Blinnshed Ridge

Getting to the trail

 

What to look for on the Blinnshed Ridge Trail

The trail entrance offers two options. There is a short extension north of Blinnshed Road which passes an old, stone-lined firepond. This section soon joins the Blinnshed Loop.

The main trail proceeds south behind the Country Day School, along the west shoulder of a ridge that slopes to a wetland. Here, the forest contains large oaks, beech and tulip-poplar trees. Soon the trail enters State Forest where the presence of tree stumps indicates that this forest is under active management. At the rocky end of a ridge, descend a series of “plateaus” to near the wetland. Skunk cabbage, false hellebore and spicebush clearly delineate the wetland in early spring, and marsh marigolds occur on the banks of moving riverlets. Cross first one small stream, and then another a few yards beyond, on cedar log bridges. Soon, a crossing path (not blazed) leads southward past several excellent vernal pools (100 feet).

The blazed trail soon ascends the edge of a large glacier-smoothed outcrop, . This is a fine place to observe birds and other wildlife. Descend the rock to another wet swale with a fine cedar log crossing. In marked contrast to the oak-hickory woods on the drier ridges, yellow birch and red maple dominate the narrow, cooler wetland swales.

Climb once more over a series of low, rocky ridges and then, close by the State Forest boundary, look for the Neck River as it enters from the west below. Descend the last ridge and into the opening created by a powerline right-of-way. This opening is crossed by the beautiful little Neck River. Deer can often be seen here, especially in the early evening.

Blue blazes on rocks and the nearby power pole point the way across and out of the opening. Near the pole, the trail splits—turning either south into the woods and along the river, or east into the woods and along a woods road trail to eventually join the Neck River Trail. This point where the trail divides is the base of a loop.

The trail south follows the meandering river, each turn bringing to view a new, lovely scene. Eventually, near a quiet pool, swing sharply east away from the river, and then north across a rocky swale and to the junction with a logging road. This is the junction with the Neck River Trail which leads to the east (right). To the west, Trail #2 leads back to the loop base near the river and powerline opening.