Sunday, June 2, 2013

Metacomet Trail - Poplar Hill Drive To Nike military base

June 2, 2013
Distance: 6.6 miles
Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Year to date miles: 123.4

Map: Connecticut Walk Book East or Metacomet Hiking Trail (a little hard to read)

Parking: culdesac at end of Polar Hill Drive, Farmington, CT. We spend 20 minutes looking for the trailhead. The culdesac is in an area of very expensive houses - there was only one house on the culdesac (new construction and for sale). We walked all around in the grass trying to find a trail (saw several stakes with colored marks - but they weren't the trail. Eventually we found it. From the culdesac, walk along the road, and at the first lamppost (on the left), there is what looks like tire tracks that head to the left. Turn left at the tire tracks, and within a few feet, there are signs for the trail to the left.

Restrooms: None (thought there is a Dunkin Donuts right off the highway, so a good place to stop)
Post hike dinner: None

Directions: Once on the trail follow the blue blazes.  This hike has one street crossing - Route 6, which is a busy street, at 0.7 miles. Although the book said no parking is  allowed on Route 6, there are spots for around 3 cars there, and someone else had parked there. In 1.7 miles, pass Will Warren's Den. There is an interesting story that goes along with that - the site has a cave. At 1.8 miles, reach Rattlesnake Mountain (there is a ledger at the site), which has a nice view. At 2.0 miles pass under power lines (we also passed by a television tower). At 2.7 miles, reach Pinnacle Rock summit - rather disappointing view of very expensive suburban houses & a shopping mall. We continued to the former Nike missile military base - but there really wasn't much to see other than chain link fences/barbed wire. We came to another view, and then retraced our steps.

Notes: We had hot humid weather, and thunder for half of the hike. We probably would have enjoyed the hike more without those. Will Warren's Den was a nice area. Glen liked the communication tower buildings ;)  The trail had quite a bit of broken glass, even in non-view areas.

Parking area

The start of the trail, which took us a long time to find.

Now we know we are in the right place.

Sign immediately after crossing busy Route 6.

Will Warren's den - a cave

Register for Rattlesnake Mountain

View from Rattlesnake Mountain

One hot dog

The trail goes through an interesting tunnel below Rattlesnake Mountain

Pinnacle Rock. Not such a nice view.

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