The Appalachian Trail cuts a 52 mile path through the beautiful state of Connecticut (51.6 miles). The trail follows the mountain ridges that lay above the Housatonic River and transverses the northwestern corner of the state. I should be able to hike through Connecticut in one day (just kidding – more like 2 ½), and the trek promises some beautiful overlooks of the Housatonic River Valley (to the east) and the Taconic Mountain Range (to the west). Occasionally the A.T. dips down and runs along the banks of the river. According to the Connecticut Explorer’s Guide, “There are plenty of impressive scenes from the scenic vistas of Bear Mountain to the white water rapids of the beautiful Housatonic River. This trail is a classic backpacker’s trek.”
There are 6 shelters along the path in Connecticut and at least four possible spots for resupply. Located four miles past the New York border is Kent, CT (NOBO mile 1,462.9) The town is another 0.8 miles off the trail but in Kent, the thru-hiker can find both the Backcountry Outfitters (in case some gear or shoes need replaced) and Annie Bananie Ice Cream (serving hot dogs, snacks, candy, and of course ice cream). Not too much farther down the road (about a dozen miles) the thru-hiker comes to Cornwall Bridge, CT (mile 1474), There is a great hiker-friendly store (Cornwall General) selling groceries, deli, ice cream (of course) and an ATM for needed cash. The deli serves breakfast and sandwiches. The third spot sounds a little more primitive but might be just what I need. Falls Village, CT (mile1488) has an outdoor shower for hikers located on a wall of a vine covered building. There is also a power outlet at the same location. A quick shower while my iPhone charges up might be the perfect setting when I pass by. The fourth resupply spot in Connecticut is Salisbury, CT – mile 1496. My possible target is LaBonne’s Market advertising a deli, a bakery and PIZZA by the slice! Leaving town there is a cemetery along the trail that promises a water spigot near the center of the graveyard – how spooky is that.
The A.T. climbs Bear Mountain, near Salisbury, CT. This mountain is the tallest peak in the state (2,316 feet) with a rock observation tower just 0.6 miles south of the Massachusetts border. The hike from Lion’s Head to Bear Mountain (about 4 miles) is considered one of the most beautiful in all of the state – it is described as one of the shortest hikes with the greatest views in western Connecticut. On a clear day the overlooks will reveal rolling hills to the southeast, twin lakes to the east, Massachusetts to the northeast with farmland, woods, and small towns filling in all the gaps. Sounds like a beautiful state!
Photo – Lions Head Ct http://www.berkshirehiking.com/hikes/lionshead.html#