36. For Serious Hikers Only
- Don your hiking gear and get ready for an Appalachian venture. Begin at Bull's Bridge in South Kent and, following the white blazed trail, part of the longest river walk on the Appalachian Trail, you'll discover a spectacular view of Ten Mile River Gorge where the waters of the Housatonic and Ten Mile River merge. Atop Ten Mile Hill, you'll be rewarded with a dramatic westward view of the Litchfield Hills. Retrace your steps (distance: 4 miles round-trip, walking time 2.5 hours). Reenergize with lunch at the Bull's Bridge Tavern or take a short drive on Rte. 7 north to the village of for alfresco dining and sample mouth-watering pastries and chocolates at Belgique Patisserie & Chocolatier.
- Drive north on Rte. 7 to Falls Village, take Rte. 126 north to Point of Rocks Rd. and turn right onto Water Street and on to the iron bridge. Here you begin a journey to Prospect Mountain and Rand's View, noted to have the best views. Follow the white blazes and notice the 19th century foundations that are a testament to the iron industry that once thrived here over 150 years ago. Along the way, you will have a splendid view of the Housatonic River and Great Falls. As you continue, you will come upon the Iron History Trail complete with informational kiosks. After reaching the summit and enjoying the breathtaking view, retrace your steps along the same route back to the hiker parking area. (distance: 6 miles round-trip, walking time 4 hours).
- In the evening relax and be pampered in one of the unique inns or B&B's in the Salisbury area.
- Next morning, after a hearty breakfast, head out to the Under Mountain Trail. The blue-blazed trail here is a trek on a rugged forest path that climbs steep ledges to the 2,316 ft. summit of Bear Mountain, the highest mountain peak entirely within Connecticut. Along the way you will pass Black Spruce Bog and mature American Chestnut trees with diameters exceeding 8 feet. Just past Sage's Ravine, you will come to a junction with white blazes of the Trail, which you must now follow. The steep slopes of ledge begin so look for natural hand and toe holds to help you scramble up the 500 vertical feet that is the face of Bear Mountain. The windswept mountain top rewards you for your efforts with a breathtaking panoramic view. To descend, continue following the white blazes until you reach a T junction (Riga Junction), turn left onto the blue blazed Under Mountain Trail and follow back to the hiker parking lot (distance: 6.7 miles roundtrip, walking time 5-6 hours).
Detailed directions for this adventure can be found in the Touring guide available from The Litchfield Hills Visitors Bureau at www.litchfieldhills.com.
For places to stay and other things to do nearby, click on any highlighted place.