It was the morning of September 22, 1776 in New York, only a few months after the Thirteen American Colonies issued the Declaration of Independence, a document which served to officially sever America’s allegiance to the outraged empire that was 18th-century England. British officers, tasked with putting down the revolt, were only moments away from hanging a rebel spy that they’d captured recently, and before ending his life, they offered him the opportunity to speak his last words on this earth. The spy, Nathan Hale, maintained his composure and explained,” I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country.”
To this day, those words still ring just as powerfully as they surely must have in 1776. Hale remains a celebrated icon of the Revolution and a shining example of indomitable American resolve. In fact, the childhood farm upon which Hale grew up in Coventry, Connecticut, known now as the Nathan Hale Homestead, has been restored and designated for preservation. Adjacent to the property is the expansive Nathan Hale State Forest, which memorializes the war hero and offers hikers some 1,500 acres of woodland trails in northeastern Connecticut.
Trails of Freedom will be guiding a short hike through the Hale Homestead and Nathan Hale State Forest on May 22, 2011 as one of four “Take a Hike” sessions hosted in cooperation with Team Turtle Racing and Coventry Parks & Recreation. All that are interested are encouraged to register for these free sessions on the Coventry Parks & Recreation website. We hope to see you out there!