The Housatonic Range Blue Blazed Trail




The Housatonic Range Trail is a CT Blue Blazed Trail in New Milford. The route is an out-and-back linear trail that ascends several minor summits in the Southern Berkshire Mountain Range. The blue blazes lead through three dimensional stone cyphers demanding some bouldering technique. Some of these full body climbs can be intimidating, but with care and thought they can be negotiated without much exertion. Overall, this trail has the feel of a regional trail. There are plenty of features to keep you interested throughout your hike. 






Climbing out of Suicide Ledges
This is a challenging trail route. It pushed the upper limits of my physical ability.  As soon as you summit once, you immediately descend again, only to be brought up the next higher and steeper climb. I was out of energy by the time I reached the trail end at MT Candlewood; knowing that I had a rough 5 mile return hike. Nonetheless, it was a beautiful trail with surprises, twists, corkscrews, bald ledges, cyphers, turkeys, deer, colorful songbirds, lush forests, caves, streams, bridges, and fern covered gullies. I will return to rehike this one with friends.

This is the perfect day-hike to prepare and build-up for a regional backpacking trek. But it is a bit on the long side. I expected to be hiking for 3-4 hours and did not anticipate the level of difficulty that I encountered. One way to cut off some time would be to park at

Approaching The Suicide Ledges
Concord Way and just head up to MT Candlewood. You would still be treated to features including: Kelly's Slide, several scrambles, two summits, a cave beneath Kelly Slide, and The Corkscrew. The Corkscrew is a rock feature that must be climbed to continue on the Blue Trail. A bypass trail is nearby. I missed The Corkscrew when ascending, but hit it on my way down. I had to stop and think through my approach for several minutes. The climb down required turning my body 360 degrees about 3 times before reaching the bottom. Thus, The Corkscrew is aptly named.

MT Candlewood in the distance
There is a feeling of having answered a riddle after completing the feature.

But, parking at Concord Way would bypass Tory's Cave (formerly Candlewood Cave) and The Suicide Ledges  - another cypher. I had more fun with The Suicide Ledges than with MT Candlewood - but I was fresh and strong when I encountered the ledges.


While I tend to hike alone - this trail felt more social. I would have enjoyed it more with a
Pine Knob Summit
hiking group or trail partner. I would recommend that you talk a friend into joining you on this hike. A hiking partner slows you down - and that is what is needed on this trail. You need to take this one slow, take time to explore the rock features, and take breaks. Without a good amount of breaks this trail becomes an exercise in mental and physical endurance. I also, would have been more daring in my climbs if I had a capable friend nearby. I might even have been talked into exploring Tory's Cave.

TRAIL INFORMATION

COUNTY: Litchfield, Fairfield
COMMUNITIES: New Milford, Kent





DIRECTIONS

Address for your GPS: 430 Kent Road, Gaylordsville CT
| Coordinates: N41.62002,W073.462222|
From Bridgeport40 Minutes
From New Haven40 Minutes
From Hartford1 Hour
From New London2 hours
From Providence3 Hours
From New York1.5 Hours



PHOTOS

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Housatonic Range Blue Blazed Trail
Housatonic Range Blue Blazed Trail

Housatonic Range Blue Blazed Trail
Housatonic Range Blue Blazed Trail

Follow the blue blazes down down down
Follow the blue blazes down down down

Housatonic Range Blue Blazed Trail
Housatonic Range Blue Blazed Trail

About to descend into a network of overhangs - Housatonic Range Trail
About to descend into a network of overhangs - Housatonic Range Trail

Some of the Housatonic Range Trail requires bouldering climbs
Some of the Housatonic Range Trail requires bouldering climbs

The Housatonic Range Blue Blazed Trail
The Housatonic Range Blue Blazed Trail

The Housatonic Range Blue Blazed Trail
The Housatonic Range Blue Blazed Trail

The Summit at MT Candlewood - Housatonic Range Blue Blazed
The Summit at MT Candlewood - Housatonic Range Blue Blazed

The Summit at Pine Knob - Housatonic Blue Blazed
The Summit at Pine Knob - Housatonic Blue Blazed
View of MT Candlewood - Housatonic Range Trail
View of MT Candlewood - Housatonic Range Trail

Sign Adjacent to Tory's Cave - Housatonic Range Trail
Sign Adjacent to Tory's Cave - Housatonic Range Trail