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Hike & Seek Challenge: Cockaponset State Forest Red/Blue Loop

Hike & Seek Challenge
Cockaponset State Forest, Pattaconk Reservoir
Red/Blue to Blue-Blazed Trail Loop
Approximately 2.2 miles
With optional .5 mile extension

 

Are you a Hike & Seek champion? Find all of the special features on this trail using the descriptions and photos provided. Let us know how it goes! 

 

Directions To Pattaconk Reservoir, Cedar Lake Rd, Chester:

From Middletown area: take Route 9 south, Exit 6. Turn right off the exit ramp and go west on Route 148 for approx. 2 miles. Take a right onto Cedar Lake Rd and drive approx. 2 miles. Take a left at the Cockaponset State Forest sign.

From Old Saybrook area: Route 9 north to Exit 6. Turn left off exit ramp and go west on Route 148 for approx.  2 miles. Take a right onto Cedar Lake Rd and drive approx. 2 miles. Take a left at the Cockaponset State Forest sign.Map with points redblue.jpeg

 

Once You Arrive: 

On map dark blue denotes blue/red trail and light blue denotes blue trail. Trail entrance is from the Pattaconk Reservoir parking lot to the right of the forest road yellow gate. Access blue trail from rear/south side of parking lot or take shortcut to western lake edge and look for blue/red markers to left of beach. The map shows the approximate (not exact) location of the 6 features to seek.
 

IMPORTANT TRAIL NOTE: 

Before this bridge turn left onto blue trail. Or cross bridge and continue on blue/red trail to add optional half mile loop. There are two large parking lots at the end of the entrance road.  The trail leaves from the west (right) lot.  Take the stairs to the south to connect to the blue trail (upper left photo) or take the shortcut to the lake marked by the large rocks (lower left photo) and start on the blue/red trail by the beach.

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Special Features to Find (corresponding with the photos): 

1. Watch for Split Rock on the right after the first stream crossing. 

2. This bench tree will be on the right side of the trail.

3. Can you spot the Picasso Tree? I LOVE looking for faces in trees and rocks.  Keep your eye out for more!

4. This Tombstone rock will be on your right before a stream crossing.

5. This lichen and fern covered rock on your left marks the top of the ridge. The lichen is called rock tripe.

6. Watch for this hollowed tree on your left.  Look further to your left to admire the beech tree growing out of the rock face!

 

Safety Tips for Hike & Seeking: 

Always tell someone where you are hiking. Always bring a trail map. 

Follow Covid-19 precautions when hiking on public trails. 

Familiarize yourself with weather conditions and hunting season and dress accordingly.

Leave No Trace and respect wildlife.  

 

From The Creator of Hike & Seek: 

Dear Fellow Hikers:

While I am not leading in-person hikes at the present time, it is more important than ever for both our physical and mental health that we all spend some time in the great outdoors.  With that in mind, I am creating a series of Nature Nerds Hike & Seek Challenges with the help and support of CFPA.

My goal is to encourage folks to hit the trails and have some extra fun doing it.  Your feedback is essential and will help me tailor future Hike & Seeks.   Please complete the short survey below when you've finished your Hike & Seek.

Renee Smith, Nature Nerds