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 Cockaponset State Forest. This is # 14 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. 🙂
Cockaponset State Forest is the second largest state forest in the state of Connecticut stretching between the towns of Chester and Haddam. It is named after an Indian Chief who’s buried in the Ponset section of Haddam side of the Forest. Apart from hiking, the forest is a favorite spot for cross-country skiing; hunting; fishing; mountain biking; snowmobiling; horseback riding; boating and swimming.
We parked Horse Trail Parking area by the Pattaconk Reservoir; started the hike of the Cockaponset Trail (Blue trail) on the Chester side of the forest, went up towards Haddam side and then back. Beautiful fall colors, and a post-rain wetness to the nature created a canvas that only Mother Nature could paint for us.
We passed several wooden bridges, some stone bridges; and some made of just fallen logs across the trail of streams extending from Pattaconk Reservoir.
We passed Collier’s Hut Remains on the way, A relic from Connecticut’s rural past, a collier’s hut is a charcoal maker’s hut. All that was left of once thriving iron industry was this ruins of a stone chimney.
There were several rocky walls cutting across the trail, perhaps some kind of boundary markings.
The view above and below our feet was spectacular with colors and tapestry of the leaves.
We also found a tree that looked like the top part of a trident or trishul. I wonder if there is something below ground for that fact. 🙂
And finally we reached the ruins of an Observation Tower, at which point we turned around back to the parking lot. Although we detoured a little to go by the Pattaconk Reservoir making it close to 7.5 mile loop.
We came across a couple of mountain bikers along the trail. But otherwise it was a pretty hike all for ourselves, enjoying the nature, fall colors and some lovely ruins.