|This hike occurred on July 19, 2012|
Brainard Hill Rd., Higganum, CT – Parking: At this trail head, there is off-road parking available for 2 cars maximum. The road is residential and very quiet so you could probably get away with parking on the side of the road, although the road is pretty narrow.
Miller’s Pond State Park, Durham, CT – Parking: So the blue trail doesn’t enter Miller’s Pond State Park near their parking lot. No, it’s about 1/3 of a mile down the road. The road is also littered with these signs:
I’m pretty sure they’re around because Miller’s Pond is a popular place to go swimming, even though you’re technically not allowed, so their parking lot fills up quickly. If you’re ever interested in Miller’s Pond, know that it is a walk-in park only. Though we haven’t seen them yet, apparently there are cliffs surrounding the pond that young people like to use to go cliff jumping. This has resulted in numerous injuries and a handful of deaths in the past 10 years. Someone has already died there this year.
Length/Distance: We started out at Miller’s Pond and hiked to Brainard Hill Rd. Because we had to walk down the road from Miller’s Pond, we added about 3/10ths of a mile to the hike. According to the CT Walk book, the hike was 3.2 miles. According to my GPS tracking program, our route was 3.48 miles. All things considered, I believe the CT Walk book was actually correct for once!
Summary: The first part of the hike is all on the road. We hiked from Miller’s Pond and down Foot Hills Rd; we entered the woods approximately 9/10ths of a mile into the hike. This hike was a bit more difficult than our previous ones because we were trying to hurry since we had very limited sunlight left when we began. Once in the woods, we encountered a cool-looking rock.
We also saw the cutest tiny frog ever!
The rest of the hike was rather rushed and the light was fading so we couldn’t see very much. There was one place where the trail came out to an opening in the trees on a rock ridge. It was beautiful.
A bit after this, the trail lead out under the high power lines and we could see some open sky.
The sun going down reflected on the clouds.
After this, we spent maybe 20 minutes tripping through the woods. I managed to sprain both ankles about 5 minutes apart. I can’t wait for my new hiking shoes to show up. I’m pretty sure they’ll be more stable than my 3-year-old sneakers. Yay for ankle instability! If you have an interest in seeing what the ankle repair surgery looks like, there are pictures here. I think I may need to suck it up and wear braces on both ankles every time I go hiking.