Cockaponset Trail, Southern Section

Posted By on July 23, 2014

Cockaponset Trail, Southern Section

6.1 miles, 2 mph; chester, ct

the hubs and i took a mini camping vacation at hammonasset state park in madison, ct, and while we were there, i did a local hike. the connecticut forest and park association maintains over 800 miles of blue-blazed hiking trails, and the cockaponset trail makes up 7 of those miles. i did the southern half of this trail, using two extensive side trails to make it a nice figure-8 loop.

i’m afraid i mostly took pictures of fungus. it’s really getting to be mushroom time in the woods, and i saw but didn’t collect 2 choice edibles on this hike.

black trumpet

black trumpet

i saw this black trumpet mushroom in the first 1/10th of a mile. it was all alone, though, so i left it, as one black trumpet does not a wild mushroom risotto make. and not far from this, i saw a sweet-tooth, or hedgehog mushroom. this is supposed to be a choice edible, but firstly, i had no cool place to keep it, and secondly, i’ve never collected one or tried one, and i was admittedly a little chicken, although none of the commonly found toothed mushrooms are poisonous that i know of.

mystery fungus

mystery fungus

i’ve seen lots of this fungus lately, and lots on this trail. i think it’s a false coral mushroom, and the reports are that it is edible, but “rubbery and unpalatable.” my thanks to whoever discovered that so i didn’t have to.

king bolete

some kind of bolete

now this baby is, i’m pretty sure, some sort of bolete. it was the size of a teacup saucer, and definitely a polypore mushroom. but one thing that made me doubt that it was a king bolete is that a king usually has a very thick, club-shaped stem, and as you can see from the photo, this one doesn’t. there are a lot of bolete varieties, and while they aren’t all delicious as the king, they’re edible on a sliding scale from yummy to yuck. i am not especially confident in my ability to i.d. boletes, though, so unless it was an obvious king, i wouldn’t collect it.

old man of the woods

old man of the woods

this beautiful little guy is old man of the woods. not poisonous, not particularly edible. just kind of cool-looking.

pattaconk reservoir

pattaconk reservoir

and in case you were wondering if i ever looked up from the ground for six miles, why, yes, i did. this is the pattaconk reservoir. i hiked the cockaponset trail as far as the northern tip of this reservoir, and then took the alternate pattaconk trail back to the beach area. this is a very nice trail that hugs the shore of the reservoir. it was cool and breezy; a welcome relief from the heat in the woods. then after missing the intersection twice, i took another unnamed blue/red-blazed alternate trail back to my car. while this hike was not especially strenuous, it was a workout for me compared with the usual terrain i hike in southeastern connecticut and southern rhode island, which is pretty durned flat.

i have added this hike to the hikefinder.

Comments

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: