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Shenipsit Trail: Somers to Ellington
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mini location map2022-08-27
12 by photographer avatarGrangerGuy
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Shenipsit Trail: Somers to EllingtonTolland, CT
Tolland, CT
Hiking11.30 Miles 1,942 AEG
Hiking11.30 Miles   7 Hrs   45 Mns   1.46 mph
1,942 ft AEG10 LBS Pack
1st trip
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
With this hike, I’ve completed the Shenipsit Trail, except for the boring road bits, and an isolated section along Shenipsit Lake, which I don’t feel compelled to hike. I created guides for the southern and central sections, but kingsnake was here first on the northern section. Some trail has been added since the guide was published. I hiked all the way from the current north terminus at the intersection of Old Springfield Road and Greaves Road in Stafford Springs south to Grahaber Road near Bonair Hill Road in Tolland. The one-way adventure is 11.3 miles, AEG 1942’.

Update to the guide: The observation deck has been rebuilt and is nice. A good place to look above the treetops well into Massachusetts. You can see for miles and miles and miles and miles and miles.

There is good parking at the north terminus, about 0.1 mi up Greaves Road. At the southern end, there is grassy shoulder on the south side of Grahaber where my wife met me. If the grassy shoulder doesn’t appeal to you, official parking per the Connecticut Forest and Park Association is at the cul-de-sac at the end of Bonair Hill Road, about 2/3 mile away.

This part of the Shenipsit is well-maintained, and pleasant all the way. I ran into the trail steward, a spritely 83 years old, with his gloves and loppers. It had rained hard the day before, and the ferns encroach the trail, so I got a little wet at times, but it was pleasant in the late summer heat.

Although the Shenipsit State Forest is criss-crossed with two-tracks, and potentially wheeled vehicles, the north section down to Parker Road is on hiker-only single track. South of there, the trail follows on or near two-track, and there were some unmuffled bikes nearby that took away some of the experience of solitude. There is also a gun range just north of the trail intersection with Gulf Road and Sodom Road that impacted the experience somewhat.

At the end of August, the trees were just starting to turn and lose their leaves. Thanks to the Connecticut Forest and Park Association for making this trail possible.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
Just starting!

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