This is one in a series of section hikes traversing the Connecticut portion of the Metacomet Trail from North to South. This is not a beginner hike, we will maintain a good pace.
Each hike will be 5 to 7 miles of moderate to hard hiking over a 3 to 4 hour duration. The group will meet at the end of the trail head and car pool to the beginning. We will then hike our way via the blue trail, back to the cars and make arrangements to pick up the cars that were left at the start. It would be nice to have a group of people who are interested in completing all of the sections. Connecticut Forest and Park awards a patch to those who do so.
Section 6 – Rattlesnake Mountain to Pinnacle Rock
Distance: 5.8 miles
Terrain: Cross the fields of the Hill-Stead Museum and then follow the blue blaze along a short distance of road until you reach the base of Rattlesnake Mountain. After Summiting Rattlesnake the trial descends before raising again to a trap rock ledge with several outlooks to the west. Cruise the ridge until you do a quick decent to New Britain Ave. There are some steep ascents, be prepared to keep up with the group.
Pace: A moderate pace with breaks for water and views but the intent is to cover the distance. This is not a hike for slow hikers.
When: Sunday 10AM EDT 15 July 2012
Meeting location: Parking lot of the business located at 440 New Britain Ave, in Plainville CT. We will split up into car pools and drive to the trail head just off the parking lot located at the dead end of Hill-Stead Museum Road in Farmington CT.
Who to look for: Silver BMW.
Food and Drink: A snack and a quart of water. Plans can be discussed for an after hike lunch meeting location during the hike. See suggestions below....
Trail Map: http://www.ctxguide.com/ctxguide_232.htm
Background:The Metacomet Trail traverses the traprock Metacomet Ridge which extends from Long Island Sound to the Massachusetts/ Vermont border. This ridge, rising hundreds of feet above the Connecticut River, Farmington River, and Quinnipiac River valleys, is a prominent landscape feature of central Connecticut. From south to north, the trail uses the ridges of the Hanging Hills, Short Mountain, Ragged Mountain, Bradley Mountain, Pinnacle Rock, Rattlesnake Mountain, Farmington Mountain, Talcott Mountain, Hatchet Hill, Peak Mountain, and West Suffield Mountain. Abrupt vertical cliffs with visible talus slopes and frequent viewpoints are common throughout. Views are generally to the west from West Suffield Mountain south through Ragged Mountain; west and south in the Hanging Hills. The Farmington River cuts through the ridgeline between Hatchet Hill and Talcott Mountain in the Tariffville Gorge (east of Simsbury). Historic features along the trail include Old Newgate Prison museum and copper mine in East Granby; Heublein Tower on Talcott Mountain with expansive view of four states; the Hill-Stead museum in Farmington, Connecticut, notable for its French impressionist painting collection and gardens; and Hubbard Park of the Hanging Hills of Meriden, designed with the help of famous landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead. The traprock ridges and talus slopes of the Metacomet Ridge are also home to several unique microclimate ecosystems that support species of plants that are unusual or endangered in this part of New England, and are a seasonal migration path for raptors. Viewshed from the ledges include agrarian land, suburbs, small towns, river corridors, the eastern Berkshires ridgeline, and metropolitan Meriden and Hartford.
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NOTE: Please make any general comments regarding how to improve or alter the overall processes of all the sections in the "Hike the Metacomet" thread under the DISCUSSIONS tab. Questions and comments to this section should be posted below.