This hike occurred on May 25, 2013
Old Furnace State Park, South Frontage Rd, Killingly, CT – Parking: We parked in the Old Furnace State Park parking lot. This park does not charge, regardless of the season. There was plenty of room; the lot could easily fit a dozen cars. At the moment, using Google Maps’ Old Furnace State Park location will land you at Ross Pond State Park. We ended up at Ross Pond but just followed Ross Rd to South Frontage Rd to get to Old Furnace.
We completed a loop hike using the Blue trail and another, unmarked trail. According to my GPS tracking program, our route was 4.28 miles. The Old Furnace trail was approximately 2.5 miles, began at South Frontage Rd and ended at Squaw Rock Rd. From Squaw Rock Rd, there was a wide, unmarked trail that paralleled I-395 and brought us back to the parking lot of Old Furnace State Park.
We began our hike at the entrance. There was a sign indicating the Old Furnace trail head. We followed the blue blazes for the entire hike; be forewarned: there were a LOT of extra side trails that were either orange or unmarked. The trail quickly lead us to a roaring creek.
The water was quite high as it had been raining for the past week (and continued to rain while we hiked).
We followed the trail (which was surrounded by lots of side trails) and found a very large tree near the path.
On the trail, we saw over a dozen Pink Lady’s Slippers (Cypripedium acaule). They seemed to like more open areas near the trail.
We also saw some very vibrant orange mushrooms/fungus.
There was a nice bridge to assist us over parts of the creek.
The trail went up and around some cliffs.
After the trail ended at Squaw Rock Rd, we headed onto an unmarked trail that paralleled I-395. We got to slog through sections of flooded trail, as was to be expected given all the rain.
The path traveled over the creek again.
We got to jump the creek, using a rock in the middle as a midpoint as the creek was too wide to jump altogether.
We saw a small grill/furnace on the side of the trail, though it probably isn’t the “old furnace” the park name refers to.
Overall, the hike went smoothly. Some areas were flooded or slippery because of the rain but the blue trail was well marked and easy to follow. I’m sure we’ll be back in this area of Connecticut for other Blue trails.
After the hike, we went and visited Sharpe Hill Vineyard in Pomfret. They had a number of wines; most notable for us were the Ballet of Angels and a dessert wine not listed on their website.