Berkshire AMC





                     SPRING 2015 SCHEDULE

Thursday, April 9, 8:45am, FCE Hikes Begin

Please call FCE at 860-404-0290 and register for Course NAT102 "Hikes", or click here to enroll on-line.  Distances will be about 4 - 6 miles, with back-to-cars goal before 12:30pm.  Also see Hiking Notes.

The first hike: Cowles Park. East Granby. Distance 4 - 4.5 miles

The park is located along RT 187 just north of its junction with RT 189 in Bloomfield. Large parking area at trail head along Route 187.

There are two loop trails through Cowles Park and the hiking is fairly level and easy. In addition to hiking Cowles Park we will take the path less-traveled and take a loop to an overlook along the Metacomet Trail.

NOTE: This hike was written up by Peter Marteka, Hartford Courant January 2015. L: Jerry Marcum 860 810 0087

Thursday, April 16, no hike

Spring recess.

Thursday, April 23, 8:45am, Punchbrook & Yellow-dot Trails, Burlington

Travel West on Route 4 from Farmington into Burlington. We will meet at the parking lot on Library Lane which is a right turn after you pass the Congregational Church (there is a library sign on the corner). If you get to the junction of Rt 4 and Rt 69, you have gone too far. We will then carpool 5 minutes to the trailhead.

See CWBW p. 296 for more info. Hike is 3.2 miles and includes the Blue/Purple dot blazed Punchbrook Trail and the newly blazed Blue/Yellow dot trail (formerly the Blue Mainline Tunxis Trail.

L: Tom Iezzi 860-413-2627; Cell, day of hike 860-655-9714.

Thursday, April 30, 8:45am, Black Rock State Park, Watertown

"FOLLOW THE LEATHERMAN" - This hike was written up by Peter Marteka, Hartford Courant.

Meet at 8:45 for prompt 9:00 AM start.

From junction of Route 6 and Route 109 in Thomaston, follow Route 6 west about 0.4 mile to Black Rock State Park parking lot entrance on right.

Loop trail hike with start on Branch Brook Trail to Blue Blazed Mattatuck Trail. We will then follow Blue Blazes to Leatherman's Cave. After scrambling up the large boulders and crawling around and exploring the cave areas we will continue on Blue Blazed Mattatuck Trail, climbing to a vista at 720'. We will then hike and climb our way back for several miles to Black Rock State Park and our cars.
See CWB West pages 124 & 137 for detail and map.  

4 to 4.5 miles with estimated hike time of 3-1/2 hours. This hike, our third of the session, would be considered intermediate to difficult. Hike poles are highly recommended. Bring water and energy snacks. L: Jerry Marcum 860 810 0087

Thursday, May 7, 8:45am, FCE, Roraback Wildlife Management Area, Harwinton

Meet at the parking area on Swimming Hole Rd., Harwinton (From Burlington, take Rt 4 to Harwinton center, turn left onto South Rd.  About 1 mile down take 1st right onto Swimming Hole Rd - parking is down the hill on the left.). We will hike approx. 2.5 hours on unmarked trails and farming roads, looping through the preserve. L: John Vibert (860-675-7007) (cell 860-874-3747) 

Thursday May 14, 8:45 am, FCE - Breezy Hill Farm Loop, Canton

We will be hiking 2 - 2 1/2 hours on several Canton Land Trust properties that encircle the Breezy Hill Farm. Meet at the Sun, Wind, and Woodland property parking lot. Take Route 44 past the Saybrook Fish House toward New Hartford. R onto Indian Hill Rd. until it ends. R on Breezy Hill Road. Go to the top of the hill past the red house on the left, and the Sun, Wind, and Woodland parking lot will be on your left with a big yellow sign and a kiosk. We will hike the Sun, Wind, and Woodland property, the Sweeton Trail, and the Breezy Hill Farm. Reference: Canton Land Trust. L: John Vibert (860-675-7007) (cell 860-874-3747)

Thursday, May 21, 8:45am, FCE, River Highlands State Park, Cromwell

Take Rte 9 South to Exit 19 in Cromwell. Go left off exit onto Rte 372 (West Street), Follow West Street about 1.5 miles to Pierson Park on the right, just before Main Street (Rte 99).

Meet in Pierson Park parking lot at 8.45 for a 9:00 start. We will car pool 5 minutes to start of hike on Field Road. We will enjoy a leisurely 3 to 4 mile hike through the State Park with views of the Connecticut River and River Highlands Golf Course. L: Tom Iezzi (860-413-2627(H)); (860-655-9714(C), day of hike).

Thursday, May 28, 8:45am, FCE, Cathles and Hedgehog Trails, West Simsbury

Meet at 240 Farms Village Road (Rte 309) at the West Simsbury Shopping Plaza, across from the US Post Office. We will then car pool approx 5 minutes to the start of the hike.

We will hike the Red, White, and Blue Trails and at the peak enjoy a panoramic view of the area. Hike is 4+ miles and is expected to take 3+ hours. CL: Jerry Marcum(860-810-0087)(C); Tom Iezzi(860-413-2627(H); 860-655-9714(C), day of the hike.)

Thursday, June 4, 8:45am, Stratton Brook State Park, Simsbury

This hike will be a bit shorter and easier than others this season because today is the day of our end-of-season picnic! Time was when a hiker would host us in his or her home for a potluck lunch. Then we began going to restaurants, but with 50 hikers this year, I thought this would be an easy and fun change of pace. 

Stratton Brook is a small state park with hiking, fishing, swimming, bicycling and picnicking - click here. We will hike about 2.7 miles in woods, up some hills, around the park and around the pond. We’ll then stop at our cars to pick up our BYOPs. Please bring everything for yourself, and food to share if you wish. Restrooms will be available as we walk from the parking lot to the picnic area. Feel free to bring your bathing suit for a swim before and/or after lunch.

From the intersection of Rt. 10, 202 and 309 (West Street) in Simsbury Center, drive west 1.6 miles to the park on your left at 149 Farms Village Road. As you drive along Rt. 309 West, at the intersection of Rt. 167 as you continue straight, the road name changes to Farms Village Road. Park in the big Beach Parking lot on your left.

The park is free during the week.

L: Anne Fitzgerald 860-673-1216 (H); 860-221-4225 (C) day of hike



Legend: AMC=Appalachian Mountain Club, AT=Appalachian Trail, BLT=Burlington Land Trust, CFPA= CT Forest & Park Assn., CL=Co-leader, CPL=Commuter Parking Lot or Carpool, CWB=CFPA's CT Walk Book, FCE=Farmington Continuing Education, L=Leader,  LH=Local Hike, PSF=Peoples State Forest, SC=Sierra Club, SG=Sleeping Giant Park Assoc., U=unofficial