West Mountain Trails Simsbury, CT Hike

Early birds on the trail this morning, or maybe I should say early food source for the mosquitoes? Our feet hit the trail around 7:30 a.m. and no cars were in the lot.

Our trail begin at the Westledge Road trailhead. We decided to follow the red trail first and go up the ridge.

At the powerline crossing we had our first hazy view out.

Crossing the powerlines

We continued up till we hit the ridgeline with more hazy views.

We tucked into the woods for a bit before the next window to views emerged.

We came off the ridge and met the white trail. We used the white trail as the connector to the blue trail.

Once on the blue trail, I took a minute to remember a friend’s daughter who passed away. Today people were asked to walk/run 2.4 miles to remember her (It was her college jersey number 24).

We followed the blue till it rejoined the red and returned to the parking lot that was now full of cars. This time we remembered to bring the coffee to enjoy on the car ride home.

It was a great 4 mile trail, minus being food for the mosquitos that were non stop chowing on us. Glad we hit the trail early to avoid the crowds of people that hike later in the day. Here is the link to the trail West Mountain Trails belonging to the Simsbury Land Trust. https://simsburylandtrust.org/slt/west-mountain-trails/

Here are our stats.

Lyme Corner Trails – October 2018

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Our four mile hike today took us into the Lyme Corner Trails in Connecticut.  This area consists of Hartman Park, Walbridge Woodlands and Philip E. Young Preserve. We only did about a third of the trails in this complex of preserves, parks and woodlands.

There are four different parking areas for this trail system on Gungy Road.  We parked at the Field Entrance.  The trails we explored were the  Yellow to the Red to the Green Red, back to the Red, to the Orange, a bit on the Park Road (purple) to Orange to Blue to Orange and returned on the Yellow we entered in on.

Our first sight was Lily Rock close to the beginning of the hike.

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Our our way to Turtle Rock we meandered about in the woods.  There were numerous bridges over small streams throughout the trail system.

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Returning to the Red Trail we traipsed across the “bald nubble”.

From here we made our way over to the next sight, an overlook that included powerline viewing.

After the overlook and briefly losing the orange trail, but finding it again, we continued on the orange to the blue trail only to return to the orange to see “the flume”.

The orange trail led us to the yellow trail and back to our car.

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We wandered for about four miles in the forest.  After our hike we headed over to Niantic to try out a new brewery, Noble Jay.  Always good to enjoy a pint after a hike. This was a well spent morning, exploring the forests of Lyme, Connecticut.

 

Timberland Preserve – September 2018

Today we headed off to hike a new to us trail, Timberland Preserve in Guilford.  This Preserve had so many trail options, it is a great choice to hike if you are looking to do either long or short distances.  We did a bit of a loop hike here, getting in 4 miles for an hour and half.  There are over 15 miles of trails here, so well worth spending some time here.  This was just a lovely quiet walk in the woods.  Not much to ruminate here about the hike, so I’ll let the photos do the talking.

Hill-Stead Museum Trails and a Piece of the Metacomet

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We had a little free time on Tuesday afternoon and wanted a quick new hike to take in.  We decided to explore the trails at Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington.  We had hoped to complete all the trails, but on the day we went to explore all interior trails were closed, so we could only walk the Woodland Trail/ Loop.

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The trail is easy to follow, especially if the inner trails are closed.

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What I enjoyed most about the trails were the carpet of leaves, we crunched through and the benches that were dispersed on the trail.

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We veered off on the Metacomet trail for a bit to gain a some distance on this trek.

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The Metacomet re joined the Woodland Trail after a bit.

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After we emerged from the woods, we took the offshoot to the Overlook.  The Overlook looks out over Clatter Ridge Farm.

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After the overlook we returned to the trail and had a short walk back to the car.  Due to the fact the interior trails were closed, our hike was very short.  We decided to drive up to the Metacomet trail by 50 Cents’ house.  This little hiking segment added another mile to our short walk.

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Overall this was a quick little jaunt in the woods, would be perfect for an easy family walk with toddlers.

The Details:  Hill-Stead with the Metacomet combined on the property was about 1.5 miles, easy.  Driving over to the other piece of the Metacomet and doing an out and back hike added in another mile.  Overall easy hike.

 

Canal Trail – Wandering the Avon Woods

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We spend our Saturday mornings, going to local farms.  One of our favorite places is Sub Edge Farm in Farmington, CT right next door to the Avon town line.  We began to notice hiking signs close by.  After doing a bit of research and finding some links to this area, we decided to check it out on an October Sunday morning.

We first started on the Fisher Farm trail, that went behind a cornfield on a brambled filled path.

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We didn’t get  far because the invasive species of thorn bearing plants had overgrown the trail and were attacking us.  We found a little clearing to reach  the farmer’s path, that was free of brambles but full of poison ivy. Luckily the little freeze we had last night, was destructive to the ivy.

Once back at the parking lot we crossed over the road to the other hiking sign, this path looked promising.

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We meander in the woods, following the yellow blazes to a swampy area and  a sweet little treasure of a bridge.

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We lost the blazes at the swampy area, but we followed an old woods road for a bit. I spied an old kayak tucked into the woods.

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We followed the road for a bit, until we found another trail leading off.  We went right and trucked along the path.

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This trail returned us to the swampy area and here we were greeted by a blue heron, perched, waiting to be photographed.

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The light in the forest was beautiful.  It was a crisp Sunday morning to just wander the woods and enjoy the gifts of Mother Nature. We plan to return to check out the other trails we noticed here.

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The Details: parked at Fisher Farm trailhead in Avon off of Tilloston Hill Road. Crossed over to the trails that border Avon Old Farms School.  We walked about 3 miles for an hour.

Hiking a portion of the Metacomet Trail and Ragged Mountain

Pano from atop Ragged Mountain
Pano from atop Ragged Mountain

We frequent Ragged Mountain a lot.  We usually park on West Lane in Berlin and tramp the trails via that access point.  Today we decided to hike a point to point, that included spotting Mike’s bike in the woods.  Mike placed his bike on the trail above Andrews Street, to be able to bike back to the car after the hike.

Hoping no one steals the tree with the bike locked to it.
Hoping no one steals the tree with the bike locked to it.

We drove to Sheldon St, parked the car and walked across Andrews to Carey Street, following it till we turned left into the woods, where the trail started.

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It was a short meander to the steep up.  This is one way  rock climbers go up to get to the cliffs.  The up section was narrow and yes I did scream “I am stuck”.  It was a short little climb, but intense.

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heading up

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wide hides narrow sides, yup I’m getting stuck

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We landed at the end of the Ragged Mountain Preserve Trail, where a memorial exists to a fallen climber.  We continued on the blue trail, a trail our feet know best.  This was full of ups and downs, vernal pools and great views looking out over the reservoirs.

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View from Ragged

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One of many vernal pools on the blue trail

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The blue trail intersects with a few different color trails.

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From the where we are on the map “You are here” spot, we are going to the trail to the left.  The next section was fairly easy and we made up some time.

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We intersected with the red dot trail, but stayed the course on the blue.

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We had to cross over the water company’s paved road.

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Next we crossed under the power lines.

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We then headed to a ridge that overlooked the New Britain Reservoir and was above Andrews Road.

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I loved this section of the trail and I think the deer do too.  Lots of deer scat along this ridge walk.

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We then approached the dreaded death signs.

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Before the attacked the steep section, we headed up to a set of the power lines to the view.

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However we didn’t go out the full view point because we didn’t want to disturb the turkey vultures.

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A wake of Turkey Vultures

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How they warm themselves in the morning. Don’t get them upset, because they will throw up on you.

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To cool down they will ummm, defecate on their feet…

While watching the vultures, we noticed a bald eagle soaring high above us.

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He soared off and we headed down the dangerous section.  Ok, I scooted down on my bum.

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From here we had about 1/2 mile to the bike.

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Mike pedaled a mile to the car and came to pick me up.  It was a great morning to be hiking the rolling hills of Connecticut.

The Details: 5 miles, 3 hours.  Started the blue trail on Carey and left the trail on Andrews St. on the Berlin/New Britain line.  We were on the Metacomet trail and summitted Ragged Mountain.

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