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Meshomasic Forest
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mini location map2022-06-21
6 by photographer avatarGrangerGuy
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Meshomasic ForestMiddlesex, CT
Middlesex, CT
Hiking6.10 Miles 656 AEG
Hiking6.10 Miles   2 Hrs   51 Mns   2.52 mph
656 ft AEG      26 Mns Break10 LBS Pack
1st trip
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I am doing the Shenipsit Trail in sections. June 21, 2022 I strolled the section from Hebron Ave (CT-94) south to the trailhead at Toll Gate Rd (CT-2). AEG for this section: 656' Southbound, 1081' Northbound

There is good parking on Hill Street, about 250 yards west of the trail on Hebron Ave. The trail looks like it starts on the lawn in someone’s front yard but is actually on an easement between 3314 and 3338 Hebron Ave in Glastonbury. There is a blue oval sign marking the trail. Leaving the lawn and following blue-painted blazes, the trail dives into the woods, and follows along an algae-covered pond. In a short distance, it comes out on Pheasant Crossing. Just past the second house on the right, there are blue blazes on a white box pointing between the houses, through a little orchard, and back into the woods.

The trail descends along the back boundary of several homes. Although not overgrown, the path is narrow and in tall grass. It passes a lily-covered pond which also has some beaver activity. At 0.8 mi from the trailhead, cross Diamond Lake Road. There is no obvious parking here. Turn right, and in about 100 yards, the trail turns left off the road just before a cable guardrail.

About a quarter mile on, there is another pond, which has the remains of a dam. Here I saw a great blue heron and heard a wood thrush, a scarlet tanager, and a blue jay singing a little chorus. Shortly after, the trail crosses Imperial Drive. There is no obvious parking at the crossing, but it is permitted at the intersection of Imperial Drive and Marlboro Road.

Drop steeply down to a freely flowing Flat Brook, and then climb back up a little to follow the brook at a respectful distance. At about ¾ mile from Imperial Drive, the trail enters the state forest, leaves the brook and heads sharply up the hill. In another ¾ mile or so, the trail begins following the ridge line southwest. There are some views from this ridge in the winter.

Along the ridge, the trail passes through the Zihrup Open Space Preserve of the Kongscut Land Trust. It is marked “Foot Traffic Only”, though there is evidence of wheeled traffic on the Shenipsit Trail. Shortly after John Tom Hill, the highest point in Glastonbury, at 881’, the trail re-enters the state forest. I heard a woodpecker, a yellow-bellied sapsucker according to the Cornell app.

At about 4 miles from the start, you may hear the sounds from the Glastonbury Shooting Range. Then soon after, the sounds of trucks on CT-2. At 5 miles, the trail begins a steep descent off the ridge. Trekking poles are valuable. There are lots of scratches in the rock from people slipping while wearing microspikes.

At 5.2 miles, the trail comes out alongside CT-2. Turn right along the highway, through a field of wood chips, and the blue-blazed trail appears. Following along the highway, near Dark Hollow Brook, there is a green-blazed trail heading down towards the highway. It may be possible to connect with the south section of the Shenipsit Trail using the culvert under the highway, following this trail. That is a problem for another day. The blue blazes continue parallel to the highway and begin following a concrete section of the old New London Turnpike. Pass the shooting range with a toilet, and then at 6.1 miles, arrive at the parking lot at the end of Toll Gate Road.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation None
Mountain Laurel was past its prime.

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