Sunday, July 21, 2013

Case Mountain, Shenipsit Trail

July 21st, 2013
Distance: 4.8 miles 
Time: 2 hours 29 minutes
Year to date miles: 160.8
Parking: Spring Street, Manchester, CT, right next to a one lane bridge. Parking spaces for around 5 cars on the side of the road. The bridge was closed & under construction when we were there. It looked like there was a larger parking area on the opposite side of the bridge.
Post hike dinner: Whole Foods, Hartford, CT
Restrooms: none
Find hiking kiosk on Spring Street, right near bridge.
Follow paved white blazed trail (Carriage Trail).
Continue straight on white trail, passing pink blazed Highland trail on the right.
Where white trail splits left and right, stay left to follow a clockwise loop.
Arrive at Case Pond.
Where white trail splits left and right, turn right (turning left takes you to Birch Mountain Road parking area).
When the white trail hits the blue blazed Shenipsit Trail, turn left onto the Shenipsit Trail.
Shortly after, turn right on the blue/yellow blazed Birch Mountain trail.
Hike to case Mountain summit (elevation 735') - no view.
Continue, passing yellow blazed trail.
Hike to Birch Mountain summit (elevation 786') - no view.
The blue/yellow trail ends at the Shenipsit Trail.
Turn right onto the blue blazed Shenipsit trail.
Pass the white blazed Carriage Trail.
Pass the yellow blazed Lookout Mountain trail on the right.
Turn left onto the yellow blazed Lookout Mountain trail.
Hike to Lookout Mountain summit (elevation 744') - view of Manchester & Hartford.
From the summit, head to the bench, and follow the pink blazed Highland Trail south.
Pass the white blazed Carriage Trail.
On the opposite side of the Carriage Trail be careful - a white/silver blazed trail is straight ahead.
We followed it for a while, thinking that our map was wrong.
That trail wasn't on our map.
We retraced our steps, and found the pink trail starting just to the right of the white/silver trail.
Follow the pink blazed trail north.
Turn left on the white blazed Carriage Trail.
Arrive at parking area.
This was a pretty easy hike. Even though there are 3 mountains, there really is minimal elevation gain, and you could easily miss 2 of them, if you didn't look at the map.
We swam our dogs at Case Pond. There were people fishing there. The pond near Lookout Mountain is more of a murky puddle - not good for swimming.
Lookout Mountain (the one with the view), has a ton of broken glass on the ground.
The white blazed carriage trail is the least interesting - the footing was gravel, and most of the people we saw were on it. The other trails in the area are much nicer - smaller trails in the woods, with less exposure to the sun.
There are mountain bikers on the trails.
There are a lot of un-blazed side trails in  the park. There is also an error in the map in the book, where the book doesn't show the white blazed carriage road hitting the Shenipsit trail once, early on.
So, following the trails at times was confusing.
Kiosk at trailhead

Nice list of trails. Couldn't find this online.

The ugly beginning of the trail.

Passing the pink blazed trail.

Taking a breather already. There are a few benches along the trail.

Case Pond

A good opportunity to cool the dogs down

Approximate summit of Case Mountain.

Approximate summit of Birch Mountain

Summit of Lookout Mountain (I'm hiding in the shade).

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