Meshomasic Forest - Shenipsit Trail - South, CT • Hike
for free!
  This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Meshomasic Forest - Shenipsit Trail - South, CT

Guide 0 Triplogs  0 Topics
  3 of 5 
no permit
5 0 0
Camino Campana Trail
Camino Campana Trail
tap icons for details
Difficulty 1 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 8.9 miles
Trailhead Elevation 299 feet
Elevation Gain 442 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,160 feet
Avg Time One Way 4 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 12.77
Interest Perennial Waterfall & Perennial Creek
Backpack No
feature photo
Photos Viewed All MineFollowing
5  2022-06-12 GrangerGuy
author avatar Guides 18
Routes 71
Photos 466
Trips 50 map ( 575 miles )
Age 65 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Associated Areas
list map done
Hartford Region
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Radar Map
Expand Map
Preferred Sep, Oct, Jul, Aug → 9 AM
Seasons   ALL
Sun  5:48am - 5:31pm
Official Route
0 Alternative

You can dodge the muddy bits
by GrangerGuy

  Likely In-Season!
The Shenipsit Trail runs from East Hampton, CT to Stafford, a distance of about 45 miles. It is divided into 3 main sections, south, central, and north. The south section, described here, follows wooded 4WD roads and a ridgeline path through deciduous forest. The Meshomasic State Forest is the oldest state forest in New England.

The trail is described from North to South because it gets better and better in that direction, and this leaves the steepest section as a downhill at the very end.

From the north trailhead, follow the blue blazes on the trees along a dirt road that progressively becomes more difficult for driving but is suitable for walking. These roads are ridden by motorbikes and the occasional 4WD vehicle, but I only saw one bike. There are numerous side roads, but the main route is extensively marked by blue blazes. Older descriptions include a spur trail heading north to CT-2, and connecting with the central section of the trail. This link was severed by the construction of the freeway and is no longer marked.

The path soon enters Meshomasic State Forest and is almost entirely within, or on the border, of the park. The road is occasionally muddy, but there are always paths that go around the muddy bits, so you can keep your shoes clean.

About 2.7 miles, the route makes a sharp right onto Portland Reservoir Road and follows it for about a mile before making a sharp turnoff to the left. At 5.6 miles, the route turns sharply left off the road and becomes a woodland trail for the first time. From here to the south trailhead, there are many geocaches, if you enjoy hunting for them. About 0.1 miles after becoming a trail instead of a road, the path takes a surprising sharp right turn straight up the hill to go over the very top of the Bald Hill. There might be views to the west from here in winter.

At about 6 miles, the trail climbs beside a stream where the water flows over a wide, steep black rock. Be sure to take pictures! The trail off and on follows old roads again, until crossing Woodchoppers Road, a graded dirt road. This road offers parking at the trail intersection.

Then the trail climbs to the ridge, which it follows closely southwest toward the summit of Great Hill at 770’. Just after the summit, the trail drops sharply and steeply down to the left, heading to the south trailhead. Before leaving the ridge, however, be sure to take the blazed blue/white spur trail to the overlook of Great Hill Pond and the Connecticut River. This is surely the climax of this hike.

In late spring, you may hear the songs of Ovenbird, Veery, Red-eyed Vireo, Tufted Titmouse, and Scarlet Tanager.

Several mountain laurel trees. This forest would be beautiful in the fall.

Volunteers maintain this trail from the Connecticut Forest & Park Association.

Check out the Official Route.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2022-06-16 GrangerGuy

    One-Way Notice
    This hike is listed as One-Way.

    When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$

    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    Northern Trailhead: From the CT-2 Bridge in Hartford over the Connecticut River, Take CT-2 East about 9 miles. Take Exit 10 and turn right on CT-83 for 0.1 mi. Go left ½ mile on New London Turnpike which becomes Wassuc Road. Go right on Country Club Road ½ mile, then left on Mott Hill Road 0.9 mile. Bear left on Dickinson Road and go about 0.3 miles to an unlabeled small parking area on the left. If you get to the gate on the left for Butler Construction, you have gone a little too far.

    Southern Trailhead: From the Arrigoni Bridge in Middletown over the Connecticut River, take CT-66 East 5 miles. Turn left on Depot Hill Rd and go ¾ mile. Turn right on Gadpouch Road and go ½ mile to the trailhead, which has a kiosk and small parking area on the left.
    page created by GrangerGuy on Jun 16 2022 7:35 am

    end of page marker