Shenipsit Trail, Section 2

Posted By on November 27, 2017

Shenipsit Trail, Section 2

9.3 miles; Glastonbury, CT

Another ball-buster (or should the expression in my case be ovary-buster?) of a hike, at least for me. Lots of ups and downs and I actually missed a turn and had to extend it more than I wanted to. Some great views, too, but the wind today was brutal at the overlooks.

Old New London Turnpike

Old New London Turnpike

This hike starts, naturally, where the last one left off, at Toll Gate Road in Glastonbury. Beyond the parking area, you find yourself on old concrete, which is all that’s left of an abandoned section of Route 2. I have previously explored this area in some detail here, so I won’t say much, except that there’s a very nice portajohn at the Glastonbury shooting range. Came in handy after my morning Dunkin’.

First Overlook

First Overlook

Once the Shenipsit leaves Old Route 2, it starts to climb. And climb. And climb. I was rewarded with a decent overlook, although I’m not sure of what, since as far as I can tell, I’m looking south here. Hartford is to the west of me.

Waterfall

Waterfall

About 4 miles into this walk there was a short, blue/white blazed spur trail that led to a pretty little waterfall.

Once past the waterfall, the trail then runs along the Flat Brook for about a mile and a quarter, with the brook being at the bottom of a steeply-cut valley, and the trail precariously following it partway up one of the steep slopes. This made for some not very fun walking. I kept thinking that it would be useful if my right leg was about 6 inches longer than my left…

Run-off Easements

Run-off Easements

At this point the Shenipsit enters McMansion-land. The trail emerges between two yards and into a bit of road-walking, then follows several run-off easements with these little catchment ponds and giant houses to either side. It’s a little weird but it’s only a short stretch, maybe 3/4s of a mile. Then a little more road-walking, maybe another half-mile, takes you back into the woods.

Um, What? Garnet Trail?

Um, What? Garnet Trail?

Where I encountered these signs. The Garnet Trail? Hey, Mr. Google, wtf is the Connecticut Garnet Trail?

Mr. Google: “The Connecticut Garnet Trail is designed to increase public understanding of local mineralogical and geological features.”

Um, okay. Can I see a map?

Mr. Google:

No, apparently I cannot, because the only maps available require specialized software to view. Alrighty-then. These signs were all along the blue-blazed trail here for quite a stretch, then they veered off to the right, and the Shenipsit kept going straight.

View of Hartford. Honest. Squint.

View of Hartford. Honest. Squint.

There were several amazing overlooks through this part of the hike, but I didn’t linger too long because the wind was punishing. Sure, I’ll use that as an excuse for not getting a very good shot of Hartford off in the distance.

Oh, and this is the point where I missed my turn back to my car. I was looking for the blue-and-white-blazed Gay City Connector trail. Missed it. Kept going for about another mile until I encountered the northern loop of the same blue-and-white-blazed trail which would eventually get me back to my car, but not for another mile and a half. Yeah, that’s an additional 2-1/2 miles further than I originally planned to hike. Why, you may ask, didn’t I just turn around? BECAUSE I DON’T BACKTRACK, THAT’S WHY. It’s a thing.

Interesting Rocks

Interesting Rocks

Speaking of geology, there were several places through this last part where the rock formations were intriguing. They looked like the very fat pages of a book.

Next section: Case Mountain Park. This place has been on my list of “Hikes I’d Like to Do” for quite some time. Should be interesting.

You can read more about the vast (825 miles at last count) network of blue-blazed trails throughout Connecticut at the website of the Connecticut Forest and Park Association. Be sure to check out the interactive map. As always, click on the image, above, for details about this hike and to download the GPS track.

UPDATE: See the pdf link in the comment below for a MASSIVE amount of information on the Connecticut Garnet Trail! Hat-tip to David Brierley of Story of the Yawgoog Trails!

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