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Friday, May 29, 2015

Rand's View(Connecticut)

Drove down to Litchfield County in northwest Connecticut after work this afternoon to hike a scenic section of the Appalachian Trail that leads up over Mt. Prospect to an open meadow known as Rand's View.  This section of the AT can be accessed from either Salisbury to the west or Falls Village to the east along the Housatonic River. I would be starting from Great Falls located in Falls Village, which is actually in the town of Canaan.  Following Route 44 east out of Salisbury, I turned south onto gravel Housatonic River Road and followed it for several miles to the parking lot on the left above Great Falls.  The drive along this quiet road is very nice with pleasant river views.
 From the parking area, the still river water above the falls makes for a pleasant scene.
A striking view of the Housatonic River dropping over the hydro electric dam.
 There are multiple informal paths that lead to several dramatic views of Great Falls.
 After finally tearing myself away from the sensational river views, I followed the white blazes of the Appalachian Trail across Housatonic River Road and into the woods.  A short distance into the hike, you enter a large field that the trail traverses.  Looking back at a nice view to the south before reentering the woods.
 After about 2.1 miles I arrived at the summit of 1475 foot Mt Prospect, where nice long distance views are available.  Unfortunately, the small clearing was somewhat obstructed by foliage.
 After passing Mt Prospect, the trail continues for another half mile until it meets a trail junction with the option to continue on towards Rand's View on the AT or head to the Limestone Spring Shelter.  I veered right and continued on the AT, which drops about 200 yards down through the woods. 
 After emerging from the woods, a very large open meadow unfolds before you.  This is Rand's View.
 This makes the perfect place to stop and relax.  The open views are inspiring.
 The vista before you is very impressive, stretching all the way into the Berkshires of Massachusetts to the north.
 Unfortunately the clouds and humidity were on the increase as I headed back into the woods.  But worst of all, the mosquitoes were numerous and blood thirsty.
 Only saw one other hiker the entire day in the quiet Litchfield woods. 
Finished up in the early evening after completing the 5.2 mile RT hike.

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