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New Year's Eve - Simsbury Cathles and Bog hike

  • Approximate address

    110 North Saddle Ridge Drive, Simsbury, CT (map)

    41.897820 -72.855049

  • This is a residential street. Park where you can near two small stone pillars that mark the trail entrance.
  • Beginners welcome. This will be a relatively easy hike - however do expect 3 steep sections that you will have to go uo and down.  

    Distance:  5-6 miles

    Bog Terrain:  A flat trail leads out to a very steep, downhill path to the 150-foot wooden boardwalk over the bog.

    A hidden gem! 

    Cathles Terrain:  Moderate. Relatively steep uphill climb from the trail head and as well as another uphill for West Mountain.

    The challenges include rocky terrain and slopes - but really a beginner hike.  We will see the usually amazing waterfall - or it might be drip.

    We hike as a group and stay together so if that does not appeal to you, this is not your crew.

    Food and Drink: A snack and a liter of water.  Water is a must.

    Equipment: Microspikes required.  Boots are a must.  Cotton is not acceptable on the trail... jeans can get wet and never dry which sets you up for heavy pants and will slow you down (or cause hypothermia and frost bite in colder seasons). Layers are important. You will build up a sweat on the uphills, and we sometimes face chilly wind in open or exposed areas.  Dress in layers to adjust for the conditions.

    It can be windy and chilly on the ridge portion of this hike.

    Inappropriate wear may actually make the hike difficult for you and if you have difficulty it will impact the other hikers. If you are uncertain as to what clothing or items are considered hiking wear, please email me directly, or email any of the co-organizers. We will also be able to share referrals to suppliers of both new and gently used hiking apparel and supplies.

    It is not our intention to embarrass any hiker, however if you come without preparation of gear, clothing, food/water, you may be pulled aside and asked to reconsider.

    Information about the land trust and map link click here:  Maps and info

    Legal Stuff: By clicking on "Yes" or attending this event you and your guest(s) agree, warrant, and covenant as follows:

    In consideration for accepting this entry, I, the registrant, and my guest(s) intending to be legally bound, for myself, my heirs, my executors and administrators, do waive and release any and all rights for damages I may or my guest(s) may have against any parties or persons connected with the Connecticut Hiking Alliance for and related to this event. I attest and verify that I am and my guest(s) is physically fit to participate in any portion of this event. I grant the Connecticut Hiking Alliance permission to use any photographs, film or videotapes of this event for any purpose.  The Connecticut Hiking Alliance takes and posts many many photos.  If you are camera shy, in the Witness Protection Program or are supposed to be somewhere else, this group is not for you.

    Après hike:  An early New Year's Eve dinner!  At Attilio's - below the Maple Tree  in Simsbury.  

    Pets:  are welcome.  They must have proof of current vaccinations and you will bring a leash and water for the dog in addition to your own water.


    To communicate with a specific member - please message them directly (through meet up). The postings to the site go to every member and should be topics that would be pertinent to all. Meetup sites all have message functions for conversations between members.

    Bog Features:

    A wide, flat trail along an esker (a large deposit of glacial gravel left by the last Ice Age 10,000 years ago) to a boardwalk over the bog. The Simsbury Land Trust constructed the elevated walkway to enable people to view the habitat up close. There are educational signs touching on the unique ecosystem found here. 

    Although common in northern North England and Canada, bogs are far less common in Connecticut, and this is the only sizeable bog habitat in Simsbury. The water supply for this 40-acre bog comes from rainwater and underground spring and is poor in oxygen and nutrients. The high acidity of bog water interferes with plant’s ability to absorb water and nutrients. This creates a habitat different from that of the swamp to the north. Best known for their sphagnum moss, which “floats” on water, bogs are home to a number of plants and animals seldom found in the more common red maple swamps. Characteristic leatherleaf plants contribute to the mat while highbush blueberries and swamp azaleas are specially adapted for this environment and thrive on the edges. Small maples are even seen growing on the mat of the moss. Other plants found in this bog include red chokeberry, common bog cotton, and three-way sedge. Few animals live in the bog, although many pass through in search of food or shelter. Permanent residents include insect-eating birds, garter snakes, frogs, and turtles. From the boardwalk enjoy a view of West Moutain (where we will be later on this hike).

    Cathles Features:

    Simsbury Land Trust’s remarkably wild and tranquil Cathles Property covers 47 acres. The land consists of a “hidden valley” running north south along a fault line. Two streams originate just above the waterfall. These streams collect water runoff from West Mountain. One stream drains south to the reservoir, the other flows east and north to Bissell Brook. The southern section of the Hidden Valley Trail offers a view of one to the town’s most magnificent talus fields as well as charcoal pits, cart trails, and bits of barbed wire from the days when this was open pasture. The blue-blazed trail runs north-south along the eastern ridgeline. It affords beautiful views of West Simsbury and beyond. The stunted growth of the cedar trees and vegetation along the ridge top are the result of marginal soil and exposure to winter wind. From the fault to the ridge the trail passes through several different habitat zones typical of traprock ridges.



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  • Tom A.

    Great, thank you very much I look forward to it.

    6 days ago

Want to go?

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36 going

  • Carol A.
    Scout leader, Organizer,
    Event Host

    I like to hike. A lot. So come out and play!

  • Jennifer
    Jen X2, Co-Organizer

    Love to hike, dance and be in the outdoors. I've enjoyed getting to know such a great variety of... more

  • Tom A.

    I enjoy hiking, fishing and the outdoors

  • Vivian

    I enjoy nature and the outdoors.

  • Steven J.
    Purple

    I enjoy the great out door, hiking, biking, skiing.

  • diane

    hi, love the outdoors and to hike and bike ride

  • Pete J

    Cyclist enjoying hiking with like minded people.

  • Shelley

    Long-time AMC member and active hiker; looking for more groups and opportunities.­

  • Richard

    I like to hike for exercise and enjoy the scenery.

  • Linda

    I enjoy the outdoors, hiking and biking

  • Chris
    Commando!, Assistant Organizer
  • Pete
    The Keeper

    I enjoy outdoor activities.

  • Ken
    The Fly

    Ken

  • kathleen a.

    Looking forward to hiking with the group tomorrow!

  • Gandhi

    I like to hike.

  • Dina

    Looking forward to sharing new outdoor adventures with others.

  • Kathleen M.
    The Queen,

    Love to be outdoors!

  • Al M.

    Thriving in the second half of life.

  • Susan

    The day is always better when it includes hiking.

  • Jim

    I love a good adventure!

  • sandy

    Wish I could hike everyday! With this group of happy hikers, of course!

  • James
    Cog
  • Marc
    Assistant Organizer

    Love to be outdoors, especially in fall and winter!

  • Brenda J

    Hiking enthusiast looking for fast friends and new adventures

1 not going

(See all)
  • Ellie L.

    I love living in the country and regularly bike, hike, snowshoe or xc ski

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