In spring this year, hiking to Pond Mountain via the Appalachian Trail in Kent, CT, I conceived the idea of “Caleb to Cobble”—a hike “from views of the Housatonic River valley to a panorama of the distant Catskills”. Seven months later, on Black Friday, I took the hike; except it became “Cobble to Caleb”, for the simple reason that parking is better in Macedonia Brook State Park than it is beneath Caleb’s Peak on Skiff Mountain Road. I am delighted to say that the views—west and east—did not disappoint.
I was hiking alone, so this was an out-and-back. A point-to-point variant would be to park beside the Housatonic on River Road, scale St. John’s Ledges to Caleb’s Peak and end up on Cobble Mountain (second car spotted in Macedonia Brook SP).
DATE: Friday, November 23rd.
START & FINISH: Parking near Macedonia Brook State Park pavilion (41.768129, -73.494803).
ROUTE: Cobble Mountain and back; yellow, blue, and green trails to Fuller Mountain Road; Fuller Mountain Road to Pond Mountain Natural Area; Entry, Pond, and Red Gate trails to Skiff Mountain Road; very short stretch of Skiff Mountain Road to Appalachian Trail; AT to Caleb’s Peak. Return by same route (except, in Macedonia Brook, I used the green and orange trails on the return leg).
DISTANCE: About 11 miles roundtrip.
TIME: 5.5 hours (8:30am-2:00pm).
TERRAIN: Steep 650-foot up-and-down of Cobble, followed by climb to Macedonia Brook’s eastern boundary. A mile of tranquil Fuller Mountain Road. Mostly gentle grades on Pond Mountain NA trails. Caleb’s Peak is a few hundred feet above, and 0.7 miles from, Skiff Mountain Road.
MAP: CT Deep Macedonia Brook SP trail map (on my tablet); Pond Mountain Natural Area (paper, obtained from trailhead on a previous outing); AT official map (not necessary).
WEATHER: Sunny and cold (single digits rising to mid-20s F)
WILDLIFE: A couple of white-tailed deer hightailed it from me in a field beside Fuller Mountain Road.
BREAKFAST: My traditional coffee and bagel at J.P. Gifford, Kent (bagel eaten half in the café and half on Cobble Mountain).
LUNCH: Turkey (of course) sandwich on Caleb’s Peak.
UPS: Beautiful places in sunny weather.
DOWNS: Wheezing a bit ascending Cobble in very cold air despite wearing a clava.
KIT: Katie, my eldest, lent me a Hydro Flask to test. I filled it with tea at home (6:30am) and opened it on Caleb’s Peak five hours later, and after three hours outside in cold temperatures. The tea was warmer than lukewarm, but cooler than hot.
COMPANY: A threesome climbing Cobble as I was coming down and, in the afternoon, a couple dog-walking beside Fuller Pond. That’s all.