Groton Crosstown Trail

Posted By on October 13, 2015

Groton Crosstown Trail

7.8 miles; groton, ct

the groton crosstown trail runs from bluff point state park to avalonia’s town’s end preserve, crossing six other properties in between with only a short bit of road-walking. i’ve been wanting to do this hike for ages, but because it’s (ostensibly) a 6-mile one-way hike, i needed a car spot. the hubs volunteered to drop a car for me today and so i was finally able to do it. from what i can guess, there is no blazing allowed on state land, because although i made it to haley farm okay, i got lost from there until i finally got to the wright preserve (thus, i presume, accounting for the other 1.8 miles). blazing was fine for most of the rest of the way—i will elaborate on that later.

amtrak tracks

amtrak tracks

as i mentioned, this hike starts from bluff point, but you go directly from the parking area to the road beside the train tracks, so you don’t get to see much of this first state park. this road goes to a pedestrian bridge over the tracks and then onto haley farm state park.

pedestrian bridge

pedestrian bridge

haley farm is a smaller property than bluff point, and for some reason today it was overrun with high school kids. there were 3 school busses in the parking lot, and a line of at least 25 teenage girls in front of the one porta-potty. which i had planned to use. oh well.

some fine sulphur shelf mushrooms

some fine sulphur shelf mushrooms

beautiful chicken mushrooms! they were a bit too mature for my taste, so i left them. but i was tempted, i have to tell you.

barn foundation at haley farm

barn foundation at haley farm

there’s some really nice stone work on haley farm. i’d have taken more photos, but this was the only direction i could point my phone that wasn’t teeming with teens.

foliage

foliage

fall foliage isn’t just on the trees. this is some virginia creeper on a stone wall that is just the most gorgeous range of pastel colors.

unnamed pond

unnamed pond

after not one but two false starts, i finally found my way to the trail that skirts this pretty little unnamed pond. there were two bridges at stream crossings here that were proudly labelled as girl scout projects.

just past this pond you cross route 215 in groton, and almost directly across the street, you come to a pretty well-hidden trailhead on the mortimer wright preserve, which is a town-owned recreation property. the blue blazes of the crosstown trail were very prominent past this point, thank heavens.

from the wright preserve, you cross some more town-owned land, and then come to a gosa (groton open space association) property called the merritt family forest.

someone likes spiders...

someone likes spiders…

the bit of road-walking comes after you leave the merritt forest, and it was worth it to see this house. some people seriously get into decorating for halloween, i guess. the giant purple-and-black spider on the lawn? it moves. i swear it was watching me walk by.

view from the trail of beebe pond

view from the trail of beebe pond

the final part of the crosstown trail goes from the road to the trailhead for beebe pond park, which is a town-owned property. the blue crosstown trail blazes get a little dicey here. they aren’t quite the same shade of blue as the earlier blazes and are much more like just blobs of blue paint which range from kind of faded to badly faded. at one point the trail crosses a corner of avalonia’s moore woodlands, and the blazes change again, this time to a lighter blue rectangle with a fancy little black “X,” for x-town, i presume. but you’re only on the avalonia property for a short stretch, and then the blazes go back to faded blue blobs, and then, finally, disappear altogether. but by this time you’re skirting the east shore of beebe pond, and there’s only one way to go, which ends at the trailhead on route 215. it is at this point that, if you have any remaining energy (i didn’t) you can visit avalonia’s town’s end preserve.

my final verdict on this hike was that i loved it, and would do it again, especially now that i have a track in my phone i can follow, and not have to worry so much about getting lost.

i have added this hike to the hikefindertrailheadtrail map, courtesy of the town of groton, ct.

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