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Thread: Some Connecticut mountains - I love the Mt Riga area

  1. #1
    Senior Member SpencerVT's Avatar
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    Some Connecticut mountains - I love the Mt Riga area

    I always really loved the Mount Washington area of Massachusetts and how the Taconics go down into the extreme northwest corner of Connecticut a little bit.
    Additionally, the Mt Riga area of Connecticut has some fascinating history regarding the high elevation Iron Ore mining and settlement. If you ever get a chance to check out the very old cemetery high up off the Mt Riga road, it is quite an awesome New England place. I've been trying to climb all the peaks in those areas. Don't be fooled - some of these can pack a punch because the Mountain Laurel is a Venus flytrap for hikers which will tangle and ensnare even the best contortionists amongst us.

    My wife and I bushwhacked Mount Ashley near the border of CT in Mass. A hard and steep bushwhack because of the mutant science fiction Mountain Laurel. The summit had tremendous and rewarding views:

    Afterwards, we climbed Mt Plantain, which was also lots of fun and we found a herd trail to the summit.

    I also went down on a different day and climbed Lions Head and Bird Mountain. I approached Bird Mountain from the Lakeville Reservoir which was the same way I approached Thorpe Mountain last year. An easy bushwhack with minimal Mountain Laurel. As you can see there is an enormous cairn atop Bird Mountain, with great views in multiple directions. A fantastic peak.

    Spencer
    Bigfoot

  2. #2
    Senior Member iagreewithjamie's Avatar
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    That whole area is loaded with Mountain Laurel. In the early summer, it blankets those mountains in white and pink, and is really quite astounding.
    Nothin' on the top but a bucket and a mop
    And an illustrated book about birds.
    You see alot up there, but don't be scared:
    who needs actions when you got words?

  3. #3
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    I love backpacking this area when it is monorail season in the North.

    Have you seen the thread here on doing a loop of the AT and Taconic?

    Did you need permission to visit that cemetary? I have been under the impression that most of the Mt Riga area was private property.

  4. #4
    Senior Member SpencerVT's Avatar
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    To the best of my knowledge, you do not need permission to visit the cemetery, you can drive up right to it. A lot of the mount Riga area is private, but there appears to be plenty of open land as well.
    I will have to check out that loop thread!
    Spencer
    Bigfoot

  5. #5
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    Here's a hike in that general area I used to like; haven't done it in 7 years so who knows. I've heard the light-blue trail may have had its blazes obscured because the slope was too steep (it isn't).

    Route from West Street (near Mt Ethel) to the Bash Bish Falls Parking Lot

    A great walk idea mostly because of the wonderful views at the end, west beyond Cedar Mt. and the old Northrup Trail.

    There is day parking nearby at the at the pond on West Streets just NE of Mt Ethel. There are parking spots at a State Library building even closer to the start of the walk, but no indication one way or the other if parking is permitted.

    The route consists of these paths, in order: 1. the Northrup Trail, 2. the Pink Trail , 3. a very short mostly easy unblazed bushwhack connecting the Pink to the LiteBlue Trail, and 4. the Parking Lot Trail.

    There are two minor (1/4 mile or less) gaps in the paths; I'll describe them in the following narrative.

    The old un-blazed Northrup Trail starts out just like on the old maps, at 4207'16.7", -7328'33.4" on West Street, just opposite a metal gate abutted by wood fencing in both directions, and heads west. After about 3/4 of a mile of woods road walking it comes to a problem area at a knoll/foothill of Mt. Ethel. Lots of blowdowns or maybe logging in this messy area. Incidentally, around a hundred yards before this first knoll, a woods road branches off to the left (S) and down to a trickling stream and literally acres of fairly flat non-sanctioned sleeping opportunities. Should that first stream be dry or too meager to draw water from, there is a more robust stream further on (you'll hear it).

    I just follow other un-blazed and un-named paths/game trails straight up and over the knoll and onward W/very slightly SW. There are other paths around more to the left (S), but some extensive scrub patches to deal with. I think the Northrup itself probably circles around to the right (N/NW) but I have not looked. I just take a heading to pick up the Pink Trail (blazed with pink tape; sometimes it's actually the Northrup, sometimes parallel to it) at around 4207'11.8", -7329'9.6" in about 1/4 mile, using the path traces and game trails, zigzagging to avoid scrub as required (very little). The natural flow of walking seems to pick up the Pink Trail just a little further on and a tiny bit uphill. [to be continued]

  6. #6
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    [continued from part 1]
    Here you have a choice. The Northrup tends to stay up on the ridge to the right (N), while the pink-tape blazed trail parallels it slightly downslope to the its left (S). I'm more comfortable just following the Pink Trail west. It's more scenic because you can sometimes see through the trees to the South whereas the ridge top is too thickly wooded-in. Note that the pink tape is often 10-30 feet to the left or right of the actual path it's marking. I have no idea why. Maybe a Winter plot? Generally the woods are so open here you can just stay on a compass heading West and wander as you please. There are many path traces running E-W, though they fade in and out. If you stray too far downhill from the Pink, it's sometimes easy but sometimes gets thick.

    The Pink has a brief problem near the broad central north Cedar peak area (just slightly NE of the actual Cedar high point . A mess; lots of scrub. But since this area is wooded and unremarkable anyway, I usually skip it, abandoning the Pink temporarily at 4207'16.3", -7329'33.6", and stay W/SW rather than continuing slightly north. An easy bushwhack of a few hundred yards through open woods picks up the Pink Trail again W/SW of Cedar at 4207'15.5", -7329'45.5". Actually I think much of this easy bushwhack is so easy because we're back on the old Northrup again. I'm also pretty sure I've detected the Northrup here heading down S from the Cedar Cedar high point, but it's badly infringed by scrub from the sides, punishing stiff branches. I've never followed it far; too many good alternatives.

    If you really want to visit the north central Cedar peak(s), it's easy enough, continuing on the Pink, using the Northrup when you can find it, and trace paths which I think are game trails here, but you have scrub patches to work around that are more extensive than earlier in the walk. If you do these peaks, ignore the last couple of pink tapes descending the northernmost central peak to the NW, they go nowhere any good; instead keep left SW-ish and rejoin the Pink at the before-mentioned 4207'15.5", -7329'45.5". Incidentally there is frequently standing water (deep and pretty clear) about halfway (at 4207'19.1", -7329'41.0") between the northernmost Cedar peak and where the tape picks up, and there are several flat sleeping spots in this general area.

    Whether you hit the Cedar peaks or skipped them, we are now west beyond Cedar and the Northrup, but nearing the best part of the walk.

    Soon, at 4207'16.6", -7329'56.5", the Pink starts swinging to the N/NE (All the way to Cedar Creek? I have no idea. That would be great and I'm going to try setting off in that direction some day to check it out). Instead, abandon the Pink and head S. Almost immediately, at 4207'16.0", -7329'57.0", you have your first real bushwhacking, a barrier of really thick scrub. I mean rip off your hat, eyeglasses, and anything attached to your pack thick. But it's only 10-15 yards and WORTH it. You break out into a series of viewpoints among my favorites anywhere. Fine in Summer, GREAT just after leaf peak, when enough of the leaves have fallen off the downslope trees to fully open it up but you still see intense color for miles in an almost 180 degree arc. In winter, it's beyond description! [to be continued]

  7. #7
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    [continued from part 2]
    Descend S and then SE, staying on the rock outcroppings. Tiny bits of scrub in between. The views are even better lower down because of the perspective and because the slope becomes sparsely treed. Look to the S (between leafy branches in Summer) and you'll see the Falls! Hear them too. Just remarkable, a secret treasure protected by the thick brush the way we've come in, and a section of somewhat steep trail-less rock-strewn slope down the way we're going out. At the lowest of the dramatic views there is a single tree you'll wish you could take a chainsaw to, to make it perfect, but still amazing.

    When you're done enjoying, which will take a long time, diagonal down S/SE across the Sparse Slope; a little steep, but good footing on intermittent rocks. Soon you'll start picking up the LiteBlue blazed trail beginning at 4207'11.4", -7329'52.4". Blazes so faded they are starting to look white. This very old but still discernible trail takes you gently all the way down to the road ( Rt. 344) a quarter of a mile or so N of the BashBish parking lot. But just before you descend the last 20-30 yards to the road, the un-blazed Parking Lot trail turns slightly uphill left, then parallels 344, and takes you right out to the lot, a much nicer ending to a very nice walk.

    If I can remember how, I'll attach a gpx track here. Text dump of it in next post if it takes.


    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Northrup Cedar BashBish map1.jpg 
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    Last edited by Will; 11-29-2018 at 05:42 PM.

  8. #8
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    Format: DMS M/D/Y H:M:S -4.00 hrs Datum[073]: NAD27 CONUS







    ID
    Name
    Comment
    Date Time
    Latitude
    Longitude
    Icon
    Display Option
    Altitude

    R
    1
    Northrop Traverse







    W
    Northrop01
    verified good
    00:00.0
    4207'16.7"
    -7328'33.4"
    Waypoint
    NS


    W
    Northrop02
    verified good
    00:00.0
    4207'16.0"
    -7328'35.8"
    Waypoint
    NS


    W
    Northrop03
    verified good
    00:00.0
    4207'15.6"
    -7328'40.3"
    Waypoint
    NS


    W
    Northrop04
    verified good
    00:00.0
    4207'15.1"
    -7328'45.5"
    Waypoint
    NS


    W
    Northrop05
    verified good
    00:00.0
    4207'14.5"
    -7328'50.3"
    Waypoint
    NS


    W
    Northrop06
    verified good?
    00:00.0
    4207'13.6"
    -7328'51.7"
    Waypoint
    NS


    W
    P01

    00:00.0
    4207'11.8"
    -7329'09.6"
    Waypoint
    NS
    547.1

    W
    P02

    00:00.0
    4207'11.8"
    -7329'10.6"
    Waypoint
    NS
    545.9

    W
    P03

    00:00.0
    4207'12.0"
    -7329'11.5"
    Waypoint
    NS
    546.8

    W
    P04
    Unknown Trail Intersect Go R N
    00:00.0
    4207'12.1"
    -7329'12.2"
    Waypoint
    NS
    558.1

    W
    P05

    00:00.0
    4207'12.3"
    -7329'12.3"
    Waypoint
    NS
    545.6

    W
    P06

    00:00.0
    4207'12.3"
    -7329'12.8"
    Waypoint
    NS
    545.3

    W
    P07

    00:00.0
    4207'12.5"
    -7329'13.8"
    Waypoint
    NS
    544.7

    W
    P08

    00:00.0
    4207'13.4"
    -7329'17.9"
    Waypoint
    NS
    551.1

    W
    P09

    00:00.0
    4207'13.6"
    -7329'18.2"
    Waypoint
    NS
    551.7

    W
    P10

    00:00.0
    4207'13.8"
    -7329'19.4"
    Waypoint
    NS
    556.6

    W
    P11

    00:00.0
    4207'13.9"
    -7329'19.9"
    Waypoint
    NS
    557.8

    W
    P12

    00:00.0
    4207'14.0"
    -7329'20.8"
    Waypoint
    NS
    560.2

    W
    P13

    00:00.0
    4207'14.0"
    -7329'21.7"
    Waypoint
    NS
    562.4

    W
    P14

    00:00.0
    4207'14.0"
    -7329'22.7"
    Waypoint
    NS
    560.2

    W
    P15

    00:00.0
    4207'14.1"
    -7329'23.3"
    Waypoint
    NS
    560.5

    W
    P16

    00:00.0
    4207'13.8"
    -7329'25.7"
    Waypoint
    NS
    560.2

    W
    P17

    00:00.0
    4207'13.6"
    -7329'26.9"
    Waypoint
    NS
    559.9

    W
    P18

    00:00.0
    4207'15.2"
    -7329'30.4"
    Waypoint
    NS
    568.5

    W
    P19

    00:00.0
    4207'15.7"
    -7329'30.8"
    Waypoint
    NS
    572.7

    W
    P20

    00:00.0
    4207'16.4"
    -7329'32.8"
    Waypoint
    NS
    571.2

    W
    P21

    00:00.0
    4207'16.3"
    -7329'33.6"
    Waypoint
    NS
    575.8

    W
    Northrop15
    from map
    00:00.0
    4207'16.2"
    -7329'33.9"
    Waypoint
    NS


    W
    Northrop16
    from map
    00:00.0
    4207'15.5"
    -7329'36.8"
    Waypoint
    NS


    W
    Northrop17
    from map
    00:00.0
    4207'15.2"
    -7329'40.3"
    Waypoint
    NS


    W
    P28
    Picks up after gap
    00:00.0
    4207'15.5"
    -7329'45.5"
    Waypoint
    NS
    556

    W
    P29

    00:00.0
    4207'16.4"
    -7329'47.6"
    Waypoint
    NS
    551.1

    W
    P30

    00:00.0
    4207'16.7"
    -7329'48.7"
    Waypoint
    NS
    547.4

    W
    P31

    00:00.0
    4207'17.2"
    -7329'49.9"
    Waypoint
    NS
    540.4

    W
    P32

    00:00.0
    4207'17.4"
    -7329'50.4"
    Waypoint
    NS
    541

    W
    P33

    00:00.0
    4207'17.6"
    -7329'52.4"
    Waypoint
    NS
    548.3

    W
    P34

    00:00.0
    4207'17.7"
    -7329'52.9"
    Waypoint
    NS
    543.8

    W
    P35

    00:00.0
    4207'17.8"
    -7329'53.6"
    Waypoint
    NS
    544.1

    W
    P36

    00:00.0
    4207'17.6"
    -7329'54.2"
    Waypoint
    NS
    542.2

    W
    P37

    00:00.0
    4207'16.9"
    -7329'54.5"
    Waypoint
    NS
    541

    W
    P38

    00:00.0
    4207'16.6"
    -7329'55.1"
    Waypoint
    NS
    540.4

    W
    P39

    00:00.0
    4207'16.7"
    -7329'55.6"
    Waypoint
    NS
    539.2

    W
    P40

    00:00.0
    4207'16.7"
    -7329'56.3"
    Waypoint
    NS
    537.1

    W
    P41
    Leave Pink Go S Down
    00:00.0
    4207'16.6"
    -7329'56.5"
    Waypoint
    NS
    538.6

    W
    Breakthruscrub
    Break through heavy scrub
    00:00.0
    4207'16.0"
    -7329'57.0"
    Waypoint
    NS
    533.4

    W
    High View
    Stay on rocks SSE then S
    00:00.0
    4207'15.5"
    -7329'57.5"
    Waypoint
    NS
    530.5

    W
    Lower View
    Can see Falls from here
    00:00.0
    4207'14.9"
    -7329'57.0"
    Waypoint
    NS
    524.5

    W
    View
    From here,clear all way Down SE
    00:00.0
    4207'14.0"
    -7329'57.2"
    Waypoint
    NS
    520.9

    W
    AcrossSparSlp
    Diagonal Down across the Sparse Slope
    00:00.0
    4207'13.7"
    -7329'56.3"
    Waypoint
    NS
    515.1

    W
    NorWP01

    00:00.0
    4207'13.4"
    -7329'56.2"
    Waypoint
    NS
    510.3

    W
    NorWP02

    00:00.0
    4207'12.7"
    -7329'55.3"
    Waypoint
    NS
    499

    W
    LiteBlue01

    00:00.0
    4207'11.4"
    -7329'52.4"
    Waypoint
    NS
    480.7

    W
    LiteBlue02

    00:00.0
    4207'10.8"
    -7329'51.6"
    Waypoint
    NS
    473.7

    W
    LiteBlue03

    00:00.0
    4207'10.2"
    -7329'51.0"
    Waypoint
    NS
    465.7

    W
    LiteBlue04

    00:00.0
    4207'09.9"
    -7329'50.7"
    Waypoint
    NS
    460.6

    W
    LiteBlue05

    00:00.0
    4207'09.1"
    -7329'50.0"
    Waypoint
    NS
    431

    W
    LiteBlue06

    00:00.0
    4207'08.3"
    -7329'48.3"
    Waypoint
    NS
    447.8

    W
    LiteBlue07

    00:00.0
    4207'08.0"
    -7329'47.8"
    Waypoint
    NS
    445.3

    W
    LiteBlue08Ltur
    Left Turn
    00:00.0
    4207'06.9"
    -7329'46.0"
    Waypoint
    NS
    392.6

    W
    LiteBlue09

    00:00.0
    4207'06.8"
    -7329'45.5"
    Waypoint
    NS
    420.9

    W
    LiteBlue10

    00:00.0
    4207'06.7"
    -7329'44.9"
    Waypoint
    NS
    419.1

    W
    LiteBlue11

    00:00.0
    4207'05.8"
    -7329'43.2"
    Waypoint
    NS
    414.8

    W
    LiteBlue12

    00:00.0
    4207'05.2"
    -7329'41.6"
    Waypoint
    NS
    413.6

    W
    LiteBlue13

    00:00.0
    4207'05.0"
    -7329'40.5"
    Waypoint
    NS
    406.9

    W
    LiteBlue14

    00:00.0
    4207'04.5"
    -7329'38.9"
    Waypoint
    NS
    401.7

    W
    LiteBlue15

    00:00.0
    4207'04.2"
    -7329'38.7"
    Waypoint
    NS
    409

    W
    LiteBlue16

    00:00.0
    4207'03.5"
    -7329'37.8"
    Waypoint
    NS
    401.1

    W
    LiteBlue17

    00:00.0
    4207'03.6"
    -7329'37.5"
    Waypoint
    NS
    400.2

    W
    LiteBlue18

    00:00.0
    4207'03.5"
    -7329'37.4"
    Waypoint
    NS
    400.5

    W
    LiteBlue19

    00:00.0
    4207'03.4"
    -7329'36.8"
    Waypoint
    NS
    399.3

    W
    LiteBlue20

    00:00.0
    4207'02.8"
    -7329'34.7"
    Waypoint
    NS
    392

    W
    LiteBlue21

    00:00.0
    4207'02.6"
    -7329'33.8"
    Waypoint
    NS
    391.4

    W
    LiteBlue22

    00:00.0
    4207'01.7"
    -7329'32.6"
    Waypoint
    NS
    384

    W
    PL01

    54:02.0
    4207'01.1"
    -7329'31.7"
    Waypoint
    NS
    381.3

    W
    PL02

    52:34.0
    4207'00.6"
    -7329'31.1"
    Waypoint
    NS
    382.7

    W
    PL03

    51:28.0
    4207'00.7"
    -7329'30.1"
    Waypoint
    NS
    385.4

    W
    PLStream1

    01:50.0
    4207'00.5"
    -7329'29.7"
    Waypoint
    NS
    388.3

    W
    PL04

    50:03.0
    4206'59.6"
    -7329'29.3"
    Waypoint
    NS
    391.1

    W
    PL05

    49:10.0
    4206'58.7"
    -7329'28.9"
    Waypoint
    NS
    395.2

    W
    PLStream2

    04:23.0
    4206'57.7"
    -7329'29.1"
    Waypoint
    NS
    396.2

    W
    PL06

    47:32.0
    4206'56.1"
    -7329'29.5"
    Waypoint
    NS
    398.3

    W
    PL07

    45:46.0
    4206'54.9"
    -7329'31.1"
    Waypoint
    NS
    395

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