Sunday, June 5, 2016

Steep Rock Preserve

Hello, everyone!

What a lovely day to be out hiking. Okay. It was raining, but I don't melt. And the rain kept the temperatures down and the crowds away.  I had a lovely, peaceful walk at Steep Rock Preserve in Washington Depot, Connecticut.

My initial plan was to do the 3-mile Green Circle Trail, but I was distracted by some of the other trails that crossed my path and ended up doing somewhere near six miles. The trails are paths and roads with fairly even surfaces. Parts of the Yellow Circle Trail are paved road.  The detours I took to the Steep Rock summit and to the old railroad tunnel both had some steeper sections, but for the most part, it was easy going.

I began on the Green Circle Trail, but soon meandered off onto side trail that wanders through fields closer to the river.  This side trail allows access to camping sites, but the fields were also home to some beautiful wildflowers.

I continued on this side trail (SR1 and SR2) until it made its way back to the Green Circle Trail. After crossing a bridge, I turned right onto a White Diamond Trail, which soon merged left onto the Yellow Circle Trail. I followed the Yellow Circle Trail up toward the summit.  (The Yellow Circle Trail will come to a tee, to reach the summit, go to the right).

There is a lovely view from the summit (even on an overcast day) and it is a great place to take a break.

. . . and possibly make new friends.

On the way back down I detoured again onto an unmarked trail off to the left. In a few hundred feet I reached an opening to a meadow overlooking a farm.

I headed back to the Yellow Circle Trail and followed it (to the right at the fork) back down to the Green Circle Trail. I turned right on the Green Circle Trail, which took me to along the river the suspension bridge.

I took the bridge, heading right on the Yellow Circle Trail, then right on the Blue Square Trail. The Blue Square Trail soon makes a left turn  and heads straight until it merges with the Orange Square Trail. This trail loops around and goes through an old railroad tunnel, before merging again with the Blue Square Trail.

Heading straight from the far side of the tunnel, the Blue Square Trail will eventually merge again with the Yellow Circle Trail (now a paved road), and head back to the start of the hike.

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