I remember when the A/T took an eastern turn over Mohawk Mountain and by a friends farm in North Cornwall--he fondly recalls a couple of thru-hikers who stopped and helped him with his farm. I think Cathedral Pines' being wiped out by a twister in the 80's had something to do with it. Any one know more about this?
The re-routing resulted from a big flood that wiped out a foot bridge that went over the Housatonic. The cement footings, which are all that remain of the old bridge, are located a short distance after Bull's Bridge (going north), right before the river walk section. The trail was re-routed after the flood.
You can still hike a good part of that old AT section over Mohawk Mtn ski area, on what is now the Mohawk Trail - a loop trail of about 50 miles that connects briefly with the AT.
LT '79; AT from Springer-Rangeley in sections; Donating Member
Are Cathedral Pines still standing? That was an awesome, almost religious part of the Trail. I hiked through in 1974 and loved the soft path surrounded by towering straight pines separated by 30 feet or so from each other.
Catherdral Pines was wiped out by a tornado as posted earlier. I went by there a few years ago and it looked like it was hit by a bomb and something entirely different was growing in its place. Sadly, I doubt its old majesty will ever return.
Not every Cathedral Pine was knocked down by the tornado in 1989. Many dead pine trees are strewn about, but there are also many still standing and the growth has filled back in.
But the cathedral pines section is no longer part of the AT. So you have to take the Mohawk Trail if you want to hike it. It's in Cornwall, CT near Mohawk Ski area.
Savage, That's great to hear! When I last visited, some years ago, I was sure that it would never return to its former majesty. Thanks for the links!
Originally Posted by SavageLlama
This is an old thread, I know, but if anybody's still interested...
There was a relocation due to a bridge being washed out, but a more
major, and recent, relocation was due to concerns by the owners of
Dark Entry Forest. Within this forest (on private land) is the extinct
village of Dudleytown. Some legends have it that the town was cursed,
but historians have debunked that, finding that even some of the facts
given as evidence of the curse were untrue. Unfortunately, people
trying to check for "paranormal" occurences connected with the legends
would traipse into Dudleytown at night, and annoyed the owners to the
point that they asked that the AT be relocated.
The former AT route, over Mohawk Mtn, throught Dark Entry and Dean
Ravines, became a blue-blazed trail (the Mohawk Trail, not to be confused
with the highway by this name in Massachusetts).
Since the Blair Witch movie, problems with trespassers have persisted,
and the Connecticut Forest and Parks Association officially closes a
section of the Mohawk Trail in Cornwall for several days around Halloween
Interesting discussions of these relocations appear below.
Then the Hail Came, George Steffanos
SATURDAY, 8/13/83, MILE 1449.5
River Road was a gravel road running along the western bank of the Housatonic. After a mile,
the road was gated and closed to vehicle traffic. That was the point where the original
Appalachian Trail had crossed the river, passing over a bridge which was subsequently washed
out in 1936, necessitating a relocation of the trail to a crossing further north.
SUNDAY, 8/14/83, MILE 1468.5 --- This morning the trail passed through portions of the
Housatonic State Forest, an attractive wooded highland plateau with no long-range views. A little
more than four miles from last night's campsite, I came to a grove of beautiful old pine trees. In
the middle of the grove, next to a small rushing stream, was a solitary picnic bench, where I took
my first break. The day was another cool, breezy, and sunny one.
Three miles later, the Appalachian Trail crossed a paved road and entered Dean Ravine. It was
the nicest of the series of ravines I had recently encountered: a pretty chain of small waterfalls
and cascades in a deep, narrow valley filled with pine and hemlock. This was followed by a fairly
sick climb over some open ledges, which were wooded and provided no real views, to a rocky
stretch of trail reminiscent of Pennsylvania.
The trail turned into a virtual rock climb straight up the face of a cliff to the top of Barrack
Mountain. It was a rather sadistic climb for a backpacking trail, but some open ledges near the
summit offered great views to the north and to the south -- some of the nicest since Shenandoah
National Park. Another excellent vista looking westward from a point just beyond the summit
immediately proceeded an almost-vertical plunge down cliffs to US 7. All in all, Barrack Mountain
was a grueling, but rewarding section of trail. It was probably better suited to a day hiking trail
than a backpacking footpath, but it was, at least, an interesting experience.
There is soon going to be a major relocation of the Appalachian Trail in Connecticut. All of the
present trail east of the Housatonic River is about to be eliminated. This will also eliminate a
great deal of roadwalking, but the AT will be poorer without Dark Entry Ravine, Cathedral Pines,
that high farming valley, Mohawk Mountain, and Dean Ravine. I think I will even miss the
presence of Barrack Mountain on the trail. I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to hike the
AT before all of those jewels were relocated off of the trail. In a way, this will not have any effect
upon a surprisingly large minority of thru-hikers. It amazes me to hear about how many walk US
7 from Kent or Cornwall Bridge to Falls Village. Their loss.
Article on Mohawk Trail, by Dave Cronin
"Before being relocated, the
AT went through Dudleytown near here,
where there were false rumors of a mysterious
curse that caused depravity and
crime in the 1800’s and that now the property
was haunted. The trail was relocated
away from Dudleytown at the request of
One of the [Connecticut Forest and Park] Association's major successes was the relocation of
the historic eastern route of the Appalachian Trail in Cornwall to a route west of the Housatonic
River because of property owners who wanted the trail off their land....The eastern route was
subsequently re-established as a Blue-Blazed trail, named after the blue blazes painted on tree
trunks, that mark the trails, and renamed the Mohawk Trail.
New York Times, 14 Nov. 1999, Connecticut section
Springer-->Stony Brook Road VT
correct me please if i'm wrong
it appears from reading all of the above that you can still see all the things of the former AT in this section by simply blue-blazing on the Mohawk Trail? right? if so then when i get to connecticut then this will be a def. premeditated blue blaze for me.
LT '79; AT from Springer-Rangeley in sections; Donating Member
I hiked this old section when it was part of the AT in 1975. Deans Ravine was quite lovely, and I recall that the trail was in great condition for late March.
Blue blazed trails
I think all the blue-blazed trails in Connecticut (maybe even all of
them) are described in The Connecticut Walk Book, put out by the
Connecticut Forest and Parks Association (www.ctwoodlands.org).
It's a great book, with good trail descriptions and fold-out topo
maps (only black-and-white, though) in the back. It comes in a
small binder, so you can take out the pages you need, rather than
carry the whole book with you.
According to the above Web site, a newly revised edition is being
worked on. I believe the current edition is from about 1998, so it's
still pretty up-to-date.
Also, they give really recent trail changes on their Web site, so
it serves to update the printed book.
I lead group hikes, and often take people over for outings in
Connecticut, and the trails there are well maintained and never
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