Only CT A.T. History Geaks need read this...

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Well-known member
Mar 8, 2005
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Here and there Avatar: Ice Ice Bab
Only CT A.T. History Geeks need read this...

I just found my 1983 MA/CT Appalachian Trail Guide. It shows where the trail was then (obviously :rolleyes: ). It came into CT north of Bulls Bridge on Scaghticoke, drops STRAIGHT down to the school in Kent, walks up the road, heads back north over Chase Mtn, drops back through Macedonia Brook and follows the river on Fuller Mtn Rd to the trail over Calebs Peak and St Johns Ledges. Here it drops back down to the river and up like it does now, crosses Rt 4 and the stream, "peaks" and drops back to Rt 7, crosses the road back to Cornwall Bridge and re-enters the woods at "Dark Entry" (Dudleytown). The trail and campsites head north over Mohawk, Echo Rock, Cathedral Pines, Red Mtn Lean To and joins the current map at Lime Rock.

Anyone who is REALLY excited after reading this can borrow the map to review the changes.
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That doesn't sound so long ago to me. I walked the old route and helped build the new route on Scaghticote Mt. There were two hold-ups, building the Ten Mile River Bridge and an influential land owner who was good buddies with Reagan. He didn't want any darn hippy backpackers looking down on his land, so the trail didn't get routed to it's current route till he passed away. Thus the road walk up through Dogtail Corners lasted another four years.
A friend and I hiked part of this in July 1983. We started at Dark Entry and finished at the Elbow Trail by the Berkshire School. I remember camping in a ravine just before a steep climb of Barrack? Mountain. Can't remember the name of the ravine but I think it is just East of Rt.7 near the high school. I also hiked thru Macedonia State Park on the AT in the fall of 82. I think I have that same guide book somewhere.Thanksfor the memories.
John Graham said:
and an influential land owner who was good buddies with Reagan. He didn't want any darn hippy backpackers looking down on his land, so the trail didn't get routed to it's current route till he passed away.
Henry Kissinger is an influential land owner in the area, but he's "NOT DEAD YET..."

Thanks for your work there, John. My family and I enjoy the Ten Mile River area alot !
Last I heard, the stretch of the AT that used to pass through Cornwall Bridge and Dark Entry woods has since been renamed the Mohawk Trail (it's in the Connecticut Walk Book). Dark Entry happens to be the home to Dudleytown (supposedly one of the most haunted spots in New England, if not the country), which I guess the Mohawk Trail actually passes through. When I was in the area in June of 2001, there were notices posted in quite a few places around Cornwall Bridge, stating that that particular patch of woods was on private land and that trespassers were simply not welcome (I guess the haunted aspect of the place attracted a bunch of crazy people at one point).

To cut to my point, considering how much visiting to the Dark Entry Forest was frowned on then, has that affected access to the Mohawk Trail at all? Since my visit, have the landowners been more comfortable with people visiting? Are they only okay with it if people are just hiking through on the Mohawk Trail (and are not there with the express purpose of poking around the old abandoned village)?

P.S. [subsequent addendum] I ask too because having just looked it up on Wikipedia, the Dudleytown article states that the property is closed to visitors by the state police, who supposedly patrol the woods for trespassers. Hence my wondering if the Mohawk Trail is still open.
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Depends. If you're hiking through in a backpack with nalgene's the police aren't called. If you're hiking through with half the graduating class and a traveling pub on Oct 31st - everybody gets arrested. ;) There's definately something wrong there, though, bad magnetic field or groundwater or something.
The area is now part of the CT Blue Dot Trail system, but the actual entrance off Rt 4 there is private property. So trespassing can be selectively enforced.
If you're looking for more "weirdness" in the area, Google "Raggies Salisbury". Also, one of the oddest real objects in the area is "Giant's Thumb", which I've never found much written about
Hey Chip...

Yep, got that guidebook, and ones from the 40's to now as well... If you get the chance, read Earl Schaffer's autobiography 'Walking with Spring', he talks briefly about that section when he hiked it in 1948.

And yes, the old AT is pretty much what is considered the Mohawk Trail, and like Chip said, if you are near Dudleytown and look like a hiker instead of the local goth kid/metalhead/jock looking to party; i.e. almost any younger looking person that may not be a hiker, most likely the neighbors will not bother with you. BUT the only real access will be via the Mohawk Trail. Don't drive up to the Dudleytown area and park on the local streets. That will cause you grief, not by evil spirits, but the neighbors who don't want the hassles of living near an allegedly haunted town. And you will really want to avoid the place anywhere near the end of Oct near Halloween. The neighbors get really upset because some paper will write a story about the place and attract the latest ghosthunter or partier...

Reading the old AT guides actually is pretty interesting, I have over a half dozen from the 1940's to current for the NJ to MA section of the trail. Most of the old trail used lots of roads until the NPS bought property, and a few of the old shelters are still out there. There is an old stone one east of the Taconic near Black Pond that is on private property, new owners not keen on visitors, and just letting the stone shelter fade into memory and the landscape from what I know. In some areas there are still blazes visible, of course well faded and almost gone, but if you look they are there.

You can access some vintage topo maps on the web as well that has the trail marked on them. I use them to find old railbeds too... If I had the skill and time, I would love to create a map that shows the current AT, and the trail as it has been re-routed over the years. I would not be surprised if someone already has done that, I just have never found it.

As for Giant's Thumb, it is allegedly a glacial erratic... Honestly I believe that it was a prank done by some native Americans in the area to laugh at some colonists... :D I'M KIDDING OF COURSE :D ... Actually it is a pretty cool rock to check out, plus it is right near one of my favorite spots to view the Southern Taconics, Rand View; a great view looking NW at the Riga Plateau north to Everett and beyond.

Catch you all later...
Great post Kevin...
I believe back then the AT covered a few more miles than it does now. While it's a more or less a north-south route now, it used to go east as far as Mohawk Mt. and west to I think Macedonia. And yes , I can think of a couple of old shelters still standing in various states of repair.
Dudleytown has always had a reputation of being haunted, but with the advent of the internet and especially the Blair Witch Project the landowner's
patience has worn thin. It is an interesting place, but you pretty much have to stick to the Blue Trail.

Thanks for the helpful clarification. Any even remotely official description of Dudleytown never fails to mention that there's no trespassing, which is strictly enforced, and yet there it is in the Connecticut Walk book, in the description for the Mohawk Trail.

It's funny that Dudleytown has attracted as much attention as it has. It's not like abandoned villages are that hard to come by in New England (heck, in the next state over, there's four of them in the vicinity of the Quabbin alone). I kind of wonder if it's at all due to the fact it's located relatively close to the really built up southern New England seashore, as well as southern New York (and just one county over from populous Fairfield County).

Overall, I think Litchfield County is kind of an interesting place. Whenever I've talked to people from that state, it seems like Litchfield is the one county that they've never been to and don't know that much about. And yet it's one of the loveliest in Connecticut (and it's the one with the state's "mountains").