The Henry Buck Trail in American Legion State Forest in Barkhamsted, CT, is such a good spot for spring wildflowers. The strange thing is that until now I had never hiked the entire trail, and it is only a little more than 2 miles long. Several times in early or mid-May I’ve hiked about 1/4 of a mile up the trail from West River Road, where there is parking for a few cars at both the southern and northern ends of the trail. Wild ginger, Dutchman’s breeches, violets, purple trillium were abundant.
Two days ago I hiked the entire thing. Because the trail basically goes up, over and then down, steeply in places, it is nice exercise even if only 2 or so miles. There is one spot where it was so steep I needed to take off my daypack and the camera around my neck and use my hands and feet to climb over wet, slippery rocks. My hiking time was about 90 minutes, including a few photo stops.
The wildflower of the day was false solomon’s seal, with its plumes of small white flowers and big, distinctive leaves. Came upon some nice colonies of Canada violet, one of the violets with white flowers. This one has yellow at the base of the petal, with delicate purple striping on the downward facing petal. Baneberry in bloom, probably white baneberry, and wild lily of the valley.
Came upon a colorful mushroom on a fallen hemlock at trailside. Appears to be hemlock varnish shelf mushroom. Crossed a couple of tumbling brooks feeding the Farmington River below. Striped maples begin to appear once you get to higher elevation. The forest is a rich mix of hardwoods with hemlock in places. This is a very woodsy walk among fairly mature trees. You might need an insect repellent, but you likely will not need sunscreen.