Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Macedonia Brook Trail - Kent, CT


Sunny and 60o – an absolutely beautiful morning in Kent.  The leaves are starting to turn – reds and yellows brighten the day. 

        State Park Website                                    Trail Map



You couldn’t script a better start to the hike today.  Sound – babbling brook in the main park picnic area, wind rustling the leaves, a hawk screeches in the distance.  Cue the wildlife – three deer bolt off into the woods as the hawk circles overhead.  And action – start east up the hill on the Blue Trail in Macedonia State Park.  This 2300 acre state park has camping spring to fall, fishing and of course, hiking – seven marked trails including the 6.7 mile blue-blazed loop. 


For the first half, from the parking area at the south end of the trail, just follow along with photos.

The acorn doesn't fall far from the tree -
a grove of Chestnut Oak saplings
Birch just beginning to turn yellow
.
Kaleidoscope - reds...

... and yellows.  


Continue along old woods road

and then turn back into the woods across the stream.

In the flats - the trail crosses Macedonia Brook
near the north end of the park.

After a very steep, slick section through the pines - with lots of signage guiding you through the switchbacks -  the trail drops out of the woods at Hilltop Pond, and turns onto the CCC Road at the north end of the park.  The Civilian Conservation Corps was part of Roosevelt’s “New Deal” and, from 1933 to 1942, put young men to work developing and improving state and national parks and forests (expanding the blue-blazed trail system for example).  Some of the work here included this road and the massive retaining wall built to hold it.

Birch trees in the breeze - bending
out over Hilltop Pond

The CCC Road.  Note that two foot retaining wall along
the left edge?  It drops down about 10 feet on the other side.

Turn off the road, and then the fun begins on this hike.  A steep climb up to the first peak – 1200’ Pine Hill.  I met a family who stopped for lunch on a ledge looking out over the hills – Mom with two kids, maybe eight or ten years old.  The boy warned me the trail ahead was tough. "Maybe you should turn back".  But the view is really nice, said his sister. 

The view from Pine Hill
Then up toward Cobble summit -
this is the easy part!

So I continued, a steep climb down through the rocks from Pine Hill, and then a very steep rock scramble (630’ up, about 500’ across) up to Cobble Mountain, peak elevation 1350’.  And the views reward the work to get up here – 180o west facing vista into New York with the Catskills in the distance.  Sit, enjoy the view - after that climb you deserve a break.

A couple enjoying the view from Cobble Mountain

West off Cobble - with the Catskills in the distance

The hike down is a little more gradual, through forest and laurel groves, until you reach South Cobble, elevation 1130’, with more views all around.

Northeast view from South Cobble

One steep stretch through the rocks, and then it’s an easy hike down to the pine forest at the base and across the brook, finishing the loop back in the parking area.



2 comments:

  1. I so want to hike that trail. But since I live way too far away, I'll enjoy it vicariously through your lens. Seriously, this was a wonderful trip!

    New theme, turning colder, is up. I suspect you'll be able to take us on another memorable journey for that one, too!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, Carmi - but we'll have to wait a couple months for the really chilly shots. Until then, bright colors rule!

    ReplyDelete

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