On Saturday I hiked around Breakneck Pond in Nipmuck State Forest in Connecticut, with short sections in Bigelow Hollow State Park and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

It started snowing lightly early on and kept doing so for the rest of the hike. When I finished there was about an inch on my car. The snow on the ground was fluffy, and when I broke trail, which was most of the time, I would sink in about a foot.

I started out in Bigelow Hollow, took the White Trail briefly to Ridge Trail, which I took to its end. Ridge Trail was broken out for about a half mile. After that there was a clear trough covered with the latest snow for about a mile. After that I was following the blue and orange blazes, which were fortunately pretty frequent. Ridge Trail goes up over Peter Rabbit Rock, and then across the Cat Rocks, which are hills and ridges with occasional viewpoints. On this part of the hike I could faintly hear I84 in the distance, but besides that and the blazes I was completely in the wilderness. After the ridges the trail drops down, and crosses the state line several times. Note: The State Forest map and the Connecticut Walk Book East map disagree on where the trail goes in this section. I think the Walk Book is right.

At the end of Ridge Trail I turned east on the Blue & Red Trail and rockhopped across Breakneck Brook. Soon I saw a snowmobiler turning around in front of me. Besides a group at the trailhead headed somewhere else, this was the only other person I saw the whole hike. I followed the snowmobile tracks down the Blue & Red Trail, which became the blue blazed Nipmuck Trail when it crossed the state line. Soon after the snowmobile tracks and the trail split and I was breaking trail again. This section of the Nipmuck follows the eastern shore of Breakneck Pond. There wasn't much elevation gain here, of course, but for some of it I was sidehilling, which isn't great for trail breaking.

After I passed East Shelter there was again a trough in the trail. For a while there I was following tracks made by a skier and a dog. Then I was breaking trail again. When I got to the southern end of the pond it got confusing; I couldn't find where the Red Trail went. I saw the South Shelter, though, so I headed there, and then headed west, picked up the Red Trail (which had the deepest drifts of the day) and then found the White Trail. The White Trail was well broken out and I cruised back to my car.

The drive back was an adventure in itself. I made it home though, and half way up my driveway.

The whole hike was seven miles, for about five of which I broke trail. It took me six and a half hours.

Here are the pictures.

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Cumulus

NE111 in my 50s: 115/115 (67/67, 46/46, 2/2)
NE111 in my 60s: 10/115 ( 8/67, 2/46, 0/2)
NEFF: 43/50; Cat35: 33/39; WNH4K: 35/48; NEHH 81/100
LT NB 2009

"I don't much care where [I get to] --" said Alice, "-- so long as I get somewhere," ...
"Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."
- Lewis Carroll