Nov 20, 2012
The 2,184-mile-long Appalachian Trail is part of the triple crown of long-distance hiking trails in the U. S., rivaled only by the Continental Divide and Pacific Crest trails.
All of them are wonderful, but only the Appalachian Trail is celebrating the 75th anniversary of its completion this year. For those of us in Connecticut, through which 52.3 miles of the trail pass, this is a great time to do a piece of a trail that gets us out of our routine and into the place where we belong. Outdoors.
The trail enters Connecticut in Sherman and trends north mostly in the hills above the Housatonic River to the Massachusetts border at Salisbury. Let me toss out a possible outing. It involves a steep ascent, a round-trip hike of 6.6 miles and includes a famous vantage point. You’ll hike from Route 44 in Salisbury easterly on Prospect Mountain. Most of this hike is moderate ups and downs through forest, once you’ve finished the ascent. Just be especially careful in the steep section, whether going up or down, if the trail is wet and covered with leaves.
You’ll find parking about a half mile east of the village of Salisbury. Look for a small oval sign identifying the trail. Follow the trail a short distance through a field and you will come to a kiosk with trail information. A hike of 3.3 miles will take you to Rand’s View, where, suddenly, the trail comes out of the woods and skirts a meadow with long views of the Taconic Range and the Berkshires. This is a premier vantage point, worth the walk. Details of the hike can be found in my Hartford Courant column appearing on-line today and tomorrow and in print editions tomorrow, Nov. 20.