|This hike occurred on May 27, 2013|
Intersection of Old Pent Rd and Durham Rd, Guilford, CT – Parking: At the intersection of Old Pent and Durham Roads, there is the Braemore Preserve. The Preserve has a gravel parking lot with space for maybe 6-8 cars.
1000 New Haven Rd, Durham, CT – Parking: On the side of the road where the Mattabesett trail crosses New Haven Rd, there are 6-8 parking spaces available on the side of the road. There is enough open space for a car to be parked completely on dirt/gravel, rather than partially on the road. We left one car here and did a through hike, starting from Braemore Preserve.
Length/Distance: The hike we intended to do was the entirety of the Lone Pine Trail. We were able to complete it with one modification. According to the CT Walk Book, the hike should have been approximately 5.7 miles. According to my GPS tracking program, our route was 7.91 miles. Because we missed the turn off for the main Mattabesett Blue trail, we added maybe three quarters of a mile to our intended hike; the CT Walk Book was still off by at least a mile.
Summary: After we parked at the Braemore Preserve, we headed to the right corner of the parking lot where the Lone Pine Trail enters the lot. We had decided to go up this section of the Lone Pine, to where it first began off of the main trail, and then turn around and walk the entire Lone Pine Trail. Given our difficulty last year, we also really wanted to see where the trail split and how we missed it.
The grass was pretty high and looked like tick country. We pulled two ticks off of us and the dog after walking through. The trail curves to the left and then provides some boards to walk on to help you stay out of the grass.
There was some uphill climbing, taking us up and around large rocks.
There was some flooding on the trail we had to go around.
There was also a section of the trail that crossed a stream but didn’t provide a bridge. It looked like previous hikers had placed branches across the stream so they could cross without wading.
We made our way to the intersection of Lone Pine Trail and the Mattabesett.
Since last year (perhaps as a result of our confused and frustrated email), they had put up some brand-new signage.
We were delighted to see that they had cut down on the potential confusion for other hikers. We then turned around and hiked back the way we arrived. We hiked back to the Braemore Preserve parking lot and took a left, following the blue-red blazes. We reentered the woods at the blue oval Lone Pine Trail sign. The next few miles was extremely muddy and flooded. Some areas had bridges but others didn’t.
The trail went close by residential areas and a horse farm.
A bit after the residential area, there was a fairly large creek, maybe 15-20 feet across and 18 inches deep.
There used to be a bridge. It must have broken because they thoughtfully moved the bridge to one side.
One of us jumped rocks to cross and the other used a deadfall (and the dog just splashed through). We were all thankful for our hiking poles; they kept us from falling in a number of times.
Soon after this, we passed into another preserve.
At this point, my camera ran out of space. After a bit more walking, we started climbing a very long hill. Somewhere along the hill, we must have missed the turn-off for the Mattabesett’s main trail. We ended up on an unmarked trail that lead us to Misty Meadow Farm on Stagecoach Rd. We walked along Stagecoach Rd, past the area where the Mattabesett exits the woods, and then followed the blue blazes back to our car parked on New Haven Rd.