Tri-State Trek

Posted By on December 27, 2014

Tri-State Trek

4 miles; thompson, ct

a providence county hiking club hike again, and this time i kind of made up a loop from older hikes. we hiked 4 miles in 3 states. i kind of forgot what a bear that first mile up to the tri-state marker and then the midstate trail can be coming from ct,  but it was pretty easy walking after that. this is an interesting hike on a lot of levels. first, it starts at the exact location of the only 4-train wreck in u.s. history, at the intersection of east thompson road, new road, and the airline trail in connecticut, a rails-to-trails project that cuts across half of the state.

frosty trees

frosty trees

it wasn’t especially cold, but the trees along the side of the airline trail had a pretty coating of ice.

Hermit’s Cave, Outside


Hermit’s Cave, Inside

the next cool feature of this hike is slightly north of the airline trail, not too far along. it’s speculated that it is an old root cellar, but is beautifully preserved and built by “cobelling.” from wikipedia:

Corbelling, where rows of corbels gradually build a wall out from the vertical, has long been used as a simple kind of vaulting, for example in many Neolithic chambered cairns where walls are gradually corbelled in until the opening can be spanned by a slab.

Panorama of Bridge over the Trail

not far past the hermit’s cave is a decaying old wooden bridge that spans the trail high overhead. i am told it was built so that livestock could cross the train tracks.

the trail from the airline trail to the tri-state marker is very clearly marked, nominally blue-blazed, and a real bear. it’s pretty steep with a lot of loose rocks. i think i could easily handle either one or the other, but the combination of the two was nasty.

tri-state marker

tri-state marker

one more photo of the tri-state marker… i know. but it’s so cool! four trails radiate out from the marker. one is the one we just hiked, another heads back to the airline trail, the third goes south along the connecticut/rhode island border to connect to the trail system in buck hill management area (see my border trail hike), and the fourth trail, which we followed, heads east along the massachusetts/rhode island border, where it hooks up with the midstate trail in the douglas state forest. the midstate trail goes north to the new hampshire border through massachusetts. it’s very clearly marked with bright yellow triangles.

amazing complex of cellar holes

at the intersection of the midstate trail and the unnamed old woods road we followed that comes up from the border there are some amazingly beautiful cellar holes.

a brook along the trail

a brook along the trail

where the midstate trail hit a T-intersection and headed off to the right, we took a left, and hooked back up with the airline trail, and headed back to our cars.

this is a really nice hike, and if you do it in the order that we did, with the hard part first, it’s very pleasant. however, if you hike this between october and may, be aware that there is hunting in this entire area, and you need, and in fact are required by law, to wear blaze orange. we came across a large group of hunters during our hike.

i have added this hike to the hikefinder.


2 Responses to “Tri-State Trek”

  1. […] of it. This hike would lead us through all three states using various trails. We (myself, Auntie Beak, and a another fellow hiker) started at East Thompson Road where the Airline Trail crosses the […]

Leave a Reply