Hidden Valley Preserve/Shepaug River/Quartz Mine
ven. 3 mai à 15:30
Today we will walk beside the wild Shepaug River as it makes its way through the 650-acre Hidden Valley Preserve in western Connecticut. We will follow a mostly easy (but occasionally rough and rocky) trail through the Preserve, and visit a quartz mine that once helped support a small mining industry in the 19th Century. As we head for the mine, we will stroll past the banks of perhaps the wildest section of the Shepaug River. The final section of the trail to the mine is a series of cool switchbacks carved deep into the hills, which loom above the narrow path. The crunch of quartz pebbles snapping with each step will announce our approach to the mine. After visiting the mine we will take an alternate route back to the trailhead, but not before crossing perhaps the most beautiful footbridge in the entire northeast, aptly named the Henry David Thoreau Footbridge. There will be plenty of time for snacks, pictures, and more.... Those willing to travel a little farther afield will be richly rewarded for their efforts. This hike is a gem! Directions: From Washington Depot (Connecticut), follow Bee Brook Road (Rte. 47) north approximately 1.1 miles. The main parking lot is on the right immediately before crossing the Shepaug River. A smaller parking lot is located on the right immediately after crossing the river. To properly budget your travel time you should consider that Washington Depot is about 9 miles (17 minutes) from New Milford via CT Route 109-East. The trailhead can also be reached by traveling south on Rte. 47 from Rte. 202. Notice that today's hike will start at 10:00 a.m. rather than the usual 9:00 to allow for extra travel time from New York. For those who would like to join me and my wife Katherine for an afternoon coffee and snack after the hike, drive to New Preston and stop at the Nine Main Bakery and Deli (See Internet link below). Hike Summary: Distance: 5 miles more or less Type: Loop Total Elevation Gain: 200 feet Maximum Elevation: 700 feet Advertised Hiking Time: 2 and ½ hours Actual Hiking Time: 4 hours (a leisure walk, plus 45 minutes for lunch) Features: A walk along the Shepaug River, a visit to an old quartz mine, and the Henry David Thoreau Footbridge (see photos below). Trail: Combination of woods roads, rail beds, and footpaths. Map: Hidden Valley Preserve--Steep Rock Association GPS: Gear: It is recommended you wear sturdy hiking boots, and bring trekking poles, a light backpack, a liter of water (or more), bug spray, a compass, snacks, and lunch. Bring several layers of clothing that can be added or removed as weather conditions warrant. Optional gear might include sunglasses, hat, scarf, light rain jacket, and binoculars. I sometimes bring my MSR Pocket Rocket 2 stove kit, especially when the weather is cool, which allows me to make hot coffee or cider; and when the mood strikes my fancy--a hot lunch. I especially like Tasty Bite’s Indian Madras Lentils, which I can make in 10 minutes on my Pocket Rocket. Trail Details: Mostly flat, but with some rocky sections, and a moderate climb to the quartz mine. Rain cancels. You will be notified the night before. A new rain date will be announced. Important Links: Only in your state ( http://www.onlyinyourstate.com/connecticut/hidden-valley-preserve-ct/ ) More on Hidden Valley Preserve ( http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-marteka-washington-thoreau-bridge-0326-20170324-story.html ) 9 Main Street Coffee House ( https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g33854-d5317499-Reviews-Nine_Main_Bakery_Deli-New_Preston_Connecticut.html ) Liability Waiver: This hike is not organized by a professional hiker. Hiking or outdoor activities have inherent risks. Your participation in our hikes or other events could be dangerous and can result in serious injury, medical emergency, even death. You agree to participate in this event completely at your own risk and to take full responsibility for your own safety and well being, including those of your guests.
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