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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Macedonia Brook State Park(Connecticut)

Deep in the rugged hills of northwest Connecticut, just east of the New York state line and just north of route 341 lies 2300 acre Macedonia Brook State Park, with many miles of trails available as well as multiple picnic areas along the brook.  I arrived at the trail head, which is found 1.5 miles north of Route 341 in a small parking lot on the left immediately after crossing Macedonia Brook, at about 11am.  The sun was shining bright with calm winds.  This was going to be a good day!
Beautiful, babbling Macedonia Brook.
The blue marked Macedonia Ridge trail forms a loop around the entire park, climbing several ridge lines along the way.  I chose to go west first, and almost immediately came to a rustic bridge crossing over a tributary of Macedonia Brook.
A small stream flowing down the hills.
The trail climbs steadily uphill on a sea of leaves, which made good footing almost impossible.
A couple of small streams are crossed easily on the ascent.
Ascending towards some ledges.
Rocky climbing.

First view point of the day is a fine one south over the valley.
South east views towards the nearby hills.  Looking carefully you can see houses built far up the peaks.
Continuing a steady incline north past the first viewpoint.
A nice part of hiking this time of year is that there are almost constant views through the bare trees.  Here is a view to the north.
Scrub Oak?
Views to the nearby rolling peaks though the trees.
Heading up the steep, rocky southeast facing slopes of Cobble Mountain.
Nearing Cobble Mountain's summit.
The Macedonia Ridge Trail climbs right up to the summit of 1365 foot Cobble Mountain with nice views back to the south and east just below the summit.
A panorama to the south and west from a summit ledge.
Looking west at nearby East Mountain's long ridge line just over the NY state line.
Expansive views to the west towards New York unfold before you from the summit rocks.
Nearby cliffs to the northwest in South Amenia, NY.
There have been some cold nights recently as indicated by patches of ice in shaded areas.
Descending off Cobble Mountain.
The descent starts gradually but begins getting steeper.
This hike is usually recommended by starting from the east and ascending these cliffs to avoid this treacherous descent.  This part of the descent was one of the steepest areas I have ever had to hike.  I can imagine it could be a real nightmare in wet or icy weather.
The picture may not do justice to this steep, rocky cliff area, but the trail basically goes straight down the rocks about 30 feet.
My advice to anyone doing this hike and descending this area would be to take your time and be very careful.  It is a very tricky spot.
After the steep descent, the trail quickly begins to climb up another ridge to more views.
The blue marked trail soon heads steeply down to paved Chippewala Road and crosses it to the north where the trail widens to a very wide old road, lined with stone walls. Follow this for a short distance towards another road crossing at gravel Weber Road near Hilltop Pond.
Once past Weber Road, the trail immediately begins climbing steeply once again.
This trail sign is being eaten by the tree.
After another ascent and descent continue towards beautiful Macedonia Brook in the afternoon sun.  Cross the bridge on Keeler Road over the brook here and look for the trail markers on the south side of the road once again.
The trail emerges at Appalachian Road, an old woods road, which climbs steadily to the east before re entering the woods. 
 Once back on the single lane foot trail, there is one last steep climb up the last hill of the day.  Even though it was only 2pm, the late November sun was barely above the ridge line from here, reminding me that the sun would be setting again way too early.
Continuing south along the unnamed ridgeline on the east side of the park.
More views through the trees on the last peak of the day. 
This hike really took me by surprise and was much more strenuous than I expected.  Hiked 6.4 miles RT over 4 peaks with many steep ups and downs on a carpet of leaves.  Can't complain about the fantastic November weather we have been blessed with.


  1. Nice post. Hiked there many times.

    1. Thank you! It is a wonderful park. Lots of trails and love the brook side picnic areas as well

  2. Nice post. Hiked there many times.