View Full Version : Avoiding Road Walking-Connecticut New England Trail

12-03-2016, 03:23
I have learned (or re-learned) my lesson and will not publish any detailed routes for my road walking bypasses.

But for those with whom Iíve shared the route to avoid road walking in Connecticut (Middletown area) on the Mattabesett Trail from Route 147 to Brainard Hill Rd I need to add some information as a result of recent feedback.

The 0.25 mile walk SE-NW along a power line near Rt 154 has been complicated by current construction activity on that power line. My route is still fine but when theyíre working thereís lots of heavy equipment you donít want to get involved with. You can either do that 0.25 portion on Route 154 (yuck!!), or bushwhack pretty easily through the open woods parallel to and BETWEEN the power line and Rt 154. Once the construction activity is completed, Iím sure that portion of my route will still be there.

About 0.5 miles South of Route 9, there is a cabin deep in the woods which my route gives a wide margin, traversing near the top of a ridge about 0.2 miles up to the West. The owner of the cabin has verbally claimed ownership all the way up to the ridge top. No posting was observed (there is some BHA posting for a development much further S along that same woods road but my route doesn't come anywhere near that). Frankly I donít believe it because that ownership would straddle a town line and thatís unusual for a land parcel. The extent of any posting we have seen on the ridge is a sign advising hikers to carry bear spray as bear have been sighted in the area! And another posting sign further S on the ridge that prohibits hunting and ATVs.

Nevertheless, Iíd suggest looping briefly further West just on the other side of the ridge for a few hundred yards. Itís not the nice path across, definitely bushwhacking, but itís open woods and easy walking.

I will post any other feedback I get here in this thread, but no detailed routes.

12-03-2016, 08:29
Thank you for this update!


12-03-2016, 10:13
... Mattabesett Trail from Route 147 to Brainard Hill Rd ...Typo: that's Route 154.

12-03-2016, 19:29
took me a bit to find where you where talking about -- southeast of Middletown near the Seven Falls State Park. I'm embarrassed to say that I've never walked on that eastish bound offshoot of the NET. Good walk? ...and thanks for the info.

12-03-2016, 20:20
...eastish bound offshoot of the NETOffshoot!? Watch your tongue.:)
I've been hiking the Mattabesett Trail off and on for 50 years; the NET is barely an adolescent. Offshoot indeed.

Good walk?

You don't start getting into the classic Connecticut traprock ridge views until a bit further Southwest, when the Trail passes Myer Huber Pond near Rt 77; some folks find the quiet woods of this area boring. I love open woods, long interior views from wooded ridges. Solitude. Streams, ponds, small cascades; though the drought has taken its toll.

Outside hunting season and on Sundays, when hunting is off, you can wander all over this area, making your own loops and side trips, respecting posting of course. I did some of my earliest hiking here and after a lifetime of major backpacking all over the U.S. and beyond I am bringing back what's left of my knees to the the wonderful medicine of these beautiful woods.

12-03-2016, 20:54
awwww shucks. ok. i'll visit your woods now.

coach lou
12-04-2016, 16:36
awwww shucks. ok. i'll visit your woods now.

Laz, I went looking for the tent pads at Rockland preserve last week, from the lot on 77. Pleasant walk, but I don't think we can move MLK5 to the NET.

12-04-2016, 20:25
Laz, I went looking for the tent pads at Rockland preserve last week, from the lot on 77. Pleasant walkFind them OK?


coach lou
12-04-2016, 21:07
Find them OK?


No, I need maps of this trail. I started to get to the Bike trails. I moved on.

Too any chores today, I did not get out.

01-23-2017, 22:30
37988Just finished hiking "Wil's" Trail -- the Mattabesett from River Road to Route 77, with CMoulder. Great trail. We did skip your bushwhacks, though... you might have to give us a tour some day. The view is from Mount Pisgah.

01-23-2017, 22:52
Really great walk in early Spring-like weather!

37989Nature's own Bonsai, stunted pine on a rocky ledge
37990On top of Pisgah
37991Beautiful stream between Pisgah and Mica Ledges
37992Valley view from Mica Ledges

coach lou
01-24-2017, 12:59
37988Just finished hiking "Wil's" Trail -- the Mattabesett from River Road to Route 77, with CMoulder. Great trail. We did skip your bushwhacks, though... you might have to give us a tour some day. The view is from Mount Pisgah.

River Road in Guilford?

01-24-2017, 16:14
River Road by NRG in Middletown, at the Connecticut River!!!

coach lou
01-30-2017, 10:49
37988Just finished hiking "Wil's" Trail -- the Mattabesett from River Road to Route 77, with CMoulder. Great trail. We did skip your bushwhacks, though... you might have to give us a tour some day. The view is from Mount Pisgah.

So give me a guess, how far from the river to 77?

01-30-2017, 17:16
Quick and highly OT question for you guys but... has anybody biked the full Farmington Canal Trail up to Northampton? Any idea where I might find maps and even a course description? I've looked at their site and it's pretty minimal, after Cheshire it all looks like "under construction" and I don't know what that means, like it doesn't exist at all, or it's a road course or what?

Thanks so much for any insight you can give me... hoping to do an E2E of this in early summer...


01-30-2017, 19:16
Coach Lou,

Adding up the numbers on Wil's map it was 28.4 mi. Felt about like that although we didn't do GPS tracks.

01-31-2017, 10:54
Should mention we saw a bobcat on the trail. Or at least a bobcat blur. Funny to be on the lookout for not often sighted wildlife and then to see it a few miles from your relatively urban home.

02-14-2017, 11:43
Fchtrail.org. has maps for sale with both the on and off road sections. The trail name changes once you get into mass. Look at the Southwick sections an Easthampton that lead into Northampton. Westfield has some open and is ongoing.

04-09-2017, 12:52
I've been away from Connecticut this Winter, coming back in a week. I've heard there's been lots of precipitation and the water sources are probably flowing well on the Mattabesett and Metacomet (the major components of the New England Trail in CT. Any recent experience.

Teacher & Snacktime
04-09-2017, 19:13
I want to know how precisely the OP learned....or re-learned his lesson! It sounds like there's a story there. :)

04-17-2017, 02:53
I just started section hiking this trail this weekend. For me with this trail that's pretty much day hiking but ill do overnight in the 3 places that are allowed in CT. I'm avoiding any road walks when I can by simply planning to end a hike when one starts and then picking the trail up next time where it goes back into the woods. Starting at the Eastern Terminus by Prat and Whitney and going to Seven Falls, it's a shame how much the recent power line construction disrupts the trail. Other then that I thought it was a great trail and went through a lot of cool and different stuff. Giant boulders/ledges, over several streams and following along some. A few nice overlooks of the CT river and a couple of the 4 reservoirs that you go around. I didn't do any loops but there were several you could add on to the hike. Can't wait to pick it back up.

Scot B
05-11-2017, 14:38
I just completed a southbound thru hike of the NET. April 29th to May 9th. If anyone has any questions I will gladly provide any info I have to offer.

05-11-2017, 21:30
I just completed a southbound thru hike of the NET. April 29th to May 9th. If anyone has any questions I will gladly provide any info I have to offer.

WOW. congratulations. a few questions... first -- are you from wallingford CT or wallingford VT? and did you start at the NH border, or did you start farther north to include the section from Mt Monadnock? and did you admit you were thru hiking when you met people, or did you make stuff up? and did you have any issues around camping? and what made you decide to do this particular hike -- have you done other trails?

05-11-2017, 21:32
oh, and one more question -- how did you deal with the two major river crossings?

Sarcasm the elf
05-11-2017, 21:42
Laz, you sound excited. :cool:

05-11-2017, 21:51
Laz, you sound excited. :cool:
sure. i may have a neighbor with a walking disorder...

Scot B
05-12-2017, 13:55
Lazarus I am from Wallingford CT. I started at the first road crossing in NH. I told people I was thru hiking and all were interested and supportive although I only crossed paths with a couple hikers on the trail my entire trip. Camping was good. Luck played a huge role in where I ended up each night. If I were where I thought in my planning it would have been difficult. This was my first thru hike. My longest was 4 night. Southbound was ideal for the river crossings. I mailed a resupply to Barstows Dairy on the CT river and paid a employee to drive me the 15 minutes around to Northampton. The Westfield river was uncrossable. but SOBO there is diner as you cross RT 20 Little George's where I asked someone if they would give me a ride otherwise its about a 3 mile road walk.

12-04-2017, 03:01
I'm testing the waters here; readership changes and maybe there is interest without my getting dumped on for advocating anarchy.

I have shared my no-road-walking connector between the Mattabessett trail along Mt. Higby and the Chauncey Peak Ridge with a few people already. There is a lot of road walking, by the book. I have two routes (actually two branches off a common route at the Higby end). The "Southern" branch is, I believe, fairly legal, passing through Eversource property (they're pretty benevolent), lots of Meriden Land Trust property, a small bit of Suzio (pretty much don't ask, don't tell) and a few small patches of unknown. The Northern branch is Eversource and right along the Eastern edge of the Quarry, which they probably wouldn't be real happy with, but the nice easy paths further East of the Quarry are definitely on private property and I've seen one no trespassing sign lower down.

Anyway, in a couple of days, after the worst of the hunting season is over, I'll walk the routes to double-check my notes and post some info here unless I see objection.

12-04-2017, 08:29
Caution should be observed when providing information on routes that trespass on private lands without specific permission. Trail systems take a considerable amount of time and effort to get established. Negotiation of routes with private property owners is necessary for this process, however this can be a very difficult process when people ignore boundary markers and/or private property and a few no trespassing signs. While some of the corporate and Lan Trust property owners may be "benevolent" however formal route access may not be granted due to poor behavior of the public on their property.

Encouraging people to trespass can work against the formal process needed for the right of way/use of these routes and keep the trail on roads for much longer than is necessary.

Also, being an illegal activity, posting in this forum may be frowned upon.

12-09-2017, 05:02
... when people ignore boundary markers and/or private property and a few no trespassing signsThere are no boundary markers on these routes. There are no "no trespassing signs." The one such sign I mentioned was in an area I said I was NOT recommending, further East of my route.

There are some Northeast Utilities (aka Eversource) emblems, with no prohibition of any kind noted, just the company name. There is a sign forbidding ATVs or other vehicles. There is a sign identifying Meriden Land Trust property with no mention of any prohibition. There is a nearby prohibitive sign from the Meriden Rod and Gun Club but it is quite a ways away from my route on what I'm pretty sure is Meriden Land Trust property.

There are, admittedly, small sections where I just don't know about ownership. If I see used trails and paths and open woods with signs of travel through the woods without any posting and well away from any houses or other structures, I have no reservations about using them. I try not to intrude on hunters during the seasons as a courtesy.

Getting permission, even in the absence of posting, is a wonderful thing to do. Unfortunately it's frequently hard or impossible to exactly identify owners. Also it's an unfortunate fact of life that many owners have told me they feel they have to say "no" if asked, because of insurance and liability concerns, while they really don't care (as long as you don't trash). "Don't ask and I don't have to say 'no'" is something I've heard over and over again in my many decades of tramping through the woods.

However I do not want to violate reader sensibilities or sensitivities here; that's why I tested the waters. Your objection is noted, in fact constituting an overwhelming 100% objection to my posting information here; so I will not.

12-13-2017, 13:59
To the inquiry as to whether I'm talking about avoiding the road walking that includes a brief stretch in the Highland Pond Preserve: Yes. I actually worked on a route that cut into the Pond path as that's a nice section, but there's just too much housing over towards Atkins.

My route leaves the Mattabassett Trail early, at the relocation point, following the old trail to a deer crossing under Rt. 91 and stays in the woods South of Country Club Rd, and the Southern option stays South of Westfield Rd. The Northern option cuts across Westfield and up alongside the East edge of the quarry.

I think the universal objection here would also apply to providing detailed information privately. I have looked around for a website that might be more friendly to freeform hiking in Connecticut/The New England Trail where I could put detailed descriptions, maps, gps tracks, but haven't turned up anything yet.