It look ten months, 11 hikes, and 111 miles, but around noon last Friday Katie and I arrived at Long Island Sound, having walked the New England Trail from Massachusetts. It doesn’t rank with thru-hiking the Appalachian or Pacific Crest trails (which I have not done), but for me 2016 will forever be the year we hiked our home state.
I was afraid that this last section would be an anticlimax, but it didn’t turn out to be so. For half the distance the trail ran through attractive woods, and past field and riverbank. Even the road-walk to reach the Sound was not unpleasant. And the finish line was atmospheric – a boardwalk out to a muddy, reedy foreshore, and the Sound shining wherever the sun was not obstructed by traveling cumulus. We took in the scene, took selfies, and then – after so many sandwiches on the trail – went into Guilford for a restaurant lunch.
DATE: Friday, December 9th.
START: Willow Road, Guilford.
FINISH: Long Island Sound near Guilford Point.
ROUTE: New England Trail south.
DISTANCE: 7.5 miles.
ACCUMULATED DISTANCE: 111 miles (excluding side trails and wrong turns).
TIME: 3 hours (8:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.)
TERRAIN: Easy trails, then road-walking.
MAP: AMC/CFPA New England Trail Map & Guide.
WEATHER: Mostly sunny, high in the upper 30s.
WILDLIFE: We thought we saw raccoon tracks on a bog bridge, but now I think they belonged to some other beast, wild or domestic.
BREAKFAST: McDonald’s, I-95, Milford.
LUNCH: Post-hike, Quattro’s, Guilford.
UPS: The varied scenery of East River Preserve (map).
DOWNS: None that I recall.
KIT: A gloves and wooly hat day.
COMPANY: Katie and very little besides.