Ragged Mountain (Connecticut)

Ragged Mountain (Connecticut)

Infobox Mountain
Name = Ragged Mountain
Photo = Ragged Mountain CT.jpg
Caption = South Wassel Reservoir from Ragged Mountain summit.
Elevation = est. convert|761|ft|abbr=on
Location = Southington and Berlin, Connecticut
Range = Metacomet Ridge
Prominence =
Parent_peak = 41° 37' 03"N, 72° 49' 22"W
Coordinates = coord|41|37|03|N|72|49|22|W |type:mountain_region:US |display=title,inline

Type = Fault-block; igneous
Age = 200 Ma
Last eruption =
First ascent =
Easiest route = Red Dot Trail
Grid_ref_UK =
Grid_ref_Ireland =
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Ragged Mountain, est. convert|761|ft, is a traprock mountain ridge located convert|3|mi|0 west of New Britain, Connecticut in the town of Southington and Berlin, Connecticut.It is part of the narrow, linear Metacomet Ridge that extends from Long Island Sound near New Haven, Connecticut, north through the Connecticut River Valley of Massachusetts to the Vermont border. The mountain, a popular hiking and rock climbing attraction located between metropolitan Hartford and Meriden, is known for expansive vistas, vertical cliff faces, mountain ridge reservoirs, unique microclimate ecosystems, and rare plant communities. Ragged Mountain is traversed by the convert|51|mi|adj=on Metacomet Trail.


Occupying an area roughly convert|2.5|by|1.75|mi, Ragged Mountain rises steeply convert|500|ft above the Quinnipiac River valley to the west. The mountain consists of a series of high bluffs and several lower tiers of ledges. The Metacomet Ridge continues north from Ragged Mountain as Bradley Mountain and south as Short Mountain and the Hanging Hills. Four bodies of water are located on the mountain: "Shuttle Meadow Reservoir" to the north between Ragged Mountain and Bradley Mountain; "Wasel Reservoir" nestled between the bluffs in the center of Ragged Mountain; a smaller holding pond associated with Wasel Reservoir (South Wasel Reservoir, a.k.a. Hart Pond); and the two "Hart's Ponds," on the southeast slope of the mountain. The mountain also contains boulder caves and a waterfall. Wasel Reservoir is named for RMSN David Wasel, a submariner in the U.S. Navy who was lost in the accidental sinking of the U.S.S. Thresher (SSN-593) off the coast of Massachusetts.

The west side of Ragged Mountain drains into the Quinnipiac River, thence to Long Island Sound; the east side of the mountain drains into the Mattabasett River, then to the Connecticut River, thence to Long Island Sound. However, some reservoirs on the mountain shuttle water through treatment facilities with alternate drainages.

Geology and ecology

Ragged Mountain, like much of the Metacomet Ridge, is composed of basalt, also called traprock, a volcanic rock. The mountain formed near the end of the Triassic Period with the rifting apart of the North American continent from Africa and Eurasia. Lava welled up from the rift and solidified into sheets of strata hundreds of feet thick. Subsequent faulting and earthquake activity tilted the strata, creating the cliffs and ridgeline of Ragged Mountain. Hot, dry upper slopes, cool, moist ravines, and mineral-rich ledges of basalt talus produce a combination of microclimate ecosystems on the mountain that support plant and animal species uncommon in greater Connecticut. Ragged Mountain is also an important raptor migration path. (See Metacomet Ridge for more information on the geology and ecosystem of Ragged Mountain).

Recreation and conservation

Ragged Mountain is open to rock climbing, hiking, snowshoeing, bouldering, and other passive pursuits. The mountain offers expansive views of the surrounding landscape from open summits and high cliff faces. A number of hiking trails and rock climbing routes traverse the mountain including the convert|51|mi|adj=on Metacomet Trail, (maintained by the Connecticut Forest and Park Association), which extends from the Hanging Hills of Meriden, Connecticut to the Massachusetts border. The mountain is considered to be Connecticut's most popular rock climbing destination. Cliff routes were pioneered in the 1930s, with Fritz Wiessner prominent among rock climbers.

Both the Connecticut Forest and Park Association (hiking) and the Ragged Mountain Foundation (rock climbing) have noted that issues with parking and access to certain cliff faces have historically resulted in conflicts with land owners and abutting property owners; in response, they have encouraged visitors to check website updates to verify trail access, parking, and rock face closures (see external links). As of 2007, Ragged Mountain had one trailhead, located on West Lane, located off Connecticut Route 71A in Berlin, convert|2.75|mi south of downtown New Britain.

Much of Ragged Mountain has been conserved as nature preserve, rock climbing preserve, and as public watershed lands. Shuttle Meadow and Wasel Reservoirs are managed by the New Britain water department; the Metacomet Trail passes along their shores. Hart's Pond is managed by the town of Berlin; a short walking trail, the "Amelia Green Trail", passes along its shore. The Ragged Mountain Foundation, [ [http://www.raggedmtn.org/pn/index.php?module=ContentExpress&func=display&ceid=4 Ragged Mountain Foundation] ] a non-profit rock climbing association, in partnership with The Nature Conservancy, manages fifty-six acres of land on the mountain and has been active in overall conservation efforts and public access efforts. The Berlin Land Trust [ [http://www.berlinlandtrust.org/properties.html Berlin Land Trust] ] is also active in the conservation of Ragged Mountain and its viewshed. The ecosystem of Ragged Mountain is most threatened by development. In 2000, Ragged Mountain was included in a study by the National Park Service for the designation of a new National Scenic Trail now tentatively called the New England National Scenic Trail, which would include the Metacomet-Monadnock Trail in Massachusetts and the Mattabesett Trail and Metacomet Trail trails in Connecticut.

ee also

*Metacomet Ridge
*The Nature Conservancy
*Rock climbing
*Metacomet Trail
* Adjacent summits:


* Farnsworth, Elizabeth J. " [http://www.mmmtrail.org/NaturalResourcesAssessmentFinal.pdf Metacomet-Mattabesett Trail Natural Resource Assessment.] " 2004. PDF wefile cited November 1, 2007.
*"Connecticut Walk Book: A Trail Guide to the Connecticut Outdoors." 17th Edition. The Connecticut Forest and Park Association. Rockfall, Connecticut. Undated.
* Raymo, Chet and Maureen E. "Written in Stone: A Geologic History of the Northeastern United States". Globe Pequot, Chester, Connecticut, 1989.
* [http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c110:H.R.1528: U.S. Congress "New England National Scenic Trail Designation Act."]
*White, Harry. [http://www.connix.com/~harry/twep.htm The Traprock Wilderness Recovery Strategy] Yale Forestry School. Southington, Connecticut. Cited Dec. 19, 2007.
* [http://www.raggedmtn.org Ragged Mountain Foundation]
* Robinson, Ruth [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E0CE0DF133DF931A15750C0A964958260 "The View From: Ragged Mountain: Rock Climbers Band Together To Protect a Chunk of Nature."] New York Times, March 22, 1992.
* Fritz Wiessner : 1900 - 1988 hrsg. vom Sächsischen Bergsteigerbund e.V., Sektion im Deutschen Alpenverein. (Idee, Konzept und Bearb.:Gottfried Andreas). - Dresden : Sächsischer Bergsteigerbund, 2000

External links

* [http://www.ctwoodlands.org/ Connecticut Forest and Park Association]
* [http://www.mmmtrail.org/DocsForLinks/MMMExecSummary.pdf NPS brochure for National Scenic Trail proposal.]
* [http://www.berlinlandtrust.org/properties.html Berlin Land Trust]
* [http://www.berlinlandtrust.org/activities.html Ragged Mountain trail map and driving directions] (scroll down for map).
* [http://www.raggedmtn.org Ragged Mountain Foundation]
* [http://www.town.berlin.ct.us/filestorage/24/292/471/Town-hiking-trails%252520Model%252520(1).pdf Town of Berlin hiking trail map]
* [http://www.town.berlin.ct.us/filestorage/24/292/477/walking%252520%252520Amelia_Green%252520_Trail.pdf Map of walking trails at Hart's Ponds] .
* [http://www.ctxguide.com/ctxguide_042.htm Connecticut Explorer's Guide] Online Climbing Route Map

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