Big Mount Misery Loop

Posted By on November 30, 2012

Big Mount Misery Loop

8.56 miles   ★★½

i had so much fun doing the (almost) 8-mile vin gormley trail on monday that i decided to do another 8-miler, this time in the pachaug state forest. well, i found out there’s a big difference between (almost) 8 miles on a flat, well-traveled footpath and 8 1/2 miles on what were at times horrible trail conditions with a lot of 200+ foot elevation changes, some pretty durned steep. oh, and the cold. did i mention the cold? monday, it was cool and sunny. this trip was cold and overcast. big difference. i don’t think i’ve ever been so glad to see my car at the end of a trail.

pines atop mount misery

pines atop mount misery

this is from the overlook at mount misery. the pines are quite beautiful, in a twisty and gnarly way. i think, also, this was the last time i saw the sun.

farm on breakneck hill road

farm on breakneck hill road

the pachaug state forest was acquired by the state of connecticut during the great depression, when a lot of small farmers simply could no longer make a go of it. there were some holdouts, though. this small farm is still a going concern. i startled a couple little pink pigs on this road, and a flock of chickens. the trail emerges from the woods, follows breakneck hill road for a stretch past this farm and then goes back onto state land and back into the woods.

phillips pond picnic area

phillips pond picnic area

after the farm, i turned onto the quinnebaug trail, which is just uniformly horrible to walk on… lots of baked-potato-sized loose rocks just lying in wait to turn an ankle on. i hiked another part of the quinnebaug back in march, and it was equally miserable. but it does bring you to this pretty little picnic area and pond, so it has at least that to redeem itself.

lonely partridge berry

lonely partridge berry

saw this one lonely little partridge berry nestled amid some moss and lichen on the trail.

this hike can be accessed from the parking area in the chapman area of the pachaug state forest in voluntown (trail map here). i took the pachaug/nehantic trail from the parking area to mount misery, then the nehantic up to the nehantic/quinnebaug crossover, to the quinnebaug trail. then i took the quinnebaug/pachaug crossover trail, and then back to my car via the pachaug trail.

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