Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Mallard Marsh and Little Pond, Litchfield, CT

January 1, 2014

Miles: 4.7
Time:  2 hours

Parking: Large lot in White Memorial Conservation Center's museum, Whitehall Road, Litchfield, CT

Rest rooms: None (museum/gift shop was closed).

Hike directions: AMC's Best Day Hikes Connecticut Hike #9 (this is the older edition of the book)

Map: White Memorial Conservation Center 
I couldn't find a decent map of this place. The ones I found online were too small or too blurry.
They had a large clear map posted at an information kiosk, but I didn't find one for visitors.
The museum/gift shop was closed, or I would have asked in there if they have one.
The map in the book doesn't show all of the trails. 
We didn't carry the book - we probably should have, as the book has turn by turn directions.

Hike description: Very easy hike with wide level trails and a very long boardwalk.
At first I hated this hike. It is more of a place for people to walk their dogs, or take their young kids.
You will meet a lot of dogs on this hike.
However, the park is very pretty. 
The Mallard Marsh portion of this hike had fewer people. Parts of the trail were flooded from the marsh.
It was extremely cold today, so it was frozen. We carefully walked on top of the ice, sometimes falling through.
The Little Pond portion of the hike had a lot of people. Many people seem to come just to walk around the pond.
There is a 1 mile boardwalk that goes next to and through the pond. It is spectacular! 
The boardwalk is narrow. Because of this, I recommend only a 1 dog to 1 person ratio. 
It is hard to pass someone on the boardwalk without a dog, and adding in a dog makes it more challenging.
Especially if your dog doesn't like to be in close proximity of other dogs!
Sometimes you can jump off the boardwalk, sometimes not so much.

I combined this with another short hike to Mount Tom State Park, just a few miles away.

Post-hike dinner: Chipotle, Danbury, CT

Year to date miles:   4.7
The trails are very wide, and very level, making for super easy hiking.

Some (not all) trails were blazed, but we didn't have a good map of the trails, so the blazes didn't help.

Mallard Marsh

Mallard Marsh - we saw signs of beaver activity

Flooded trail near the marsh. We walked very slowly.

Onto the boardwalk, which is more than a mile long.

Little Pond

Walking through the pond

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