When Mike C. moved out of the neighborhood he gave me one of his books. It was Fifty Hikes in Connecticut. A Guide to Short Walks and Day Hikes in the Nutmeg State...by Gerry and Sue Hardy. I decided I wanted to attempt all fifty hikes over the next couple of years. Well, it took me two years to get to the first hike, and who knows if I will ever do all fifty....but I am going to try to get them all completed. As 0f August '99 I have given up on doing these in order. Many of the half day hikes are not very challenging and will wait for a "casual hike" day, therefore I will do the hikes as they become convenient.
Hike #1 Oak
Grove, Manchester 6/13/98
Hike #2 Great Pond, Tariffville 7/4/99
Hike #29 Mount Higby 10/30/99
Hike#37 Heublein Tower 8/22-23/99
Hike #1 Oak
Highlights: Pond, covered bridge
Total distance according to the book was 1.25 miles and should take about thirty minutes. It took Eileen and I twenty minutes....and that was with a couple of stops to take pictures. We were probably walking faster than a "hike" since we have been used to a fast walk exercise program. It was a pleasant, serene atmosphere and a nice short hike. Rating "D" ("Flat terrain, little or no elevation change, easy footing").
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Eileen and I attempted this hike in '98 but when we got to the parking lot the number of mosquitoes drove us away. It took a year but I headed out for Great Pond early on Saturday morning. When I was a mile from my destination it began raining, and by the time I pulled into the parking lot it was coming down real good.I had brought a throw away camera with me, but without a flash the pictures didn't come out. I had come prepared this time. I used my cutters bug lotion, put on an ugly yellow rain coat and headed out. The skeeters and gnats were pretty bad and got worse the closer to the pond I went. Some of the paths were a little overgrown and with the rain I had to duck under many bushes/branches. It took me an hour for a 1 1/2 mile hike but walking completely around Great Pond was worthwhile and even scenic in the rain. I would like to take this hike again on a DRY. day.
Highlights: Scenic reservoir, views, tower
I did a Saturday and a Sunday hikes off of the Talcott Mountain Reservoir map before I realized I had done the advertised 7 mile hike #37. The lower 3.5 miles of this hike consisted mostly of a dirt road circling the Reservoir #6 spillway. I wouldn't do this piece again. I felt out of place with my boots and water bottles. All of the people (too many) people I ran into were walkers and joggers. The second day I parked my car at the far end of the spillway and only had to travel a short distance on a dirt road before the trail began. This was a pleasant hike that the book rated as "C" ("Average terrain, moderate ups and downs and some need to watch footing"). The views were worth the hike and I was glad I had packed a camera. Click on the pictures to enlarge and use your browsers BACK button to return here.
|This was the trail going up.|
|My first view of the Heublein Tower....|
|This pavilion at the summit is where I ate my lunch and the view is from the pavilion.|
|This barbecue pit was built by the
Hartford Times (newspaper) in May of 1953 for a party occasioning the nomination of
President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
|Photos of Heublein's "summer home"|
|The "Heublein Tower" and a wonderful outdoor fireplace.
Highlights: Cliff views, volcanic formations
The book indicates 5 miles at 3 1/4 hours. Rating "B" ("Difficult terrain, steep climbs, considerable elevation gain or some poor footing or both"). The book also shows back tracking the first 2.5 miles to get back but I went with Steve G. who had a map showing the other end of the hike. We left a vehicle at the end and did this hike from one end to the other which was probably just a little over the 5 miles. It was a difficult enough trail to require many stops (mostly for me 'cause I am not in as good of shape as Steve) for water and to catch our (my) breath. I forgot my camera, but it was so foggy that early in the morning that when we reached the top you couldn't see anything anyway. I will do this hike again because it was a challenge for me and I would love to see the view.