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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Mount Algo & Indian Rock(Connecticut)

Enjoyed a beautiful fall day hiking along a stretch of the Appalachian Trail in western Connecticut Tuesday.  I parked in a small pull off along a shoulder of Route 341, just east of the state line and began my climb south, going directly up the steep slopes of Mount Algo.
 The climb heads south then west, passing over Old Barn Road(a woods road) for the first .3 of a mile, before reaching a blue marked side trail.  This trail will lead you a couple hundred yards to the Mount Algo Lean to shelter. 
 The Lean To is nicely maintained, with an enclosed privy nearby.
The view looking out from the Lean To.
 Once back on the main trail, the ascent up Mount Algo continues, passing through mountain laurel and over a carpet of freshly fallen leaves.
 The trail goes over a height of land but doesn't pass over the 1152 foot true summit of Mount Algo, so I left the trail for a short .1 of a mile bushwhack to the summit.  The summit is wooded with no views, so I quickly made my way back to the trail, which drops steeply back down off of the mountain.  At a low point between Mount Algo and Peak 1403 to the south, is a crossing of Thayer Brook, which had very little water flowing at this time.
Once on the south side of the brook, the ascent is steady but not overly steep towards the 1403 foot summit of an unnamed peak, which I will refer to as Peak 1403.  Once again, the trail doesn't cross the summit, but I bushwhacked a short .1 of a mile to the wooded summit area.  A short distance beyond here, at about 2.2 miles into the hike, the trail reaches a small rocky viewing area.  The southerly views aren't great, but are good just above the treeline. 
Much of the southern shoulder of Peak 1403 passes through open woods, with screened views beyond.
Over the next half mile or so, the trail passes numerous viewpoints to the east, with one particular open rock view being the best.  This is a very pleasant spot to stop and enjoy the bucolic valley views.
 The trail heading south, with a steep drop off to the left.
 A zoomed in look southeast towards Hatch Pond.
 Screened views to the east over the Housatonic Valley along the trail.
A small clearing off the trail provides a view northeast.
 At 3.2 miles, a small dried up brook is crossed at the Schaghticoke Mountain campsite as well as a blue marked side trail.  Continuing on, the trail drops into a small ravine known as Dry Gulch. Parallel ledges make this an interesting spot to stop and pause. 
 Climbing up and out of Dry Gulch, the trail continues west, quite steeply towards Indian Rock.  After 3.8 miles from the car, I finally reached Indian Rock.  This is an open, rocky perch to enjoy tremendous south facing views. 
 Looking directly down towards the Housatonic River and Route 7 from Indian Rock.
 Indian Rock, at an elevation of just under 1300 feet.
 Fantastic south facing views.
 Southwest views of rural Western Connecticut.
Retracing my steps back towards the car, I really took my time, enjoying the sun drenched woods on a gorgeous 65 degree November day.
Clouds rolling in, as I neared the car, passing over Old Barn Road.
Hiked about 8 miles RT(including side trail to Lean To and summit bushwhacks) with about 2400 feet elevation gain.  Although none of the peaks are particularly high, I did go up and over two peaks twice, as well as a stiff climb up to Indian Rock, making this a challenging, but fun day.

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