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2015-09-20  
Undermountain Trail, CT
mini location map2015-09-20
29 by photographer avatarddgrunning
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Undermountain Trail, CT 
Undermountain Trail, CT
 
Hiking avatar Sep 20 2015
ddgrunning
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1st trip
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I was out in Connecticut on a business trip. My "business" was on Monday, so I decided to fly in on Saturday and see if I could do some exploring of the countryside while I was there. After consulting with the HAZ forum and figuring out that everything is fairly close when you live in a smaller state like CT, I decided to hit up a section of the Appalachian Trail, which cuts 50 miles through the NW corner of the state. It was a little over an hour's drive from where I was staying in Farmington.

Alas, there is no hikeconnecticut.com site to give you the down-low on all things hiking in the state, so I was left to general internet searches, and settled on the Undermountain Trail, which incorporates a couple miles of the App. Tr. and also summits Bear Mountain--the highest summit in the state (but not, apparently, the actual high point, which ends up being a few miles away on the side of a mountain where it hits the Massachusetts border. [Kind of demoralizing when the high point in your state is merely part-way up the side of a mountain that peaks in another state ... :-s ]

My Garmin was having trouble firing up at the beginning, so I hiked the first .5 mile or so GPS-less :o It finally kicked in, so I could get a decent GPS track.

At the trailhead is a bathroom (a.k.a. "privy") which expressly encourages hikers NOT to pee in it, but rather to pee in the woods (see photoset).

The hike itself was beautiful. It starts out with a decent climb for the first mile and half or so, where it then joins the famous Appalachian Trial at "Riga Junction." This first part traverses through a thick, green, forest-covered canopy, which has desert-dwellers like me oohing and aahing. At the junction the trail ascends for another mile to the Bear Mountain summit, where you finally emerge from the forest and get a look at the surrounding area.

On the actual summit (all 2,354 ft. of it) is a rock tower/pyramid type structure that allows for a pretty impressive views to the east.

After some lunch and photos, I opted to continue on past the summit, from which the App. Trail drops down sharply on the north side of the mountain, and eventually intersects with the Paradise Lane trail, which skirts N-S along the side of Bear Mountain and deposits you back on the Undermountain trail, a little over mile from the trailhead.

From what I read, this is supposedly one of the more popular hikes in the state (as most "highest-summit-in-the-state hikes tend to be). That said, I didn't find it all that crowded. There was only one other couple on the summit while I was there.

The weather was perfect. Not quite cold enough yet to induce the leaves to change color on a large scale. I imagine that this area will literally explode with fall color in another month.

Beautiful place and nice to have done a bit of the famed Appalachian Trail to boot.

Some other decent information on the hike is at: berkshirehiking.com ... html
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