|This hike occurred on July 2, 2013|
Meriden Rd. (Rt-66) & Baileyville Rd. (Rt-147), Middlefield, CT – Parking: Right after Meriden Rd. (Rt-66) turns into a divided highway, there is a parking lot on the right hand side that fits 8-12 cars. We hiked from here.
625 Country Club Rd., Middletown, CT – Parking: There is an area to park 2-4 cars off of Country Club Road, though it’s like a short paved driveway so to fit 4 cars, you’d be blocking cars from leaving. Look for this sign; it’s right by the parking area.
Length/Distance: According to the CT Walk book, the hike was 4.3 miles. According to my GPS tracking program, our route was 4.8 miles.
Summary: We began our hike from the Rt-66 parking lot. We followed the Blue-Red from the parking area to the intersection with the Blue trail. We continued straight on the Blue trail.
The initial climb for this hike started immediately after the junction with the Red-Blue. There were areas you had to scramble up rock sections to continue on the trail. These were still partially wet from the rain the previous day and were a bit slippery. After the initial climb, the trail goes through some nice flat meadows.
There continued to be some uphill sections before we reached the peak.
As the path evened out, we saw some cellar spiders/daddy longlegs (Pholcus phalangioides).
We also saw some violet flowers, most likely Monkey Flowers (Mimulus ringens).
We also saw a huge dandelion puff the size of a baseball. I’m unsure if it was from an actual dandelion or just another flower I’m not familiar with.
After a lot of vegetation, the trail opens onto cliffs. The view was beautiful. In the background of the below picture, you can see the location of our previous hike, Beseck Ridge.
While it was overcast and darker, the view was still amazing.
We followed the Blue trail along the cliffs.
We saw more colorful vegetation, such as these White Birch (Betula papyrifera) trees…
And this Canada Lily (Lilium canadense) flower.
As the path followed the cliff side, there was a section of the trail that had a significant drop. My dog was able to handle it but only barely.
There were some sections of the trail with substantial drop offs by the edge of the trail.
Though the rock formations and views were awesome.
We had a good view of the next mountain on our hike.
We found a rather terrifying spider clinging to the side of the rocks. Its body was a tiny bit smaller than a quarter.
After this, the path lead into the forest.
There was a spot where the Blue trail went to the right but the main path went straight. The intersection was clearly marked though.
Sometimes the sun found its way through the clouds.
We had one last cliff side view, right across from a huge quarry. It was incredible to realize each level was big enough to dwarf ginormous dump trucks.
From here, the trail went through some nice but generic looking forest.
However, towards the very end of the hike, it got more creepy. Perhaps I’ve just enjoyed Cabin in the Woods too much but in my defense, the lighting of the day tended towards horror movie lighting. Initially there was just a wood ladder, leaning against a tree.
Then there was the little “no trespassing” sign near the ladder.
Then we started seeing huge piles of old tires in the woods…
And then an ancient, rusted metal sign warning again “do not trespass”…
And another sign warning us to “keep out.”
The final crowning glory was this sign (just in case we missed the first three)…
Looking back down the trail, you’d never suspect such wonderfully friendly signs await innocent hikers.
And that walk of terror lead us to the parking area off of Country Club Road! This area would be great for a haunted walk through the woods. It would be so easy to introduce a redneck zombie torture family to unsuspecting visitors.