Friday, July 16, 2010

Mt Frissell, Connecticut High Point

Once again, what we ended up doing today was not what was planned.  It’s good to be flexible.

We started out the day with an adventure in route finding.  We had planned to hike the next section along the AT and got ourselves and our stuff loaded in the truck.  The directions were simple and we went straight to the parking lot where I was to start walking south.  However, in the small community of Falls Village, the bridge over US 7 was under construction.  Motorized vehicles were allowed to cross the now 1-lane bridge, but not hikers.  Also, along the way to the parking lot, Gene just happened to notice a detour sign posted where the AT crosses Warren Road.

In the parking lot, we got out all the information we had which wasn’t much since we don’t have the official ATC guidebook and map for Connecticut.  The information we have from is 10 years old.  The parking lot information was our best source, at least it was current.  What we badly needed was a map which we didn’t have at all.

The parking lot information indicated the trail had been rerouted due to the bridge construction and gave the names of the roads being used, but not where the detour started.  Without a map, we didn’t know where the roads were.  We drove back to the detour sign which was posted above a white blaze.  We knew that was the trail, so we decided to follow it and see what happened.  In about a mile we were out at the bridge construction.  We walked back to the detour sign.  We finally decided that this sign, which also gave the names of roads being used for the detour, was actually on the portion of trail that is temporarily closed.

One of the roads mentioned in both the parking lot information and on the detour sign was route 112.  We thought we knew where that was, so we got in the truck and headed that way.  Sure enough, we found a detour blaze.  We just kept driving on following all those orange and white blazes.  Finally, after about 3 miles down a couple country lanes, the detour blazes ended and the beloved white blaze appeared.

By this time, however, a couple of hours had passed and we were out of the notion for a 9-mile hike.  We found a place to turn around, we reviewed our options, and decided to check out Connecticut’s high point.  We were already pretty close, anyway.

Mt Frissell is in the far northwest corner of the state.  Well, actually the top of Mt Frissell is in Massachusetts.  The Connecticut state line runs along the south side of the mountain and the highest point along that line is Connecticut’s high point.  Connecticut is the only state where the high point is on the slope of the mountain.

The directions to the trailhead for the 1.2 mile hike to the high point were very clear and easy to follow.  The road, however, was something else.  First, we turned onto Mt Riga Road in Salisbury.  It quickly turned to gravel.  After 3 miles, we came to the junction with Mt Washington Road.  It, too, was gravel, but not as recently grated as Mt Riga Road.  We very slowly traveled the 3 miles to a small parking area just shy of the state line.

Looking toward New York

You would think there wouldn’t be anyone else around, but not true.  There were 2 cars parked at the trailhead, one car drove by on the road, the road grater from MA wanted to turn around in our parking area, and there was someone who stopped to ask us directions.  Unbelievable.

Much of the trail was through low shrubs on solid rock

We headed up the trail; and I do mean UP.  This was more a rock climb than a hike.  We finally made it to the top of Round Mountain and could see across to Mt. Frissell.  We descended slightly to cross the saddle between the two mountains.  The hike started out in MA and wove in and out between MA and CT so that when we finally reached the high point we were going downhill.

We made the photos, sat on the rock for a short break, then headed up and down, up and down to the truck.

I’m not saying what we have planned for tomorrow, because the plans are always changing.  We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

Connecticut state line marker

Til then.......

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