Alan's Trail Report

Alan’s Trail Report

 

The April 12, 2020 Trail update:
Barkhamsted’s tall trail junction sign posts, along with repainted trail blazes, make it easy to
find your way in Peoples State Forest. They have also added a number of new historic and
environmental kiosks on the Charles Pack and Robert Ross Trail, as well as the new
boardwalk into Beaver Marsh Pond off the Agnes Bowen Trail.


Farmington has added a narrow boardwalk over a muddy area near the start of the very
popular New England Trail South.


Burlington trails provide the most adventure, the most recent being a timber harvest that
closed a portion of 9 trails. The harvest has been completed, but a mile section of the Blue &
Yellow Dot Trail (B/Y) between the Purple Dot Trail junction and Punch Brook Road will be reblazed
this spring. This section is found near the end of 4 BLT hikes. Unless you are
extremely familiar with this section, it would be prudent to wait a few months.
Sessions Woods provides access to a large number of trails which remain open, but with the
following small viewing areas closed during COVID-19: Summer House, Lookout Tower, Bird
Blind, Wildlife Blind, and the Vernal Pool platform.


It is important to read the trail description of the hike to be sure you are comfortable with the
challenges. Burlington has the most technical trails in the Valley (6 Class 2 trails), as well as
the most stream crossings, many without a traditional bridge. There are also a large number
of new mountain bike trail crossings that might look like your hiking trail. The mountain bike
trails avoid using blue to mark their trails and many of them are unmarked. The blue blaze
hiking trail junction signs are 50 years old and may be missing or have fallen to the base of
the tree. Having a copy of the trail map and text is important because they describe where to
find the trail junctions.


The big change in the Farmington Valley is the unmarked closing of 0.5 miles of the Tunxis
Trail where it crosses Saw Mill Road in Burlington, due to a new housing development. The
Center Tunxis Hike is now shorter and should be done as 2 “out & back” hikes from the north
& south parking locations.


Please check back for future Trail Report updates.


The beauty of hiking the CCC Triple Crown is that it is designed for an individual, family,
or group to do on their own. Most of these hikes are half day loops that require just one car
to drive to the trailhead. The trail map and description can be placed on your cell phone. By
reading the text you will know the miles, vertical feet, and hiking time to plan each hike.
The BLT also does group hikes for the VMC. These hikes are normally loop hikes less
than 4.0 miles long, that are completed in under 3 hours. These hikes are limited to a group
of 10 and registration is requested. These group hikes have been stopped during the COVID
crisis. Check the BLT web site for future VMC hikes.