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  1. #1
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    Default Trip Report: Northern CT, June 21-22

    Just a report from this past weekend. It's my first attempt, hope it's not terrible!

    We started out on Rising Corner Rd. in Southwick, MA with hopes of making Heublein Tower the following day.

    Day #1: Thanks to the website, we realized that the first 3 miles, that were originally a road walk, had been relocated to the woods! The parking was simple & easy, with the homeowner across the street coming over & pointing us in the right direction & giving us some trail conditions. Nice to see people so friendly about a trail going through their backyard!

    We started a bit late (1015), & with the addition of the 3 miles, weren't sure we'd make it to the Farmington River overlook by dinner. All relatively slow movers who don't get out often! Either way, the walking was very enjoyable with lots of ridgewalks & views through trees. The CT Walk book was pretty accurate with its mileage & overlook locations, so that's a plus! It was nice taking lunch at one where we could see Heublein Tower in the distance, though it looked too far away to get to! We ended up getting in the 14 miles to the view over the Farmington. Be warned, it looks to be a party spot for the locals, beer bottles & glass. We had no issues with the 3 other folks that showed up, & there is plenty of space for tents. Enjoyed a sunset dinner & a cigar & called it a night!

    Day #2: We planned on this being the shorter day, Heublein Tower being just over 9 miles away (I was pushing to go to the next road crossing, Albany Ave). Quick breakfast & we headed out. The town below, Tarrifville, didn't have anything close by that was open when we walked through, but it was quick. Headed back into the woods & saw a few deer, & more people than Saturday. We even ran into one man & his dogs who warned us of a bear & 2 cubs he had seen earlier... Would be cool without the Cubs! Blame it on being out of shape, but today's walking was a lot tougher. No more soft dirt & ridgewalk, but a lot more rocks & PUDS. A few miles in, my buddy showed us a gigantic blister on his heel, so we took lunch at "The Pinnacle" in Penwood State Park. Ran into a large group of people out on a MeetUp event, which was cool to see!

    We ended up stopping at the entrance of Penwood State Park, due to my friends feet killing him. Just 7 miles in & a couple short of Heublein Tower! Note about the park, the Walk book shows bathrooms & such at the entrance, but they're actually about a mile away (you'd take a left off the trail, once you reach the paved road). The bathrooms were under construction & they had no water source, bummer!

    All and all, a good weekend! Great weather & a great way for us to do more than our usual 3 mile out & back trips! We'll be back for more!


  2. #2
    Registered User SawnieRobertson's Avatar
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    Nice report with good detail. I hope you will do more as you do more outings.
    You never know just what you can do until you realize you absolutely have to do it.
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    Great report, puma! Sorry your friend ran into the blister issues, but it sounds like you had a great hike, and the weather this weekend was beautiful.

    How did you like the northernmost few miles which replaced the road walk (which makes me very happy)? I've not done that stretch, and about 2 miles south of it, and plan to get that in before long. That and the few miles between Chamberlin Highway in the Berlin Turnpike are all I lack of the Metacomet. Am more eager to finish it now that the northern part, at least, is now entirely in the woods but for a road crossing.

    Did you take note of the massive old singular trees, mostly dying, amidst the forest along the ridgecrest in the couple miles coming into the Farmington River overlook? They're beautiful, and I wondered what their story was when I hiked past them a few years ago. I figured the story probably went back to when that land was farmed - maybe property line trees or windbreakers.
    The more miles, the merrier!

    NH4K: 21/48; N.E.4K: 25/67; NEHH: 28/100; Northeast 4K: 27/115; AT: 124/2191

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    Quote Originally Posted by Driver8 View Post
    Great report, puma! Sorry your friend ran into the blister issues, but it sounds like you had a great hike, and the weather this weekend was beautiful.

    How did you like the northernmost few miles which replaced the road walk (which makes me very happy)? I've not done that stretch, and about 2 miles south of it, and plan to get that in before long. That and the few miles between Chamberlin Highway in the Berlin Turnpike are all I lack of the Metacomet. Am more eager to finish it now that the northern part, at least, is now entirely in the woods but for a road crossing.

    Did you take note of the massive old singular trees, mostly dying, amidst the forest along the ridgecrest in the couple miles coming into the Farmington River overlook? They're beautiful, and I wondered what their story was when I hiked past them a few years ago. I figured the story probably went back to when that land was farmed - maybe property line trees or windbreakers.
    If was fantastic weather, and we didn't realize the summer solstice would give us light for so long!

    The "new" trail was nice. I believe one spot for a view & a powerline. The first few hundred yards were muddy, buggy, & overgrown, but luckily it disappeared quickly. It's definitely more enjoyable than the roadwalk option!

    We did notice the trees, & were commenting on their size! I don't know the last time you've been up there, but we also found a "reconstructed" cemetery on the ridge as well that caught us by surprise!

    We're hoping to do a few more weekend trips to finish CT, then head north into MA... The summer heat may delay that a bit! We've done Castle Craig & Higby Mtn before, but the views are nice so we don't mind passing through those sections again!

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    On a side note, there's not much water on the section we hiked. From Southwick to Heublein, the Farmington was the only water source available (and a meager stream a few minutes just before the Farmington). I debated getting water out of the pond in Penwood State Park, but it was a bit nasty & I was banking on the state park having something.

    Not sure what's available at Heublein, but I think the next water is the reservoirs (if it's allowed?)

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    Registered User Driver8's Avatar
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    There's no water at Heublein Tower, alas - they had some problem with it last year and closed it. Not sure if there is a plan to reopen it - last year, park staff said there was, but it hasn't happened yet. I was up there couple weeks ago after hours and so didn't see any staff.

    Hoe Pond, which is private property, would be an excellent source - I'd filter that. Best bet is probably to filter at Lake Louise if doing a longer section, or get water at the Farmington or in Tariffville. There's a wet-weather-only brook about a mile SOBO from Penwood's south parking lot, but dry mostly this time of year. Water from the reservoir is a big no-no.

    Further south, past the MDC reservoirs, you could take about a half-mile side trip each way and restock on water and other supplies at a convenience store near the UConn medical center, the Mobil station. Likewise, there's lots of choices at the main road crossing in Plainville near I-84, especially half a mile or so west.
    The more miles, the merrier!

    NH4K: 21/48; N.E.4K: 25/67; NEHH: 28/100; Northeast 4K: 27/115; AT: 124/2191

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    Good to know! On the next section, I'll be sure to let everyone know to bring plenty.

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    Hi Puma:

    I didn't see the graveyard, don't think. Was there around Memorial Day three years ago. May have seen where the graveyard is, in disrepair, but def didn't see the new stones, must've come after my visit.
    The more miles, the merrier!

    NH4K: 21/48; N.E.4K: 25/67; NEHH: 28/100; Northeast 4K: 27/115; AT: 124/2191

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    Ya, there was a sign in the vicinity stating that it was being redone, & to call the Mayor... I took a picture but it came out blurry haha.

    It was just random. Up on the ridge, a few miles from anything really, and the trail goes right past it.

    There were 3 headstones in total, one was for 3 kids (2 who were infant twins). All from smallpox.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Likeapuma View Post
    Ya, there was a sign in the vicinity stating that it was being redone, & to call the Mayor... I took a picture but it came out blurry haha.

    It was just random. Up on the ridge, a few miles from anything really, and the trail goes right past it.

    There were 3 headstones in total, one was for 3 kids (2 who were infant twins). All from smallpox.
    Maybe it's in the northern five miles of the trail and I haven't gotten to it yet?
    The more miles, the merrier!

    NH4K: 21/48; N.E.4K: 25/67; NEHH: 28/100; Northeast 4K: 27/115; AT: 124/2191

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    Come to think of it, re: water, there are a couple possible spots along Talcott just off trail.

    First one is just north of Reservoir No. 6 in Bloomfield. When the NET joins the road alongside the Res, take a left, go about 0.1 to the north apex of the road around the res, then get into the brook just north of there.

    Second one is in the other MDC res area a few miles south. The NET crosses an unpaved road near the south end of the MDC area. Continuing past that, maybe 0.2, the NET comes very close, maybe 75 feet, to a paved MDC road. On the far, downhill side of that road is a brook which runs well most of the year. I don't know if the MDC has a rule against taking water from that and other brooks, but it's not in a watershed. The same rules, for or against taking from a brook, would apply to the other brook I just mentioned.

    Here's a link to a rule and regs page of the MDC. It doesn't say no taking water from the reservoirs or streams, just no swimming, wading, etc. I still wouldn't take water from a res, but would feel safe taking from a brook - just don't wade in it. http://www.themdc.com/assets/uploads...0update(2).pdf
    The more miles, the merrier!

    NH4K: 21/48; N.E.4K: 25/67; NEHH: 28/100; Northeast 4K: 27/115; AT: 124/2191

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    Registered User Eureka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Likeapuma View Post
    Just a report from this past weekend. It's my first attempt, hope it's not terrible!

    We started out on Rising Corner Rd. in Southwick, MA with hopes of making Heublein Tower the following day.

    Day #1: Thanks to the website, we realized that the first 3 miles, that were originally a road walk, had been relocated to the woods! The parking was simple & easy, with the homeowner across the street coming over & pointing us in the right direction & giving us some trail conditions. Nice to see people so friendly about a trail going through their backyard
    Glad to hear you enjoyed the trail. I maintain the first 3 miles of the trail in Ct. and it was great to have the homeowner let us extend the trail thru his property. The MA trail maintainer takes care of the first 1/2 mile till the state border. Last time I drove by the trail head, I noticed a for sale sign on the house. Did the homeowner say anything about moving?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eureka View Post
    Glad to hear you enjoyed the trail. I maintain the first 3 miles of the trail in Ct. and it was great to have the homeowner let us extend the trail thru his property. The MA trail maintainer takes care of the first 1/2 mile till the state border. Last time I drove by the trail head, I noticed a for sale sign on the house. Did the homeowner say anything about moving?
    That's awesome! You've done a great job! When was the trail moved into the woods? It was a very nice (last minute) suprise that we uncovered just by taking a quick look at the NET website. I should probably use it more, but I mainly use my phone & tablet, neither which work well with their interactive map

    I don't recall seeing a sale sign (but I was a bit distracted about the hike), & he never mentioned it. He actually gave us a trail report in both directions & asked about our plans... I think he eased my friend's concerns a bit about leaving his car there overnight lok

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    Registered User Eureka's Avatar
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    [QUOTE When was the trail moved into the woods?
    [/QUOTE]

    It was moved last year. there is still some issues with another landowner about a boundary line so it is not marked as well as it could be.
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    NH- 09,10,11 -(finally finished!)
    Maine- 12, 13,14 - (50 miles to go)
    Maine- 15 - 100 mile Wilderness to Katahdin
    New Jersey, New York- 2017

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eureka View Post

    It was moved last year. there is still some issues with another landowner about a boundary line so it is not marked as well as it could be.
    I didn't notice any issue with the trail markings along that section. The powerline was the only spot I can remember, but they're always a pain.

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    Registered User Eureka's Avatar
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    I'd like to mark the power line area better but I've got a problem with ATV's there and don't want to advertise that section of the trail since the other part is pretty worn from the motor vehicle traffic.
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    NH- 09,10,11 -(finally finished!)
    Maine- 12, 13,14 - (50 miles to go)
    Maine- 15 - 100 mile Wilderness to Katahdin
    New Jersey, New York- 2017

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    Understandable! It was still easy to find. I'd say you're doing a great job!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Driver8 View Post

    Second one is in the other MDC res area a few miles south. The NET crosses an unpaved road near the south end of the MDC area. Continuing past that, maybe 0.2, the NET comes very close, maybe 75 feet, to a paved MDC road. On the far, downhill side of that road is a brook which runs well most of the year.
    Though I forgot about this, this is where we found water. Came out of the woods on a newly paved road, with what looked like a stream... Took a bit of looking, but we found a spot that was more than a trickle. It was surprisingly floatie - free too!

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    How's this trail for hanging at night?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pie Guy View Post
    How's this trail for hanging at night?
    Shouldn't have a problem, always lots of trees available. Unfortunately, most nights would have to be spent stealthing

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