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(57) PEOPLES STATE FOREST – August 2017
What is your favorite Connecticut state park? Readers of this column will likely have one. Sherwood Island for a stroll beside the Sound? Maybe Sleeping Giant for a hair-raising scramble up a huge traprock head? For me, it’s the secluded wooded valley and enveloping hills of Macedonia Brook west of Kent.
Now, what about your favorite state forest? Harder. State forests don’t get much hiker recognition. We walk the Appalachian Trail, not thinking about Housatonic State Forest which it passes through. If we hike at Squantz Pond, we may forget that the woods there belong to a forest called Pootatuck. My column this month will give pride of place to a state forest and make the bold claim that it contains one of Connecticut’s very best views. Here we go.
(56) SAUGATUCK TRAIL – July 2017
Sunshine dappled the foliage and the ferns on the forest floor. The fragments of sky visible through the canopy were blue. It was warm and a bit sticky, but not steamy hot. I was a short way down the Saugatuck Trail from its Easton, Black Rock Turnpike end, and so far was liking this hike quite well. Then two mishaps happened, one after the other.
(55) SILVER LAKE WILDERNESS – June 2017
Some animals — daddy bears, for example — spend most of their adult lives alone. We humans are not like that. No matter how much we may say we want peace and space, being truly separated from others of our species for any length of time runs deeply against the grain of our makeup. Last month, I took a hike in a New York wilderness that became two days and two nights of uninterrupted solitude. I am not claiming a Robinson Crusoe-like experience, but it was a revealing outing nonetheless.