ISBN-10:
0819577146
ISBN-13:
9780819577146
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Connecticut Walk Book: The Complete Guide to Connecticut's Blue-Blazed Hiking Trails

Connecticut Walk Book: The Complete Guide to Connecticut's Blue-Blazed Hiking Trails

by Connecticut Forest and Park Association

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Overview

The ultimate guide to Connecticut's extensive public trails system

Lace up your boots and experience some of the best hiking in New England. Whether you are a day-tripper or long-distance hiker, old hand or novice, you'll find trails suited to every ability and interest. The Connecticut Forest & Park Association (CFPA) maintains over 825 miles of Blue-Blazed Trails in Connecticut, trails that wind through state parks and forests, land trusts, and across private land. The Connecticut Walk Book is a comprehensive guide to these trails, including detailed, full-color maps, mileage/destination tables, and a lay-flat design for ease of use. In this twentieth edition of the Connecticut Walk Book you will find descriptions of the hikes with maps that are clear and easy to read and follow, parking information, and trip-planning essentials that will bring you to every trail.


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780819577146
Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
Publication date: 06/13/2017
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 177,599
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

THE CONNECTICUT FOREST & PARK ASSOCIATION (CFPA) is the first private, nonprofit, member-based organization established in Connecticut, and the founder and maintainer of over 825 miles of Blue-Blazed Hiking Trails. In 1929, CFPA's Trails Committee proposed a radical idea—establish and maintain hundreds of miles of walking trails by a workforce of volunteers organized and trained by CFPA. Now, 90 years later, this idea is still being carried forward by volunteers, members, partners, CFPA staff, and many landowners who have joined forces over time to maintain, improve, and expand the "Blue Trails." CFPA's mission is to connect people to the land in order to protect forests, parks, and trails for current and future generations to enjoy.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Alain and May White Nature Trails, John Muir Trail, and Walcott Trail

The Alain and May White Nature Trails in Sunnybrook State Park link to the John Muir Trail in Paugnut State Forest, and the Walcott Trail in Burr Pond State Park. Together this system of interconnected trails meanders for 11.5 miles over rolling, forested terrain.

Alain and May White Nature Trails

LENGTH 4.0 miles BLAZE COLOR Varied

The trail system in Sunnybrook State Park consists of two main trails: the Testone Boulder Loop and the Fadoir Spring Trail. The varied but gentle landscape provides ideal conditions for family hikes that can be enjoyed by all ages. A bronze plaque affixed to a boulder in the Sunnybrook State Park parking lot dedicates the trails to naturalist Jerome "Jay" Bacca of Torrington. Jay and his wife Lorrie developed the trails in the early 1980s in memory of Alain C. White and his sister May White. Together the Whites established the 4,200-acre White Memorial Foundation in nearby Litchfield and Morris, and donated substantial lands to early state forests and parks in western Connecticut. Alain White was president of CFPA from 1923 to 1928.

Testone Boulder Loop

LENGTH 1.8 miles BLAZE COLOR Blue

The Testone Boulder Loop forms the perimeter of the Alain and May White Nature Trails. It goes through a floodplain and open forest of conifers and mixed hardwoods and passes a large glacial erratic. The trail connects to several shorter side trails featuring interesting wetlands and ponds that provide rich habitat for a variety of birds, plants, and animals.

Fadoir Spring Trail

LENGTH 0.9 miles BLAZE COLOR Yellow

This trail forms a short loop to explore wetlands and ponds. It passes two side trails and is linked by a connector trail to the more challenging Testone Boulder Loop, providing options for longer hikes of varying difficulty.

Madden Wetlands Trail

LENGTH 0.3 miles BLAZE COLOR White

The Madden Wetlands Trail begins and ends on the Fadoir Spring Trail. It follows an old millrace to its source at Madden Pond, leads past a mammoth freestanding boulder, and travels through open woods. The trail is named in honor of naturalist, writer, and educator William Madden (1914–1986).

Beaver Pond Loop

LENGTH 0.4 miles BLAZE COLOR Red

The Beaver Pond Loop is characterized by the gnawed trees and beaver lodges that hikers will see along the trail.

Fyler Pond Trail

LENGTH 0.5 miles BLAZE COLOR Orange

The Fyler Pond Trail travels through mixed hardwoods and features scenic Fyler Pond, as well as significant rock outcroppings. Hikers can use the trail to link to the Testone Boulder Trail. Formerly a peat bog, Fyler Pond was dug out with a steam shovel in the 1900s.

John Muir Trail

LENGTH 2.1 miles BLAZE COLOR Blue

The John Muir Trail, located in Paugnut State Forest, ascends through forest to a terrain of ledges and boulders. A short side trail takes hikers to the summit of Walnut Mountain.

SIDE TRAILS

Muir/Walcott Connector

LENGTH 0.5 miles BLAZE COLOR Blue/White

This connector trail provides a direct link between the John Muir Trail and the Walcott Trail, offering the opportunity for a continuous long-distance hike from Sunnybrook State Park to Burr Pond State Park. A good portion of the connector coincides with the closed section of Starks Road, which is the boundary between Paugnut State Forest to the south and Burr Pond State Park to the north.

Buttrick Trail

LENGTH 1.3 miles BLAZE COLOR Blue/Red

Named for former CFPA secretary-forester and Civilian Conservation Corps supervisor Philip Buttrick, the Buttrick Trail offers a connector to the John Muir Trail from the Harris Drive parking lot of the Sue Grossman Still River Greenway that runs along Winsted Road. The Buttrick Trail also extends to connect with the unpaved segment of Guerdat Road in Paugnut State Forest.

* Hunting is permitted in state forests intersected by this trail. Please use caution and wear orange during hunting season.

Walcott Trail

LENGTH 2.5 miles BLAZE COLOR Blue

The Walcott Trail circles Burr Pond in Burr Pond State Park and is linked to the John Muir Trail via the blue-white blazed Muir/Walcott Connector at the southern end of the pond. The area around Burr Pond abounds in hardwoods and hemlock with an understory of laurel and young striped maples, and is studded with gigantic glacial boulders. The trail features Burr Mountain Brook, laurel-lined trail sections, and wonderful picnic spots.

The trail is named in honor of Senator Frederic C. Walcott (1869–1949). In 1909, Walcott started what is now known as the Great Mountain Forest with fellow Yale University graduate, Starling W. Childs. In 1913, Walcott and Childs convinced the newly formed State Park Commission to purchase 15,000 acres of "woods, lakes and mountains for the purpose of reclaiming deforested land and preserving game."

Walcott became the president of the Connecticut Board of Fisheries and Game (1923–1928), chairman of the Connecticut Water Commission (1925–1928), and was then elected to the U.S. Senate, where he served from 1929 to 1935.

Under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Senator Walcott served as the chairman of the Senate Committee on the Conservation of Wildlife Resources and supported the newly formed Civilian Conservation Corps. On May 24, 1933, a CCC camp named in Walcott's honor was located in the Paugnut State Forest (at what is now known as Burr Pond State Park). Camp Walcott is where Philip L. Buttrick (former board secretary of CFPA) was stationed; Buttrick was the forester that designed and built the loop trail around Burr Pond.

For more information on visiting Burr Pond State Park, visit the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) website.

CHAPTER 2

American Legion and Peoples State Forest Trails

LENGTH 14 miles BLAZE COLOR Varied

American Legion State Forest and Peoples State Forest are situated on opposite sides of the Farmington River's West Branch in Barkhamsted. A 14-mile network of hiking trails provides opportunities for exploration of the forests' rugged terrain with rocky cliffs, spectacular waterfalls, and breathtaking views of the Farmington River Valley. The trails lead past several historic and cultural sites, including old mills, a soapstone quarry, and a former Indian settlement known as the Barkhamsted Lighthouse.

The Austin F. Hawes Memorial Campground (open from mid-April to Columbus Day) in American Legion State Forest offers thirty campsites near the river.

American Legion State Forest Trails

Henry Buck Trail

LENGTH 1.8 miles BLAZE COLOR Blue

This loop trail was designed and built by Henry R. Buck, vice president of the Connecticut Forest & Park Association from 1928 to 1930. It passes through a mature forest that is approaching old-growth stage. In late April and early May, dozens of native wildflower species grow in abundance along the first half-mile of trail.

Turkey Vulture Ledge Trail

LENGTH 0.4 miles BLAZE COLOR Blue

This trail features a short ascent to heights where turkey vultures and other raptors can be seen soaring on the thermal updrafts that rise from the river far below. A short climb with little elevation gain, it's an easy outing for hikers of every experience level.

Peoples State Forest Trails

Agnes Bowen Trail

LENGTH 2.7 miles BLAZE COLOR Blue/Orange

The Agnes Bowen Trail begins at the Peoples Forest Nature Museum and intersects the Charles Pack and Robert Ross trails. The trail was named for a former secretary of the Barkhamsted Chamber of Commerce. Agnes Bowen, a local artist and writer, guided state representatives on a tour of the forest in 1923 that resulted in the decision to establish Peoples State Forest on its original 400 acres.

Elliott Bronson Trail

LENGTH 2.2 miles BLAZE COLOR Blue/Red

The Elliott Bronson Trail extends across the southern portion of the forest and climbs steeply over Ragged Mountain.

Walt Landgraf Trail

LENGTH 0.2 miles BLAZE COLOR Red

This trail honors Walt Landgraf, historian, curator of the Peoples Forest Nature Museum, and longtimeCFPA trail manager. The Landgraf Trail is a short spur off the Bronson Trail that leads to a former Native American soapstone quarry.

Barkhamsted Lighthouse Interpretive Trail

LENGTH 0.1 miles BLAZE COLOR Yellow

The name "Barkhamsted Lighthouse" comes from those traveling along the then stagecoach road to Riverton. When travelers saw the lights in the woods on the hill, that was their signal that Riverton was only another mile or so away. This short trail leads to the remains of the old settlement. The trail has a few interpretive signs that chronicle the history of James Caugham, Molly Barber, and other resident "outcasts" on the hill.

Nature Trail

LENGTH 0.2 miles BLAZE COLOR Blue

This short trail links the Agnes Bowen and Elliott Bronson Trails.

Charles Pack Trail

LENGTH 2.2 miles BLAZE COLOR Blue/Yellow

The Charles Pack Trail follows mostly flat terrain, traveling through an old farm site on the back side of Beaver Swamp.

Robert Ross Trail

LENGTH 2.4 miles BLAZE COLOR Blue

The Robert Ross Trail leaves from East River Road and the Peoples Forest Nature Museum and features steep cliffs overlooking the Farmington River.

Jessie Gerard Trail

LENGTH 1.7 miles BLAZE COLOR Blue/Yellow

The Jessie Gerard Trail starts from East River Road at the remains of an old settlement known as Barkhamsted Lighthouse. A series of switchbacks eases the dramatic 300-foot elevation gain to Chaugham Lookout, with breathtaking views of the Farmington River Valley and the village of Riverton and to Massachusetts in the far northern distance.

Falls Cut-Off Trail

LENGTH 0.3 miles BLAZE COLOR Blue/Red

The Falls Cut-Off Trail features a series of 299 stone steps that climb beside a seasonal waterfall. During the winter, beautiful ice formations can be seen along this section. The trail itself is often dangerously wet or icy, and ice falling from the rocks above can be treacherous as well.

* Greenwoods Road, the primary road through Peoples State Forest, and Legion Road are closed from first snow until about May 1.

* Hunting is permitted in state forests intersected by this trail. Please use caution and wear orange during hunting season.

Appalachian Trail

LENGTH 56.6 miles (New York–Connecticut border to Sage's Ravine in Massachusetts) BLAZE COLOR White

The Appalachian Trail (AT) in Connecticut is part of the fabled through-route from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine, a distance of approximately 2,200 miles. The trail was the first in the nation to be named a National Scenic Trail, so designated by an act of Congress in 1968. Most of the original route in Connecticut was blazed by Ned K. Anderson, CFPA chair of the Housatonic Valley section from 1929 to 1932, when the AT was one of the early Blue-Blazed Hiking Trails. Today the entire length of the trail is blazed white, with most side trails blazed blue. The trail is maintained by the Connecticut chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club.

The Connecticut section of the AT extends from Sherman at the New York state line to the brook crossing at Sage's Ravine, just north of the Massachusetts state line at Salisbury. The trail goes up the Housatonic River Valley and twice crosses the river. The region is noted for its forested landscape, rugged rocky hills, open valleys, ravines, waterfalls, and magnificent vistas. Wildflowers abound in spring and summer, and year-round sightings of deer, turkey, and fox are not uncommon. From the mid-eighteenth century until the early twentieth century, the area was home to a thriving iron industry. The foundries and blast furnaces were heated by charcoal to the extreme temperatures required to melt raw iron ore into molten crude, or pig iron. The charcoal was produced by itinerant colliers who chopped wood cut from the forested hills, stacked it into huge mounds, and burned and smoked it over several weeks. Remains of these hearth sites (flat circular areas) can be seen along the trail.

Several designated camping areas are available on or near the trail. Camping is allowed only at these designated locations. Camp and cook fires are prohibited along the AT throughout Connecticut. Additional information and detailed trail descriptions are available in the Appalachian Trail Guide to Massachusetts-Connecticut, published by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

* Trail mileage on these maps and this mileage table differ significantly from other information currently in print.

SIDE TRAILS

Pine Knob Loop Trail (see Map 20-AT-04)

LENGTH 2.3 miles BLAZE COLOR Blue

The Pine Knob Loop Trail is located in Housatonic Meadows State Park and Housatonic State Forest on the west side of the Housatonic River, north of Cornwall Bridge. A short and challenging trail, it coincides with the Appalachian Trail for a portion of its length. Hikers will enjoy beautiful vistas over the river valley. The trail is accessible from the state park's campground and group camping area via unmarked trails.

Universal Access Loop (see Map 20-AT-06)

LENGTH 0.4 miles BLAZE COLOR Blue

This loop trail is handicap accessible and offers a nice, flat loop through the woods. When used in conjunction with the AT, walkers will enjoy beautiful views along the Housatonic River.

Limestone Springs Trail (see Map 20-AT-06)

LENGTH 1.2 miles BLAZE COLOR Blue

From the AT near Rand's View, this trail descends steeply to the Limestone Springs Lean-to, and continues to the woods at the end of Sugar Hill Road.

Lion's Head Trail (see Map 20-AT-07)

LENGTH 0.4 miles BLAZE COLOR Blue

The Lion's Head Trail leads from the end of Bunker Hill Road (please respect private property) to the AT. Follow the AT an additional 0.2 miles to the summit of Lion's Head.

Undermountain Trail (see Map 20-AT-07)

LENGTH 2.0 miles BLAZE COLOR Blue

The Undermountain Trail is challenging and can be used to access the AT and some of the highest peaks in the state. The Paradise Lane Trail can be accessed off the Undermountain Trail at 1.1 miles from the Route 41 parking area.

Paradise Lane (see Map 20-AT-07)

LENGTH 1.9 miles BLAZE COLOR Blue

Pass a blue-blazed side trail which leads to the Paradise Lane group camping area. In another 50 yards, find the intersection of the Undermountain Trail and Paradise Lane (both have blue blazes), then turn onto Paradise Lane to continue your ascent up the mountain on a narrow forest path beneath the shoulder of Bear Mountain. The hiker will encounter a black spruce bog and a small pond. During late fall and winter, views of the steep north side of Bear Mountain are possible. Paradise Lane joins the Appalachian Trail 0.3 miles south of Sages Ravine Brook.

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "Connecticut Walk Book"
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Copyright © 2017 Connecticut Forest & Park Association.
Excerpted by permission of Wesleyan University Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Statewide Overview Map
Alain & May White Nature Trails, John Muir Trail, and Walcott Trail
American Legion and Peoples State Forest Trails
Appalachian Trail (including Pine Knob Loop Trail)
Aspetuck Trail
Chatfield Trail
Cockaponset Trail
Falls Brook Trail
Field Forest Trails
Finch Brook Trail
Hancock Brook, Jericho, and Whitestone Cliffs Trails
Hibbard Trail
Highlawn Forest Trails
Housatonic Range Trail
Iron Trail
Kettletown State Park, Pomperaug, and Zoar Trails
Lillinonah Trail
Macedonia Brook State Park Trails
Mattabesett Trail
Mattatuck Trail (including Prospect Mountain Trails)
McLean Game Refuge Trails
Menunkatuck Trail
Metacomet Trail (including Hatchery Brook Loop Trail)
Mohawk Trail
Narragansett Trail
Natchaug Trail
Naugatuck Trail
Nayantaquit Trail
Nehantic Trail
Nipmuck Trail (including Bigelow Hollow State Park Trails)
Old Furnace Trail
Pachaug Trail
Paugussett Trail
Pequot Trail
Quinebaug Trail
Quinnipiac Trail (including Sleeping Giant State Park Trails)
Regicides Trail
Salmon River Trail
Saugatuck Trail
Scovill Loop Trails
Shenipsit Trail (including Gay City State Park, Case Mountain, and Risley Pond Trails)
Stony Creek Trails
Sunny Valley Preserve Trails
Tunxis Trail
Index

What People are Saying About This

Judy Benson

“Whether you aim to hike, walk, amble, jog, meander, scamper or scramble, the Connecticut Walk Book will help you set your feet on the right path. Filled with detailed descriptions and directions to the 900 miles of blue-blazed trails across the state, this 20-year anniversary edition should become a well-worn guidebook in the libraries of everyone who values time outdoors and the joy of discovering the wealth of natural riches in this small state.”

Steve Grant

“The Connecticut Walk Book is the one essential guide for hikers. Great maps and concise, clear, accurate text give you everything you need to explore the state's wonderful network of major trails, more than 800 miles of them. It is truly a must-have.”

Peter Marteka

“There are more than 825 miles of Connecticut Forest & Park Association Blue-Blazed Trails across Connecticut. That’s 825 miles of trails you can’t get lost on if you have the Connecticut Walk Book as your guide. That’s 825 miles of trails you will never have to ask directions for. I still have my frayed and tattered copy my dad gave me so many years ago. The guide is a handy way for newcomers and old-timers alike to explore the state by making their own loop trails or out-and-back paths. Don’t go into the natural world without it.”

From the Publisher

“There are more than 825 miles of Connecticut Forest & Park Association Blue-Blazed Trails across Connecticut. That’s 825 miles of trails you can’t get lost on if you have the Connecticut Walk Book as your guide. That’s 825 miles of trails you will never have to ask directions for. I still have my frayed and tattered copy my dad gave me so many years ago. The guide is a handy way for newcomers and old-timers alike to explore the state by making their own loop trails or out-and-back paths. Don’t go into the natural world without it.” —“There are more than 825 miles of Connecticut Forest & Park Association Blue-Blazed Trails across Connecticut. That’s 825 miles of trails you can’t get lost on if you have the Connecticut Walk Book as your guide. That’s 825 miles of trails you will never have to ask directions for. I still have my frayed and tattered copy my dad gave me so many years ago. The guide is a handy way for newcomers and old-timers alike to explore the state by making their own loop trails or out-and-back paths. Don’t go into the natural world without it.”
“The Connecticut Walk Book is the one essential guide for hikers. Great maps and concise, clear, accurate text give you everything you need to explore the state's wonderful network of major trails, more than 800 miles of them. It is truly a must-have.”—“The Connecticut Walk Book is the one essential guide for hikers. Great maps and concise, clear, accurate text give you everything you need to explore the state's wonderful network of major trails, more than 800 miles of them. It is truly a must-have.”
“Whether you aim to hike, walk, amble, jog, meander, scamper or scramble, the Connecticut Walk Book will help you set your feet on the right path. Filled with detailed descriptions and directions to the 900 miles of blue-blazed trails across the state, this 20-year anniversary edition should become a well-worn guidebook in the libraries of everyone who values time outdoors and the joy of discovering the wealth of natural riches in this small state.” —“Whether you aim to hike, walk, amble, jog, meander, scamper or scramble, the Connecticut Walk Book will help you set your feet on the right path. Filled with detailed descriptions and directions to the 900 miles of blue-blazed trails across the state, this 20-year anniversary edition should become a well-worn guidebook in the libraries of everyone who values time outdoors and the joy of discovering the wealth of natural riches in this small state.”

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