Sunday, October 2, 2016

Mine Hill Preserve

Hello, everyone.

This week's outing took me up to Connecticut to explore the Mine Hill Preserve.  The hike I followed led into the woods, a mix of deciduous and coniferous trees, with lots of moss and ferns.  There were no views or waterfalls this trip.  The main attraction was the remnants of old iron mines and furnaces.

From the parking lot, I followed the blue blazes counterclockwise on a 3.5 mile loop. I began by taking the Donkey Trail uphill. The trail soon leads to a pond, mostly dried up when I was there in early fall.  At this point, the yellow-blazed nature trail leads off to the right.  This trail offers a 0.3 mile detour and joins back up with the blue trail further along.  (The nature trail comes to a t-intersection with a light blue trail. Turn left here. A short distance later the trail will come to another intersection. Turn right to rejoin the Donkey Trail).

As you continue uphill on the Donkey Trail you will begin to notice openings in the rock outcroppings on the left.  Further up, there are barriers constructed over deep pits.

Continue following the blue blazes.  Eventually you will see signs indicating the top of the Donkey Trail 0.5 miles back the way you had come and the Quarry Bridge 0.5 miles ahead.  Continue ahead. When you reach the Quarry Bridge preserve, the Mine Hill Loop (marked with the same dark blue blazes) will continue to the right.  From here, the trail becomes a mountain road.

The road parallels a field adjacent to the Shepaug River. While you will be able to see the river for a short stretch, the trail never runs down to the river's edge.

Before reaching the parking lot you will find several large blast furnaces, left from the short period steel was manufactured at the sight in the nineteenth century.

1 comment:

  1. Truly beautiful photos! I love the Queen Anne's Lace