Powered by Bravenet Bravenet Blog

Thursday, April 3rd 2014

4:11 PM

Lookout and Birch Mtns CT 4/3/14

      This was my first hike of 2014.  When I arrived at the parking area at 12:20 PM, it was sunny and 57 degrees.  When I finished the hike the temperature was up to 62 degrees.  It was beautiful weather for hiking.

     I took the white trail to the pink trail to the top of Lookout Mtn (744') which has beautiful views of Hartford CT and Manchester CT.  I had lunch here enjoying the view.  A bearded hiker came up and talked to me while I was on the summit.  He said he was doing a long loop today because the weather was so nice.

     My plan was to take the yellow trail to the B/Y trail to Case Mountain.  The yellow trail was very beautiful and scenic.  I missed the turnoff and went on a long loop south towards Birch Mtn.  When I got to the lower B/Y trail I turned north again.  The trail descended to a large vernal pond with clacking frogs.  It didn't go up to the top of Birch Mtn (786').  I bushwhacked up to the viewless summit and noticed that Birch Mtn is a long north-south ridge with a depression in the middle.  I was on the north peak and it wasn't clear if the south peak was or was not higher. 

     I then bushwhacked back down and proceeded north towards Case Mtn.  However the B/Y trail north seemed to be going down quite a lot which is not what I wanted.  I decided to go south instead and see if the southern part of Birch Mtn is really the highest point.  The B/Y trail met the Shenipsit trail and went right over the southern high point of Birch Mtn.  I decided that the two peaks were virtually identical in elevation.  The Shenipsit trail then swerved off to the west without going over the north peak where I had bushwhacked before.  I took this to the yellow trail and then back up to Lookout Mtn.  Going back, I took a wrong turn at a flooded spot in the pink trail and ended up on the Highland trail going south.  Eventually I figured this out and returned to the correct trail.  I was back at the car at 3:20 PM.

     Many of the trails have the same color for a meandering loop which is confusing because knowing the color of the blazes will not help you if you aren't sure where you are in the loop.   Overall this is a great place to hike and parts of it seem like wilderness even though it is close to Hartford.

0 total marks / leave your mark