Nipmuck Trail

Nipmuck Trail
Nipmuck Trail
CFPANipmuckTrailsignonBigelowHollowRoadAKACTRoute197nearBigelowHollowStatePark.jpg
Nipmuck Trail sign on CT-171 outside Bigelow Hollow State Park.
Length 34.5 miles (55.5 km) [1]
Location Tolland County, Connecticut, USA
Designation CFPA Blue-Blazed Trail
Use hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, fishing, geocaching, other
Hazards hunters, deer ticks, poison ivy

The Nipmuck Trail is a Blue-Blazed hiking trail "system" which meanders through 34.5 miles (55.5 km) of forests in northeast Connecticut. It is maintained by the Connecticut Forest and Park Association and is considered one of the Blue-Blazed hiking trails. There are two southern trail heads (two tines of a fork) in the south of the town of Mansfield, Connecticut. The southwestern terminus is on Puddin Lane, the southeastern is in Mansfield Hollow State Park off Bassetts Bridge Road. The northern terminus is at the north end of Breakneck Pond along the Massachusetts border in Nipmuck State Forest. Camping permits may be obtained for up to five separate locations for backpacking.

For 9 miles (14 km) the Nipmuck Trail travels through the Yale-Myers Forest which is owned by Yale University. The trail also traverses 3.5 miles (5.6 km) of the University of Connecticut's East Campus (the protected Moss tract through the Fenton Forest).[2][3][4]


Contents

Trail description

The Nipmuck Trail is primarily used for hiking, backpacking, picnicking, and in the winter, snowshoeing.

Portions of the trail are suitable for, and are used for, cross-country skiing and geocaching. Site-specific activities enjoyed along the route include bird watching, hunting (very limited), fishing, horseback riding, bouldering and rock climbing (limited).

Trail route


Trail communities

The official Blue-Blazed Nipmuck Trail passes through land located within the following municipalities, from south to north:

Landscape, geology, and natural environment

Pixie Falls in Natchaug State Forest in Ashford via side trail from Nipmuck Trail.

History and folklore

The Blue-Blazed Nipmuck Trail was created by the Connecticut Forest and Park Association.


Origin and name

Historic sites

Folklore

Hiking the trail

The mainline trail is blazed with blue rectangles. Trail descriptions are available from a number of commercial and non-commercial sources, and a complete guidebook is published by the Connecticut Forest and Park Association


Conservation and maintenance of the trail corridor

The last week of March 2010 the Connecticut Forest and Park Association acquired the largest conservation easement in an agreement with the University of Connecticut for the 3.5 miles (5.6 km) section of the Nipmuck Trail which passes through University of Connecticut protected property (the Moss tract through the Fenton Forest).[2] Also on that date a number of conveyances between the University of Connecticut, CFPA, the Norcross Wildlife Foundation and the towns of Willington and Mansfield secured the preservation of 531 acres (2.15 km2) of land on four forested properties near or surrounding the Nipmuck Trail.[3][4]

Recognition / Inspiration Programs

This trail system is a part of the 'Connecticut 400', one of the official Blue-Blazed (or similar) trails listed in the Connecticut Walk Book by the Connecticut Forest and Park Association (CFPA) and recognized, since 1976, with an award known as the Connecticut 400 Club by the Connecticut Chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC). In 1976 there were only four hundred miles of Blue-Blazed trail but today (2010) the total length of the trails listed in the CFPA Connecticut Walk Books (East and West) exceeds 825 miles.[5][6][7]

The State of Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (CT DEP) Forestry Division provides two awards for locating and visiting "letterboxes" (similar to geocaches) in Connecticut's State Forests. The commemorative 'State Forest Centennial Patch' is available to those who complete five sponsored "letterbox" hikes (in each separate state forest you must hike the described route, find the "letterbox/cache" and record your visit in the "letterbox" book). The State Forest Centennial campaign dates to 2003 (the centennial of the first official state forest in Connecticut). A walking stick is available for those who complete the letterbox hike of all thirty-two (32) of the state forests. Many of the "Blue-Blazed" hiking trails in Connecticut travel through or near one or more of the State Forests, often very close to the sponsored (DEP) letterbox.[8]

Image gallery

Nipmuck Trail sign on CT-171 outside Bigelow Hollow State Park.
Nipmuck Trail sign on CT-171 outside Bigelow Hollow State Park. 
Nipmuck Trail sign on CT-171 outside Bigelow Hollow State Park.
Nipmuck Trail sign on CT-171 outside Bigelow Hollow State Park. 
Natchaug northern trailead and intersection with Nipmuck Trail, Eastford, Connecticut.
Natchaug Trail northern trailhead at intersection with Nipmuck Trail in Eastford, CT. 
Pixie Falls in Natchaug State Forest in Ashford via side trail from Nipmuck Trail.
Pixie Falls in Natchaug State Forest in Ashford via side trail from Nipmuck Trail. 
Pixie Falls in Natchaug State Forest in Ashford via side trail from Nipmuck Trail.
Pixie Falls in Natchaug State Forest in Ashford via side trail from Nipmuck Trail. 
FentonRiveralongNipmuckTrailjustnorthofCTRoute44-1
Fenton River along Nipmuck Trail just north of CT Route44 (U Conn Forest). 
FentonRiveralongNipmuckTrailjustnorthofCTRoute44-2
Fenton River along Nipmuck Trail just north of CT Route44 (U Conn Forest). 
NipmuckTrailStoneFoundationRuins
Old stone house foundations at intersection of Nipmuck Trail and forest road half way between CT Routes 44 and 74. 
NipmuckTrailFungusWithPeaceSign
1' diameter fungus with peace sign on rock beside Nipmuck Trail in Yale-Myers Forest. 
Yale-MyersForestResearchTreeLot
Yale-Myers Forest Research Site off Nipmuck Trail. 
SouthernBreakneckPondonNipmuckTrailfacingnorth
Southern Breakneck Pond on Nipmuck Trail facing north on the last day of winter. 
Yale-MyersForestSignsAtNipmuckTrailNorthEntrance
Yale-Myers Forest Signs and northern entrance to Nipmuck Trail on Bigelow Hollow Road AKA CT Route 197 near Bigelow Hollow State Park. 
NorthernEndOfBreakneckPondfacingsouth
Sturbridge Massachusetts end of partially frozen Breakneck Pond facing south. Northern terminus of Nipmuck Trail. 
MassachusettsConnecticutstatelinemarkerdated1954atnorthernendofBreakneckPondfacingsouth
Massachusetts/Connecticut state line marker dated 1954 at northern end of Breakneck Pond facing south. 
ConnecticutMassachusettsstatelinemarkerdated1954atnorthernendofBreakneckPondfacingnorth
Connecticut/Massachusetts state line marker dated 1954 at northern end of Breakneck Pond facing north. 

See also

References

  1. ^ Colson, Ann T. (2006). Connecticut Walk Book West (19th edition). Connecticut Forest and Park Association. ISBN 0961905263. 
  2. ^ a b The Daily Campus April 1, 2010: UConn helps to preserve local forest
  3. ^ a b UConn Today March 30, 2010: Deal Between Conservation Organizations, UConn, and Area Towns Protects 531 Acres in Eastern CT
  4. ^ a b The Day March 28, 2010: Agreement protects forest, trails near UConn
  5. ^ "The Connecticut 400". Rocks on Top. http://www.rocksontop.com/rocks/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=3408. Retrieved 2010-05-29. 
  6. ^ Robinson, Ruth (1993-06-06). "Hikers Seek New Trails to Conquer". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/1993/06/06/nyregion/hikers-seek-new-trails-to-conquer.html?sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all. Retrieved 2010-05-29. 
  7. ^ "Hikes". Connecticut Museum Quest. http://www.ctmuseumquest.com/?page_id=23. Retrieved 2010-05-29. 
  8. ^ "Forestry – Looking Beyond the Trees : Letterboxing in Connecticut's State Forests". Department of Environmental Protection, State of Connecticut. http://www.ct.gov/dep/cwp/view.asp?a=2697&q=322826&depNav_GID=1631. Retrieved 2010-05-29. 

External links

Specific to this trail:

Government Links:

Land and Conservation Trusts:

Further reading

Books – Connecticut Hiking
Books – Connecticut History and Geography


Coordinates: 41°45′56″N 72°13′03″W / 41.76556°N 72.2175°W / 41.76556; -72.2175


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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