This is one in a series of section hikes traversing the Connecticut portion of the Metacomet Trail from North to South.
Each hike will be 4 to 7 miles of moderate 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 back to the cars and make arrangements to pick up the cars that were left at the start. Connecticut Forest and Parks awards a patch to those who complete all of the sections of the trail.
Section 7 – Sun Set Rock and Bradley Mountain
Distance: 4.3 miles
Terrain: Ascend Bradley Mountain to Sun Set Rock for views of Crescent Lake. Cruise along the ridge line with several additional views of the lake then gradually descend to the Long Bottom Road. Walk a few hundred yards back to the meeting parking lot. Rogers Orchards farm stand offers some nice fruits and baked goods, plan on stopping in after the hike.
Pace: A moderate pace with breaks for water and views but the intent is to cover the distance. This isn't meant for bird watchers. As the cold weather closes in it becomes more important to dress appropriately. Plan for cold and muddy trails, sneakers will probably not be sufficient, boots should be worn by all hikers.
When: 10:03 AM Sunday December 16th, 2012
Meeting location: Parking lot across the street from the Rodgers Orchards Farm Stand located at 336 Long Bottom Road in Southington CT. We will split up into car pools and drive to the trail head located at the corner of Black Rock and Esther Street in New Britain CT. Parking at the trail head is very limited and we may have to park in a business lot on the other side of Route 72 and follow the sidewalk under Route 72 to Esther Road.
Who to look for: Silver BMW.
Food and Drink: A snack and a quart of water. Bibs provided for sloppy eaters. Plans can be discussed for an after hike lunch meeting location during the hike.
Trail Map: http://www.ctxguide.com/ctxguide_232.htm
As with all Alliance Hikes... your suggestion for an apres-hike outing venue is requested.
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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