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All of the photos on my weblog Connecticut Explorer are Creative Commons Commercial Use Licensed. You may use any download and save any photos from my blog, manipulate them as you see fit, and post them on a for-profit or non-profit site, print them, or do whatever else you like with them. Included in the CC license is a clause for attrition. Attrition is defined as such: if reposting on a site please include a caption that reads “Source:” with the entire line set as a link to the page you downloaded the image from. You may also embed the image on your site by hotlinking  - since I am using google’s servers I don’t mind the bandwidth. Camera Raw versions of all photos are available on request.


Farewell Connecticut

I'll be taking a job out of State soon. So I will no longer be the Connecticut Explorer. This cuts short many of my big plans for this site, and my attempt to walk every mile of Blue Blazed Trail. Maybe someday I'll be back.

I'm starting up a new weblog about Art. Starting April 1st. Composition-X will deliver a fresh article about art and design to your Facebook Feed, Feedburner, Email, or Google Plus Feed. One short article a day - and in less than a year you will be an art expert. So, come on over and follow me at Composition-X

See you, and Farewell,

Scoville Loop Blue Blazed Hiking Trail

In 2013 a new trail was commissioned by CFPA - The Scoville Loop. It is near to the trailhead for the Mattabesett Trail and may one day officially connect. It is about 2.3 miles and is comprised of two loops - so you can hike a figure 8 if you like. Part of the trail travels along the banks of The Connecticut River - so fishing and paddling are  an option.

Gay City Trails - Blue Blazed

The Gay City State Park and trail system inhabit the land which formerly hosted a town know as Factory Hollow. The current name is attributed to the first village president John Gay. The trails system is mainly a network of short multi-colored trails, while the longer more regional Shenipsit traverses through the park. There is a holiday and weekend fee throughout the summer to enter the parking lot at the pond and beach area.

Sunny Valley Preserve Hiking Trails

The Nature Conservancy protects 1900 acres of lakeside land in Bridgewater. Here, you will find a few good trails for hiking. If you park at Bridgewater Town Park you can follow the 4.5 mile blue blazed trail to its terminus at Pruchnik Lane. And, you can use various other trails to loop back. From strolls through meadows and farms to rocky climbs and scrambles these trails offer diverse and relatively easy hiking.

Regicides Blue Blazed Hiking Trail

Birches over Wilbur Cross -  Sharat Ganapati

It's hard to miss West Rock State Park in New Haven. You drive under it on Route 15. Above the tunnel is a monumental traprock ridge. Starting there, at Judge's Cave, is the Regicides Trail. It travels along the ridge till it meets with the third section of the Quinnipiac Trail. Along the way you are treated to panoramic views of Long Island Sound and the forested landscape of coastal Connecticut. The Sanford Feeder Trail leads from a good parking spot along an abandoned road and meets with the Regicides shortly before its termination at the Quinnipiac. A number of other blazed trails cross the Regicides in West Rock State Park. There is a gate and a fee for parking at West Rock Park in season.

Salmon River Blue Blazed Hiking Trail

Comstock Covered Bridge Photo: Morrow Long
Comstock Covered Bridge Photo: Morrow Long
Beginning at the Comstock Bridge - a preserved wooden covered bridge - the Salmon river Trail makes a 6.9 mile loop in the Salmon River State Forest. There is a gentle 200ft climb to an area overlooking the Salmon river Valley. There is a small beach at Day Pond State Park which you will reach about half way through your hike. Perhaps, an opportunity for a trail breakfast/lunch.

Whitestone Cliffs Hiking Trail

Naugatuck State Forest West Block Northern Section (Naugatuck, CT)  Photo: Morrow Long
Naugatuck State Forest West Block Northern Section (Naugatuck, CT)  Photo: Morrow Long

The Whitestone Cliffs Trail is a short loop and part of the Waterbury Area Trails. It is connected to the Jerricho Trail by a yellow blazed trail. This area is said to be geologically active with a few ground faults about 100 feet long. You might feel a rumble and notice some rather large boulders sliding. Despite its short distance this trail is vertical and can be considered difficult.

Pequot Blue Blazed Hiking Trail

Horses along the Pequot Trail -  Photo: Morrow Long
The Pequot Trail is a trail in flux. It seems to loose and gain miles depending on the year, so it is best to check with CFPA to determine the most current path. The most reliable and least intrusive parking can be had at Milton Green Memorial Ball Field in Poquetanuck. From there you can head in either direction on the trail route. It is a wet and low trail and you should be prepared for a muddy walk. Perhaps in time this trail will be improved.

Nehantic Blue Blazed Trail

Nehantic Trail - View from Mount Misery. - Morrow Long
Nehantic Trail - View from Mount Misery. - Morrow Long

The Pachaug State Forest hosts the Nehantic Trail. There are several camping areas along this trail. Mt Misery and Hell Hollow may be misnomers as far as hikers are concerned; these trails are in good order and relatively easy to hike. The Nehantic crosses paths with the Pachaug Trail. Another diversion trail leads to the rhododendron sanctuary.

Nayantaquit Blue Blazed Trail

The Nehantic Forest hosts this 4 mile loop trail. It is in the East Lyme Block division. The trail volunteers here maintain an excellent trail. There is a trail connection to Uncas Pond as well - which is not shown on this map. This trail is relatively easy and passes through several stages of forest habitat.

Naugatuck Blue Blazed Hiking Trail

From alongside a busy highway - The Naugatuck emerges and then ascends into the rocky and forested hills that make this section of Route 8 amazing to drive along. Egypt Brook provides some scenic relief along the trail. There are a couple side trails and a possible loop trail at one point. But, the trail is not too long and can be an easy out-n-back.

Torrington Area Hiking Trails

The Torrington area Trails include the Wolcott Trail, Muir Trail, and Alain and May White Nature Trails. The Wolcott trail circles Burr Pond at Burr Pond State Park. The Alain and May White Trails loop around in Sunny Brook State Park with the Testone Rock Trail making the main blue blazed loop. And, The John Muir Trail connects the two via the Paugut State Forest. These trails are relatively wide and easy. There are plenty of parking spots as well. There is a fee for parking on weekends and holidays in the summer at Burr Pond State Park.

Mclean Game Refuge Trails

The Mclean Game Refuge is a preserve donated to the public by the former US Senator George Mclean. It's 3200 acres offers opportunities for picnicking, walking, hiking, and general refuge from the hustle and bustle of urban life in Hartford County. It is open from 8am to 8pm. There are numerous waterfalls and a welcome center as well. The most popular hikes are near the trout pond, But, not be overlooked is Eddy Loop leading to Weed Hill.

The Lillinonah Blue Blazed Trail

The Upper Paugussett State Forest hosts The Lillinonoah Trail. There are impressive views of Lake Lillinonah from perches along the trail. Located in Newtown, it is across the water from Kettletown State Park and nearby The Zoar Trail in the Lower Paugussett State Forest.

Jerricho Blue Blazed Trail

The Jerricho Trail travels through The Mattatuck State Forest and along a ridgeline overlooking The Naugatuck River. It is one of the Waterbury Area Trails and connects the more regional Mattatuck Blue Blazed Trail with The Whitestone Cliffs Trail. Near the junction with The Mattatuck Trail is one of the famed Leatherman caves. Undoubtedly the Leatherman walked a similar route as the Jerricho now follows. Jerricho is a short 3.4 miles but there are a couple of loops that can be made on either of its ends to lengthen your hike.

Cockaponsett Blue Blazed Trail

The Cockaponsett State forest has the distinction of being the 2nd largest state forest in CT. Only second, even though it has several separate sections that are not really that close together.  You can hike through the one section in Guilford on The Menukatuck Trail. But, for the title track, you will have to go to Haddam. There is a very nice Parking Lot which is unfortunately central to the trail. By taking the red blazed trails you can make a couple loops on each side of the parking lot located off Cedar Lake Road.

Falls Brook Blue Blazed Trail

Deep in the vast and mysterious Tunxis State Forest is a little tiny Blue Blazed Trail. It exists to allow access to some sparkling water falls and the cascade of Falls Brook. A complicated "white trail" leads down the rocks to the best place to photograph the falls. This trail is in massive need of a real parking lot as waterfall hunters in New England are plentiful and they won't want to miss this one.

Chatfield Blue Blazed Trail

Located in Killingworth, Chatfield Hollow State Park offers technical mountain biking courses, trout fishing, one of the most popular belay rock climbing courses in The State, and of course hiking on a Blue Blazed Trail. The trail is short and easy - weighing in at 4.3 miles, and traverses relatively flat terrain. Most hikers report enjoying this trail immensely.

Bigelow Hollow State Park Blue Blazed Trails

Nipmuck State Forest and Bigelow Hollow State Park contain 9000 acres of land and include a network of hiking trails. The Nipmuck Blue blazed Trail travels through these properties. The name is thought be an old reference to a 'big low' hollow containing a pond. There is a weekend and holiday fee for parking in the State Park.