Sky’s The Limit # 18: Salmon River State Forest

If you want to check on the hikes that I completed so far as part of this challenge, go here.

Prologue: A hiking challenge is going on this year by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEEP) in the state of Connecticut where I live, “Sky’s The Limit”. We have to finish a hike in the chosen 20 Park and Forest locations before December 3rd this year Each location has some specific points of interest that the departments asks us to take pictures of and document them. Most of the Parks and Forests are located in an hours of driving distance, except a few. I decided to take this challenge and hopefully will be able to complete all of them. Here we go!

Next up is Salmon River State Forest. This is # 18 on the list provided by DEEP. I am not following the order they have listed. I am just going to any hike I can whenever I can from that list. 🙂

Salmon River State Forest with 6000 acres of forest land covers several towns in Connecticut – Hebron, Marlborough, Colchester, East Haddam and East Hampton. We did the Salmon River Blue Trail from Colchester part of the state forest.

All through the trail we got to see so many of these Mountain Laurel bushes and small trees, Connecticut’s State Flower. The forest floor was full of various kinds of fern plants, it made a beautiful bed, if I may say so.

We came across so many wooden footbridges along the hike, including this bridge made and donated by Cub Scouts Pack 67 and Boy Scout Troop 109. Most part of the trail was easy to hike with steady elevation of forest floor path and some boardwalk floor, but there were several areas that needed us to wade through rocks and some places climb over them.

Several tributaries of Salmon River – Dickinson Stream, Blackledge River, Jeremy River, and Fawn Brook – all enter the main river above the Comstock Bridge. And further down from here Salmon River joins the Connecticut River in the town of East Haddam.

In the middle of the nineteenth century, Salmon River and its tributaries each had more mills operating took aid of the water supply from them during the lean years of rainfall. Though now there are no more mills surrounding the area, but it has become a popular fishing area.

As I mentioned we began with the Comstock Bridge Trail going through the South Loop of the Blue Trail and continued onto the North Loop. This Day Pond cuts the trail into North and South Loop.

And oh we got to see some fauna as well – little tortoise with yellow spotted shell. As we went up the South Loop we came across the same Powerline Connectors we came across while hiking up the North Loop earlier. Again we found several Mountain Laurel bushes here too.

But we also saw this abandoned car or truck that is now in ruins. Someone must have left it out a decade ago may be, and the forest is claiming it.

As always I was thrilled to see the waterfall by the Day Pond Brook. This added an additional half mile for us but we didn’t want to miss it out the falls. 😛 This was flowing in three or four tiers. We went down to the third tier and climbed back up.

Good thing we took a detour to the falls. Not only we got to see the beautiful waterfalls but also glimpse of blue heron (I think that is what it was)!

And finally this beautiful view from the top most point of the trail.

I had been to Salmon River last year for a picnic with friends. The river runs so lazily that we could park your chairs in the middle of the stream, and relax letting your feet soak, and just enjoy the beautiful nature around. I have been looking forward to hike this place ever since. Finally, I got to do it.

Other points of interest we found beginning with this cutout of Smokey the Bear, the fictional bear and mascot teaching everyone the safety measures and hazards of forest fires, and also learn various skills of survival.

When we started it was a light drizzle of rain, and hoped it would go away. However, as the hike went the rain poured and we finished the entire hike in pouring rain, drenched and cold. It was super fun doing a hike in rain too; a first time for me. The rain did make a good photography filter for us.

What started out to be a medium 4.5 mile hike ended up being an 8 mile hike in full force of downpour, total fun and thoroughly enjoyed.

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