefully might be lucky enough to glimpse its head rising for air, a curve of its body cresting the water, or the tip of its tail as it dives for cover. These occasional sightings provide evidence that the local serpent is alive and well, frustrating local fishermen by consuming the bulk of the Shepaug’s fish population. The serpent averages almost six fish a day!
Your quest today brings you to the banks of the Shepaug River in Washington, CT. For easy access to the serpent’s favorite hunting areas, park your car in the lot for the steep rock preserve. This lies on River road. If you follow Rt. 47 to the center of town, river road lies immediately next to Park’s drug store. The parking area will be on your left. Pull in, park the car, and follow the river, keeping it to your left as you begin your walk downstream. The occasional cover of trees makes your approach less obvious to the mythical creature you seek. The noise and smell created by so many adventuring humans has driven this mighty beast further downstream. You have some traveling before you, over occasionally tricky terrain. Those who have trouble finding their footing should take caution in search of the serpent.
The old age of the Shepaug Serpent may be related to it’s wariness of people; it rarely pokes its head up near where horses or mountain bikes ride. Cross the tributary and sit down at the end of the wooden footbridge. Take a compass bearing in the direction of the serpent’s age and look into the woods for a likely letterboxing tree. From this vantage point a lucky observer will catch a glimpse of the serpent’s head.
If this sighting intrigues you, continue on your original path downstream. The trail will rise high over the river, arching as the back of the serpent does as it undulates along its way. As you come down from the arch back down to the level of the water you will descend a natural 4 stone staircase. 14 paces (right foot) beyond the last step will be a large hemlock with branches fanning out over the river. 20 feet up the bank on the right will be a matching tree. Curled up in the base of this tree is the arching back of the Shepaug Serpent. (Be careful retrieving this box as the embankment is steep and could be slippery.)
Continue downstream as the path widens once again past the bridge which spans the river. Soon the river bends sharply in a feature which is known as the Clam Shell. Before the trail rises steeply and bends away from the river, the trail branches left to the bank of the river. The river may be forded here leading to a small island. Wouldn’t the tail end of this island be the perfect place to spy the tail of the Shepaug Serpent? Come October, we wouldn’t think so either… From where the trail forks down to the embankment stand on a rock and look due east. For each fish the serpent eats in a week, turn 1 degree south. If you search carefully, you may spot a tail poking out of the water! With this final sighting your search is complete. You can return the way you came, or cross the bridge and follow the road on the opposite shore back upstream.