Summer Life
- Page 10
Hiking the Appalachian Trail

One of the jewels of the Northwest Corner of Connecticut is a green tunnel that runs for about 50 miles from New York to Massachusetts — the legendary Appalachian Trail.

The 2,190-mile national scenic trail from Georgia to Maine has always included a swath of Connecticut, and rightly so. The man who literally dreamed up the idea for the trail — Benton MacKaye (rhymes with why) — was born in Connecticut in 1879. (I’ve always felt Stamford needs to put up a plaque somewhere making note of this historic connection.)

It used to run through Mohawk Mountain State Forest and Cathedral Pines in Cornwall but in the late 1980s it was moved entirely west of the Housatonic River, through Kent, Cornwall, Falls Village and Salisbury. Good thing, too, since a 1989 tornado wiped out Cathedral Pines and other parts of the former A.T.

I’ve hiked the entire trail twice, once in each direction, and have gone back many times for short stretches, especially here in my native state.

It makes for a fun, weeklong adventure to hike from the New York line to Sages Ravine in Massachusetts, which I’ve also done, staying at several of the lean-tos and tent-sites along the way. But it also offers many opportunities for great day hikes to nice views, including the only stretch along the entire A.T. that runs through an Indian reservation, that of the Schaghticoke. You’ll know you’re on it when you reach the viewpoint called Indian Rocks, with views of the Kent School campus and Housatonic River below your feet.

Here are four of the best day hikes on the northern stretch of the A.T. in Connecticut. Who knows, you may be bitten by the long-distance hiking bug