Today, we had a wonderful family hike on the Appalachian Trail (AT) in northwestern Connecticut. We did the Bear Mountain loop, which is really a “lollipop.” We started on Rt. 41 in Salisbury at the Undermountain Trail parking lot. We hiked up to the AT, then north on the AT over the summit of Bear Mountain and down to Sage’s Ravine. There, we picked up the Paradise Trail and took it back to the Undermountain Trail junction, and then back to the parking lot.
I’ve done this six-mile loop several times before, but today was the first time with our kids. Debbie and I could have run it in a little more than an hour, but it ended up taking us four hours, which is just fine. It was cold, right around the freezing mark, but the sunshine was very nice and the wind wasn’t bad. There was some treacherous black ice in spots, particularly headed down in to Sage’s Ravine where the sun wasn’t hitting the trail. It was a beautiful day.
The Undermountain Trail is part of the Connecticut Blue-Blazed Hiking Trail system and is maintained by volunteers from the Connecticut Forest & Park Association. The AT in Connecticut is maintained by the Connecticut Chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club.
Bear Mountain is the highest summit in the state, but it isn’t the high point. That is on the flanks of Mt. Frissell, which peaks out in Massachusetts just north of the border. The views from Bear are the finest of any Connecticut ridge, and today, they are fabulous.