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  1. #1
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    Default Trip Report Heublein Tower - Farmington Ave. June 9th

    Got a week day off from work, so I figured I'd knock out another section of trail. One of my buddies & my dog joined me. Lucky for me, my wife was ok with picking us up on one end, rather than having to loop back (hate that!)

    Started off right where I ended, the parking lot of Penwood State Park. Cross the road in Talcott Mtn State Park right after 9am & started heading up! Warmer than last time, which is never fat-man-friendly. The way up was a good way to get started, I was sucking wind, but it's nice to get it out if the way.

    1.7 miles in, we got to the Heublein Tower. It opened at 10, so we had a bit of time to kill. Wandering around the grounds, this is a pretty cool spot. Nice views, lots of picnic benches & such... Looking forward to bringing my wife & daughter up here! The tower opened & we went in to look around.. The 360 view is impressive from the top! Nice looking back at the ridgeline I've already done, and the ones I have left. Lots of history inside the different rooms, I'll be back to read up on it all!

    Heading down, we got to Hartford Reservoir #6 and made quick work of the flat dirt road. The most people we saw were along this stretch, 4 total lol. Took another quick break at the southern end. It was the first time my dog has done over 6 miles & I was trying to be safe & give him lots of water. Crossing over Albany Ave., we got to enjoy walking along a dike (at least that what it appeared to be). Flat, grassy, sunny... Who could complain?! Once we turned off of that, we headed up into what looks to be a popular mountain biking spot. Lots of "jumps" & such right off the trail. Usually it would bother me, but it seemed pretty condensed to that one area... Guess it's better than being spread out everywhere?

    We decided to shoot for Kilkenny Rock for lunch, hoping it had a nice view. Did some walking down an old paved access road, man do I hate paved roads! Shin splints withing a hundred yards! We did get to walk under 3 owls dining on a squirrel, so that was neat. We got to Kilkenny Rock, only to find no views. I imagine when the leaves are down, you might get a good look though!

    Had lunch here, took a long enough break to take shoes & socks off for a bit. I believe it was around 2, so we only had 3 miles to make by 5 (when my wife would be able to get us)... No rushing needed! Even with taking 4l of water, seemed liked we were getting low (friend only brought 1l). I was hesitant to collect any water while on the water company's land, but we found a small stream & were able to get enough for the rest of the day. From here on out, it was apparent that this section of the trail doesn't get much use... Think I am enjoying the itches of poison ivy as I type this! Lots of walking right behind/next to people's houses here. One even put up a large electric fence! The last stretch took us down a paved road with lots of nice houses. Before you know it, we were back on Farmington Ave, laying in the shade of the commuter lot!

    Just under 13 miles, of easy walking. My buddy, who's just getting into hiking, commented how we got to experience almost every type of terrain CT has to offer. He suffered from some chaffing & sore feet, but was otherwise happy. My dog did well, started slowing after mile 11, but carried 2L of water in his pack & was overjoyed the entire time. Overall, a good time. And I've now completed almost half of the CT NET section!

  2. #2
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    Forgot to add pictures... Then only added one. Doh!

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    This is super interesting and I LOVE the photos! Thanks so much for putting this together and posting it, I really enjoy reading your dispatches!

    Jane

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    Registered User Driver8's Avatar
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    Nice report, Puma. This is my home segment of trail, espeicially the northern two miles or so of it - glad you enjoyed it. Did they have water at the Tower, other than from the vending machine?
    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 Driver8's Avatar
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    PS: Sorry to double post. what else have you done on the CT NET other than Farmington Ave to the Mass line? Have you hit Mattabessset? Personally, I've done all Metacomet except Berlin Tpk to Chamerblin Highway and northernmost four miles or so. On the Mattabesset, I've done Higby, Chauncey and part of Lamentation, plus the "high peak" in North Guilford, I forget its name, so probably about half done, too.
    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
    Nice report, Puma. This is my home segment of trail, espeicially the northern two miles or so of it - glad you enjoyed it. Did they have water at the Tower, other than from the vending machine?
    I actually didn't look for water, having just started. I didn't see a vending machine, but maybe it was hiding from me? But it was a very nice area to hike. Idk if my 3 year old is up for the climb up, but as soon as she is, I'll be returning with her.

    Quote Originally Posted by Driver8 View Post
    PS: Sorry to double post. what else have you done on the CT NET other than Farmington Ave to the Mass line? Have you hit Mattabessset? Personally, I've done all Metacomet except Berlin Tpk to Chamerblin Highway and northernmost four miles or so. On the Mattabesset, I've done Higby, Chauncey and part of Lamentation, plus the "high peak" in North Guilford, I forget its name, so probably about half done, too.
    The only day hikes I've done on either of those are Mt. Higby & Castle Craig... Both obviously for the views that can't be found in much of Eastern CT. Over here, I've done all of the Shenipsit Trail, & a few small chunks of the Nipmuck Trail.

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    Driver8: are you thinking of Bluff Head?

    Jane

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    Berlin turnpike to the chamberlin highway is mostly a road walk, only a short dash into the woods.

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    Registered User Driver8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsingjane View Post
    Driver8: are you thinking of Bluff Head?

    Jane
    That might be it. It comes steeply up from the highway between North Guilford and Durham - Rt. 77, I think. Has nice cliff overlooks on the ridge, with a pond below. I did a there-and-back on it two or three years ago, past the cliffs a bit - saw a nice herd of deer toward where I turned around.
    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 Driver8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adamkrz View Post
    Berlin turnpike to the chamberlin highway is mostly a road walk, only a short dash into the woods.
    Which is why I haven't rushed out to do it. I am interested in doing the northern stretch now that it's all in the woods but for a road crossing. Maybe this winter.

    Puma: The vending machine is on the tower's first floor, behind the north base of the double staircase. Easy to miss if you come down the other side.

    I see lots of ppl with their little kids on Talcott. Some of them get carried part of the way.
    The more miles, the merrier!

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

  12. #12
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    On the Mattabessett, Bluff head on Totoket has great views North AND South - Hartford to the Sound, as does the Mica Ledges across the way, and the Beseck Mountain section right before Higby is great because you get to go over the top of Powder Ridge Ski resort and then have great cliffside walks with views of Black Pond, Higby/Chauncey/Lamentation and the Hanging Hills. Looking forward to more of the Metacomet including Heublin Tower and Castle Craig. Saw a great show on Netflix called "Aerial America" - the CT episode features both, as well as Sleeping Giant. So far only done the Ragged Mtn preserve section of the Metacomet- trying to finish all of the Mattabessett first.

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    Yeah thats Bluff Head on Totoket Mtn. That's Myerhuber pond below.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Driver8 View Post
    That might be it. It comes steeply up from the highway between North Guilford and Durham - Rt. 77, I think. Has nice cliff overlooks on the ridge, with a pond below. I did a there-and-back on it two or three years ago, past the cliffs a bit - saw a nice herd of deer toward where I turned around.
    Yeah thats Bluff Head on Totoket Mtn. That's Myerhuber pond below.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Likeapuma View Post
    The only day hikes I've done on either of those are Mt. Higby & Castle Craig... Both obviously for the views that can't be found in much of Eastern CT. Over here, I've done all of the Shenipsit Trail, & a few small chunks of the Nipmuck Trail.
    I hiked the eastern orange loop in Devil's Hopyard yesterday with a friend from RI. Chapman Falls were nice - bet they're awesome after a big rain. Pretty bad forest fire hit there, looks like in past couple years, in the southern reaches of the orange loop, from the overlook northward.
    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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