Saturday, February 1, 2014

CT Appalachian Trail - Section 3 - Mohawk Trail to Caesar Brook, with Pine Knob Loop trail

February 1, 2014

Miles: 6.2
Time: 4 hours
Elevation gain: 2127 feet

Parking: Route 7, Pine Knob Loop parking lot (north of intersection with route 4), Cornwall Bridge, CT. 
GPS: N 41 degrees 49.991', W 073 degrees 23.008'
There is room for around 8 cars in a parking lot off the road.

Rest rooms: none

Hike directions: 
From parking area, start on blue blazed Pine Knob Loop trail.
When the trail splits, stay left.
Turn left on the Appalachian trail (southbound)
Cross Hatch brook (we found this crossing difficult due to ice - and had to walk around to find a safe place to cross)
Hike until sign for Mohawk trail/Breadloaf mountain.
Turn around and head north on the Appalachian trail.
When you reach Pine Knob Loop trail, stay straight on the combined AT/Pine Knob Loop trail.
Ascend to Pine Knob (has a view).
Where Pine Knob Loop splits off to the right, stay straight on the AT.
Continue to sign for Caesar Brook Campsite, and reach Caesar Brook.
Turn around and head south on the Appalachian trail.
Turn left on Pine Knob Loop trail
Reach another lookout/ledges.
The trail descends pretty steeply.
Return to parking lot.

Map: Appalachian Trail Guide to Massachusetts Connecticut  or Connecticut Walk Book West

Hike description: This was a pretty slow hike due to the wet mushy snow. Met very few hikers - they were doing just the Pine Knob Loop trail. Everyone was bare booting it, but I think snowshoes or microspikes might have been helpful. One stream crossing was very hard - I don't particularly like stream crossings, and on this one there was ice covering parts of the stream and the rocks.

Post-hike dinner: Chipotle, Danbury, CT

Year to date miles:   30.3

Parking area off of Route 7

Very close to the trailhead, the trail splits. We headed left first.

Turning onto the AT

Our turnaround point on the AT

Our troublesome stream crossing that we had to do twice. This was the safest place I found to cross - still tricky, as you didn't know where the ice would support your weight.

On top of Pine Knob

Taking the AT northbound for a bit before we returned to Pine Knob Loop.

We hiked until Caesar Brook, just past this campsite.

Cairns next to another overlook on Pine Knob

Pretty view from the ledges

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