West Thompson Lake

Posted By on August 6, 2012

West Thompson Lake

4.8 miles   ★★★★

unlike saturday, today was a wonderful day for a hike. a line of storms moved through the area last night and the humidity went away. this is a very interesting place, maintained by the army corps of engineers. i was here briefly last april, and have been wanting to come back. well maintained, if not very clearly marked, trails, different kinds of habitat and a pretty lake.

west thompson lake dam

west thompson lake dam

after leaving the boat ramp, the yellow trail kind of disappeared into the disc golf course, so it was a little challenging to find my way to the base of the dam. but once i did, there was only one way to go. a set of old stairs led the way back up.

purple loosestrife

purple loosestrife

there was a good bit of purple loosestrife around, but not a massive amount. it’s a shame that it’s so pretty.

dodder

dodder

on a day like this, even the dodder looked pretty. but not, i’m guessing, to the environmentalists and rangers that manage this area.

grasslands habitat

grasslands habitat

this shoreline trail/road runs through a section of the park that is managed as a grassland habitat for eastern meadowlark and bobolinks. signs are posted all through here explicitly forbidding unleashed dogs, the first of which i came across right after i passed a lady walking with two, you guessed it, unleashed dogs. why do people do that?

across from the boat ramp

across from the boat ramp

i haven’t talked much about the lake. it’s about 3 miles long, and narrow, really just a wide spot in the quinebaug river. the dam is at the lake’s southern end. at this point, i’m directly across from the boat ramp, which is where my car was parked. that’s joe pye weed in the foreground. that, and goldenrod, which was also in bloom, are sure signs of summer’s end approaching.

fox grapes

fox grapes

as are these ripening wild grapes. i’ll admit to sampling a couple… so good.

west thompson lake recreation area can be accessed from route 12 in thompson, connecticut; trail map here.

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