Bear Mountain, CT
Get a taste of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail on your way up to the summit of Bear Mountain in Salisbury, CT. This historic trail leads to a mysterious stone pyramid at what was once considered Connecticut's high point. Although Mt. Frissell has snagged this honor, Bear Mountain is still the highest summit in the state! This trail is packed with flowing mountain streams and broad views of the lower valleys and lakes across three states! Imagine summiting a mountain by lunch. You grab a natural rock seat that seems like it was made just for you. To the North you see Massachusetts' Mount Everett and Mount Race. Between bites you catch yourself day dreaming at the mercy of the inviting Twin Lakes to the east and the prominent Catskills and nearby Taconic peaks to the west. A gentle breeze brings you back to the present, and a deep breath releases all of life's stress you've been carrying.
Elevation Change: 1,566 ft.
Trail Head: Bear Mountain Appalachian Trail Head
We will begin on Undermountain Trail headed west into a grand forest canopy. Before long, we will reach Brassie Brook. The sound of the tumbling water creates a refreshing perspective. The dynamic movement of the water draws you in and propels you forward. We turn right on Paradise Lane Trail and begin a short climb, which eases off and directs us beneath the mountain's summit.
When we are presented with the junction of the Appalachian Trail, we can head right and descend into Sages Ravine for a break on the banks of Sawmill Brook. Dip your feet into the ice-cold mountain water or take the wooden bridge toward an alluring campsite.
We will continue the trek south along the AT toward the more difficult section of the hike. The 0.4-mile climb will be worth the reward. Impressive 180-degree views will appear atop Bear Mountain.
For those interested in spending the night, the Brassie Brook lean-to is an excellent place to rest. It is littered with perfect, flat tent sites, the lean to, and a picnic table.
Complete this adventure by following the AT to the intersection of Undermountain Trail and retrace your steps to the trail head. Take with you the memories of cool, rushing streams, songbird melodies, a woodpecker tapping to the beat of your footsteps, and the loud silence that is the paradox of true wilderness exploration.
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