Barkhamsted Hiking Trails
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Hiking in Barkhamsted 

Barkhamsted has approximately 130 miles of hiking options on 34 different trail combinations. All are trails that can be completed using just one car (loop trails & “out & back” hikes). The hike names are listed below, from shorter to longer. Clicking on the hike title will connect you to the web page which has a satellite map, trail and parking directions. It is important to connect your cell phone to this web page or print out the one page information link for the hike. Select a hike by time, which is based on miles and effort (vertical feet). Hiking time is without breaks. Distance is in total miles from your car. Feet vertical is the total hike up and downhill. 

Trail Name

Out & back/Loop

Distance (Mi.)

Vertical climb (Ft.)

Time (w/o breaks)

Photo Ops?

The Top 9 Hikes for all ages to Barkhamstedʼs best views, historical sites, and highest point

Lighthouse Trail

Loop

0.3

100

0.5

Yes

River & Meadow

out & back

1-1.5

50-100

0.5-0.8

Yes

Big Springs

out & back

1.0-1.6

160-290

0.9

Yes

Tunxis Trail Vista

out & back

0.9

290

0.9

Yes

Turkey Vulture Ledge

out & back

0.8

360

0.9

Yes

Indian Cave and Soapstone Quarry

out & back

1.1

420

0.8

Yes

Pack Premium

out & back

1.7

280

1.5

Yes

Indian Council Caves

out & back

1.7-2.3

400-480

1.7-2.5

Yes

Pine Mountain

out & back

3.3

780

1.8

Yes

4 Loop hikes from inside Peoples (Apr.-Nov.) A little longer, but with modest elevation change

Big Springs

Loop

1.5

360

1.2

Yes

Beaver Brook

Loop

2.6

610

2.0

Yes

Gothic Window

Loop

2.6

880

2.1

Yes

King Road

Loop

3.3

800

1.7

Yes

14 Loop hikes from the Valley: parking on or near East and West River Road & available all year

Robert Ross Half & Half

Loop

2.9

1050

2.0

 

Robert Ross Loop

Loop

5.5

1750

2.8

 

Robert Ross Sampler

Loop

6.1

2000

3.1

Yes

Robert Ross Grand

Loop

6.4

2170

3.5

Yes

Agnes Bowen Loop

Loop

3.5

1100

2.1

 

Agnes Bowen Sampler

Loop

3.5

1050

2.0

 

Agnes Bowen Half & Half

Loop

5.0

1520

2.9

Yes

Jessie’s Hearty Loop

Loop

0.7

660

0.8

 

Jessie Gerard Loop

Loop

2.8

1370

2.1

Yes

Jessie Gerard Sampler

Loop

3.3

1910

2.4

Yes

Jessie Gerard Grand

Loop

5.5

2130

3.5

Yes

Triple Crown – 3 main trails

Loop

6.9

2790

3.7

Yes

Quad Crown – 4 main trails

Loop

9.6

3870

5.6

Yes

Henry Buck

Loop

2.0

1200

2.1

Yes

5 “out & back” hikes open all year, with a 2 car option, to shorten the miles & vertical feet

Turkey Vulture Ledge

out & back

3.9

1120

2.8

Yes

Elliott Bronson

out & back

4.3

2250

2.8

 

Tunxis Trail South

out & back

8.6

3400

5.6

Yes

Tunxis Trail Center

out & back

4.8

2000

3.0

Yes

Tunxis trail North

out & back

5.0

1400

3.0

Yes

2  All Trails - All Seasons Challenge - Half Days: open all year, using 2 cars

All Trails-All Season Half Day 1

 

7.3

2800

3.6

Yes

All Trails-All Season Half Day 2

 

7.7

3860

4.0

Yes


Hiking in Barkhamsted 

Ø  There may be unmarked trail crossings (snowmobile trails), so be sure to look for the trail blazes.

Ø  It is easy to follow a “well beaten path”, but it might not be the trail.

Ø  A single blue blaze means continue straight.

o   If the next blaze can not be seen, look behind you because there may be one on the back side of a tree, which means you are still on the trail.

o   If you donʼt see any blaze after a minute of hiking, you should backtrack to your last blaze to be sure you didnʼt miss a turn.

o   A double blaze means a turn is very close.

o   When the upper blaze shifts to the left, turn left. When it shifts to right, turn right.

o   All the blazes are much easier to see when the leaves are off the trees.

Ø  Cumulative mileage to key features or trail junctions is found on the trail descriptions.

o   To estimate distance, figure hiking speed to be 2 mph (0.5 mile every 15 minutes). Use your watch to estimate the time to the next trail junction.

Ø  Be sure to tell someone your hiking plans and an estimated time of completion, which is found on the information link.

Ø   Be sure to bring your cell phone with the trail description.

Ø  Parking for each hike is given latitude & longitude, plus street location. Try the following example: for the Agnes Bowenʼs parking using www.google.com/maps. Paste 41° 55' 32.13" N  72° 59' 57.73" W  into the Search box instead of an address, then zoom in using the satellite view. The location is 10 feet away from the sign for Matthies Grove !!

Ø  Trekking poles are helpful for many of Barkhamstedʼs trails. They improve balance when hiking over rocks, roots, and water crossings. They take some of the weight off your legs going uphill, and help you to make safer descents.

Ø  Hiking boots are recommended.

Ø  A daypack can be helpful to carry extra layers, rain gear, water, snacks, flashlight, cell phone, and trail directions.

Ø  Good trail etiquette preserves a positive experience for everyone.

o   Please carry out everything you bring in.

o   Donʼt pick vegetation, disturb wildlife, or light camp fires during your hike.

o   Stay on the established trails since short cuts create erosion problems.

o   If you carry out other peopleʼs trash, you can earn bonus Karma points.

Additional information resources:

Connecticut Walk Book, West 2006. Page 1-13 introduces the American Legion & Peoples State Forest Trails. It also has Tunxis Trail information and other Blue Trails in Connecticut.

A map resource: http://www.ct.gov/deep/lib/deep/stateparks/maps/peoples.pdf 

Barkhamsted Historical Society: http://barkhamstedhistory.org/Default.aspx 

Nature Museum information: http://www.psfnaturemuseum.org/ 

FALPS link: https://www.facebook.com/ctfalps 

Town links: http://barkhamsted.us/Home/tabid/36/Default.aspx


Due to changes in natural features and changes in the locations of the Blue-Blazed Hiking Trails, the use of the information on this website occurs at the sole risk of the user.  Trails do change from time-to-time.  Relocations, closures, and confirmed changes will be posted on the CFPA website, www.ctwoodlands.org.

       
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