Cockaponset Trail South

Posted By on April 9, 2017

Cockaponset Trail South

8.41 miles; Haddam and Chester, CT

Day Three and Hike #3 of Five Hikes in Five Days was a bit more challenging than days 1 and 2. I took this opportunity to finish this one blue-blazed trail system. It’s nice you don’t have to out-and-back on the same trail, what with all the side trails. This was a gorgeous day and into the 60s. FINALLY. Oh, and hit 100 miles for the year today, also FINALLY.

I had done the first part of this Connecticut Forest and Park Association blue-blazed hiking trail in January, and I really loved it. The total length of this trail is 7.4 miles, according to the CFPA, and the first part was very much short of being half that length, meaning today’s hike would be a longer one.


The sign above says it’s only 7 miles total to the trailhead I started from last time. Not actually! By the time I got to the spot I left off last time, it came to 4 1/2 miles. Hiking the complete blue-blazed part of the trail would come to more like the advertised 7 1/2 miles.

Water Crossing

I was lulled into a false send of security by this very sturdy bridge. There were at least a dozen more water crossings, and no more bridges, alas. They were mostly pretty navigable, but there were a few where I had visions of very wet feet, but somehow I managed to stay pretty much dry the whole time.

The Trail

This end of the Cockaponset Trail is not as fancy as the Northern end. It had about 85% fewer “art cairns,” too, but 100% fewer CCC-built steps.


Like all the best CFPA blue-blazed trails, this one had excellent blazing and signage. Well, for the most part. That South Pattaconk Trail in the sign? It’s a red-and-blue blazed side trail, and it was not very well blazed. I guess they just haven’t gotten around to refreshing the blazes.

Comfy Rock Chair

Another comfy rock chair, like on Great Swamp. Well, more like a rock loveseat. This time it’s beside the the Pattaconk Reservoir. The beautifully-blazed Northern Pattaconk Trail follows the shoreline of this reservoir.

The Pattaconk Reservoir

Speaking of which, here is a better view of the Pattaconk Reservoir.

White Blazes?

This sign for the Quinimay Trail and set of white blazes kind of caught me by surprise. They’re not on the CPFA’s maps. Turns out they were built and are maintained by the Lower Connecticut River Valley Horseman’s Club. You can read more about this trail on their website. It is open to all passive recreation, meaning hikers can use it, too.

Trailhead for this hike is at approximately 276 West Main Street, Chester, CT. As always, click on the above image for details and to download the GPS track. Learn more about the Cockaponset State Forest and Trail on this CFPA website.


Leave a Reply