We drove to Connecticut to visit Trout Brook Valley conservation area, where I had visited four years previously. I refer readers to that earlier post to learn more about the park and trails.
This visit was similar to the last one, except that I did not notice any vernal pools or encounter any snapping turtles resting in the middle of a trail. I also don’t think we saw any dogs, either on-leash or off-leash.
We began at the parking area on Bradley Road, taking the red-blazed trail north.
The trails were maintained well, and the hiking there was pleasant, with plentiful shade provided, and varied scenery from the trees and rocks.
A rock outcrop:
The trail was steep in one short section, and a rope had been tied to trees, perhaps to assist some hikers in climbing the slope:
This was a very interesting tree that included a right-angle bend, such that part of the trunk was practically parallel to the ground, while another part was growing up as expected:
In addition to colored blazes on the trails, intersections in the preserve have numbered signs, and maps available either online or at the kiosk near the parking area show the intersection numbers, making it easy for visitors to track their progress.
We followed the red trail from the parking lot up to intersection 17, where we briefly followed a green-blazed trail north to intersection 19, before resuming north on a red-blazed trail. I had been confused on my previous visit by the short switch from red to green.
It was a good day for mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia), the state flower of Connecticut:
It was a sunny day, so we were glad that we had tree cover for the great majority of our hike:
Three trees grow together:
We took the second red trail up to intersection 53, in the adjacent Jump Hill Preserve. From intersection 53, in the northern part of the park, we turned south onto a white-blazed trail, which led us to intersection 11.
At one point we heard and then saw a family of three deer, at a distance, but they bounded over a hill and out of sight before I could change my lens from the wide angle to the telephoto.
Fallen trees rest against stone, providing nice texture:
From intersection 11, we followed a yellow-blazed trail further south, to intersection 14. We then took an orange-blazed trail, which meandered northeast, then southeast, and then south-southwest, to intersection 4.
The hand of man left a few rock walls in the park, probably around 1800:
The trail passed under a fallen tree:
A rocky area:
Another rock wall:
At intersection 4, we took a blue-blazed trail that continued south-southwest.
This tree had a significant burl:
The trail led us back to the parking area where we had left our car.
It was a beautiful day for a hike in Connecticut.