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Event Rating: Level 4, Difficult
Recommended for members who have completed one or more Level 3 hikes
Distance: ~10.8 miles
Time Duration: ~5 hours (Loop hike, no car spotting this time)
Blaze Orange: recommended
The Nipmuck Trail extends 36 miles from Route 6 at the south end of Mansfield CT to the CT / MA state border. We will hike this trail in 4 sections, each one about 11.5 miles. (Yes I know the math doesn’t add up, I added in a few interesting / more challenging side trails to two of the shorter sections.) The terrain along this trail is easy to moderate most of the way, with a few bigger hills in the last two sections.
Section 4 begins at Bigelow Hollow State Park, off of Route 171 in Union CT, and extends 3.5 miles to the CT/MA state boundary. Since there is only 3.5 miles of the Nipmuck left here, I added two more trails to make a more worthy and scenic hike. From trail's end we will follow the Breakneck Pond View Trail back to Park Road, then take the Mashapaug Pond view loop trail for a total distance of about 10.5 miles. Scenery along the route includes several pond views, rocky ledges, and a beaver dam.
This will be a loop hike, so no car shuttling.
There is an excellent trail map for the first half with a topo base at:
There is a map of the Bigelow Hollow Trails at CT DEEP's web site at:
Directions from Ocean State Job Lot, Johnston RI to Bigelow Hollow State Park (link to map)
From the CT/RI border, follow Route 101 to Route 44 west in Pomfret Center. Follow Route 44 to Route 198 north in Eastford. Follow Route 198 to Route 171, turn left. Follow Route 171 to Bigelow Hollow State Park. Continue along the park road about 0.1 - 0.2 miles to the trailhead parking lot on the right.
I strongly recommend printing out a map of the route and turn by turn directions from your starting location to the point on the map link above - cell phones and GPS aren't reliable out here, and when you lose the signal and don't have a map and the road signs are missing and you hear the banjos start playing, well that's when the frustration and unpleasant language begin.
As always, don't forget to dress properly - layers, waterproof breathable windbreaker, no cotton, sturdy hiking boots, etc. Bring plenty of water and some energy-boosting snacks to power through to the finish.
If there is interest we will go for a re-hydration/food stop afterwards. There are some good restaurants in Putnam. Its a half hour from the end point, but seems to be the first decent civilization heading toward RI.
As a condition of your voluntary participation in this activity you acknowledge and agree to the following: this activity involves inherent risks that can cause property damage, injury, illness, disability, and/or death to participants and/or others; you assume all risk associated with this activity; you are responsible for having the necessary knowledge, skills, abilities, clothing, and equipment to safely participate in this activity; you know and will follow the Hiker Responsibility Code described at www.hikesafe.com; the leader(s) of this activity are volunteers; and you for yourself, your heirs, executors, and administrators release, hold harmless, and indemnify the leader(s) and all members of this group from any and all claims for property damage, injury, illness, disability, and/or death - including those caused by negligence and/or other reasons.