Sunday, June 10, 2012

Appalachian Trail, CT - Kent to Cornwall Bridge via Caleb's Peak, St. Johns Ledges, River Walk


ABOUT THE PARK:
History of the Appalachian Trail in Connecticut - CT AMC
CT 341 to CT 4 - cnyhiking.com (nice description and maps)

DIRECTIONS:
This is a shuttle hike so either 2 cars are needed or contact Backcountry Outfitters on CT 341 in Kent, CT in advance to arrange for a shuttle. They will shuttle your dog, too!
Parking A (Meet here and leave 1 car)
GPS Coordinates 41.807704,-73.391782

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Pull-out parking for about 4-5 cars along side of road just before the Appalachian Trail.
Parking B (Drive here in the second car)
GPS Coordinates 41.731029, -73.490691



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Pull-out parking for about 5-6 cars along CT 341 opposite start of hike at the stile.

TRAIL MAP:
Connecticut Appalachian Trail Guide (available in map boxes through hike but not very useful)
Appalachian Trail Kent to River Road - Connecticut Explorer's Guide (very useful topo map)

HIKE DISTANCE:  9.9 miles

PEAK BAGGING:
Glacier Rock - Peakery.com
Fuller Mountain - Peakery.com
Caleb's Peak - Peakery.com

APPALACHIAN TRAIL SECTION HIKING:
TrailHeadFinder.com - AT section miles 1,445.4 to 1,455

THE HIKE:
From Parking B on CT 341 in Kent, cross the road and climb over the stile heading north on the Appalachian Trail.
After crossing a meadow, the trail heads uphill into the woods.
View to the east of the Connecticut countryside.
American Toad
Caleb's Peak
View east from Caleb's Peak.
Garter Snake
St. Johns Ledges
View from St. Johns Ledges
The VERY steep descent from St. Johns Ledges.  There are rock steps but you'll still need your hands in a few places. 
Still going down steeply...
If you prefer to hike north to south, consider that this would be quite a climb up going the other way although it's quite knee-jarring going down.
Near the bottom of the descent, rock climbers going up the smooth rock face - makes you appreciate those stone steps.
After the descent, a smooth stretch along River Road.  Although this stretch is open to traffic, it dead ends at parking so there is very little traffic.  No cars passed us.
Housatonic River from River Road.
The Appalachian Trail continues beyond the gated road at the parking area and becomes a footpath again.
The Appalachian Trail along the Housatonic after the River Road gate.
A female Common Merganser on a rock in the Housatonic.
Easy hiking along the Housatonic.
The trail goes through a small field loaded with milkweed and beautiful butterflies but they were very fast and elusive.  The only one I got a picture of was this one on the far right.
Farm fields to the left.
Coming full circle.
Entering the fields at Liner Farm.
The Appalachian Trail following along the edge of the field.  Surprisingly, not a single tick on any of us.
Remnants of a stone silo.

If you like fresh eggs, bring some cash and a cooler.  Directly across from the Parking A at the end of the hike, there were eggs for sale.  I don't eat eggs but I get them for the dogs and will only buy from individuals or directly from small farms, never from grocery stores.

HIKE SUMMARY:
[  0.00]  From Parking B cross CT 341 and climb stile at AT sign; cross meadow
[  0.20]  Cross bridge over Macedonia Brook, enter woods and cross unmarked trail
[  0.70]  There is supposed to be a side trail to Numeral Rock - the trails I saw in this area went nowhere - either I missed it or it's overgrown
[  0.90]  View on the right
[  1.80]  Cross small creek
[  2.50]  Cross small creek
[  3.00]  Cross Choggan Brook
[  3.10]  Cross paved Skiff Mountain Road
[  3.25]  Overgrown overlook
[  3.40]  Cross small creek
[  3.90]  Caleb's Peak
[  4.10]  Rock steps descend
[  4.60]  Leave AT to the right downhill briefly to view at St. Johns Ledges; continue on AT and begin steep descent
[  4.95]  Keep straight when unmarked trail goes right (used by rock climbers)
[  5.00]  At parking area turn left on River Road and follow River Road (gravel)
[  5.80]  Keep straight on gravel River Road when another gravel road goes left
[  5.95]  Continue through parking area and gate towards kiosk; AT becomes footpath
[  7.30]  Cross log bridge over Stewart Hollow Brook; blue side trail goes to Stewart Hollow Shelter
[  7.40]  Other end of blue-blazed trail from Stewart Hollow Shelter comes in from the left
[  7.80]  Blue-blazed trail to left goes to Stony Brook campsites, keep right on log bridge over Stony Brook
[  7.90]  Other end of blue-blazed trail from Stony Brook campsites comes in from the left
[  8.95]  Go through small field with milkweed and lots of butterflies
[  9.05]  Trail veers left into Liner farm fields
[  9.35]  Trail leaves farm fields
[  9.40]  Cross log bridge
[  9.65]  Trail comes out on gravel road, turn right and follow gravel road
[  9.90]  Back at Parking A

6 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting. We have decided to work on hiking the CT section of the AT, and this is where we are up to (CT341). There used to be a good website with a list of AT parking sites, but just recently, it no longer exists.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You mean this site, correct? http://appalachiantrail.rohland.org/

      I was having trouble with it too last week so I googled "Appalachian Trail Connecticut Parking Section 4" and got the direct link for the page I needed and that worked. Just now I could not get the direct link to work either. I tried the main page, link above, one more time and just now it came up. Hopefully it is fixed because that site has great information!

      Daniela

      Delete
  2. Same person - but I was using http://rohland.homedns.org/AT/State/state_menu/at_state_menu.aspx?id=8

    I tried your link and it worked. Woohoo!

    ReplyDelete
  3. We are gradually working our way north on the CT AT. Here is a winter version of a portion of the river walk. The nice thing about the winter is the fields are snow covered, so you are free to use them. We saw some cross country skiers on them as well.

    http://www.agiletrekker.blogspot.com/2014/01/connecticut-appalachian-trail-dawn-hill.html

    ReplyDelete
  4. Here's a resource map of the full AT. Just click the optional Parking check box and zoom in. Enjoy :) You can also find shelters and other info. By Terry Lewis Jr.
    http://www.appalachiantrail.org/hiking/find-a-hike/interactive-map

    ReplyDelete