Route: TunxisTrails (CT)

Location
Connecticut, US
Distance
58 km
Vertical Gain
1750 m
Description

The Tunxis Trail is the backbone of a larger network of CFPA Blue Blazed trails.  Many options are available. Additional details at https://www.ctwoodlands.org/blue-blazed-hiking-trails/tunxis-trail

North trail:  The northern section of the Tunxis Trail traverses some of the most beautiful woodland that can be found in Connecticut. Highlights include the Indian Council Caves and Pine Mountain, where 180-degree views provide prime hawk-watching during spring and fall migration. The trail crosses and sometimes follows several woods roads and old fire roads, passing along picturesque mountain brooks. Located primarily on Metropolitan District Commission (MDC) lands and Tunxis State Forest, the trail in this region climbs steeply near its northern terminus to meet the Connecticut-Massachusetts state line and crosses for a short distance into Granville State Forest in Massachusetts. ~35 miles, shown on map.

Orange/Yellow Figure 8 (shown on map):  This route is a ~10km Figure 8 loop utilizing the Orange and Yellow Dot trails in the Burlington Parks & Rec system.  A nice double loop in the Tunxis trail network, part of the CFPA Blue Blaze trail network. It has a bit of everything, including technical descents and ascents, steam crossings, stream beds on trail, and loose baby heads. It goes through Devil's Kitchen, a rugged box canyon littered with boulders on the bottom, and loops into Sessions Woods Wildlife Management Area. Starting from the southern trail head on Stone Rd, head west on Blue/Yellow until you reach the Blue/Yellow Blue/Orange intersection. Take the Blue/Orange trail south over some steep climbs and drops, into the Devil's Kitchen box canyon, then out onto old dirt roads. Follow Blue/Orange across a state road, where it will switch back to single track in Sessions Woods. There will be a dirt road crossing shortly after the state road. Follow blue/orange to the terminus with Blue/Yellow at mile 3. Take a left onto Blue Yellow, following it out onto a gravel path. Blue/Yellow blazes will hang a left onto single track to cross a state road, and then follow a dirt road for a while. The blazes will take a left and then quick right into single track, cross a brook with a sketchy pole bridge, and then back onto washed out dirt road. Here at mile 4.5-ish you will cross over with Blue/Orange, and remember the good times. Follow Blue/Yellow for another 1.5 miles through more dirt road, up a long technical climb on single track, back to dirt road, down a technical descent, and then single track back to the starting point at the Blue/Yellow Blue/Orange intersection.  The Figure 8 route has a Strava segment.

--submitted by Jim McCusker

The Tunxis Mainline South trail is a small (5.9 mile) separate section that makes up the rest of the Tunxis mainline trail, and is included here for completeness. This section got 'cut off' from the main Tunxis Trail a while back and has a significant road section between it and the mainline trail so often gets overlooked.  The southern section starts at Lake Compounce and finishes 5 miles away near Southington. It has a steep climb at both ends with 3 lookouts, some spectacular rocky outcrops and goes past a reservoir and a waterfall called Tunnel Waterfall and a cave. The trail is poorly marked in a few places and difficult underfoot in places but also has plenty of quiet woodland and smooth trail sections. It includes the stunning Tunnel Falls and Lookout, 2 other lookouts , a cave and spectacular rocky outcrops as well as parking at both ends. full info here https://theairlandandsea.com/2020/06/tunxis-trail-guide.html

Comments

Note that there is no recognized road connector between the north and south trails. The trail manager is not interested in blazing 4 miles of telephone poles.