Double Loop Trail

Getting to the trail

 

What to look for on the Double Loop Trail

Begin at Trailhead 1, parallel to the churchyard and along an old stonewall. The State Forest here is under active management and, at intervals, is selectively harvested. Old stumps attest to earlier logging throughout the forest, and the path follows old logging roads in most places. Oaks, hickories and tulip-poplar trees dominate this section. Some areas, wet after heavy rains, are easily skirted. In such moister areas, yellow birch, black birch, American beech and red maples are common. Understories are rich in spicebush, blue beech and ironwood.

The many stone walls which are followed and crossed indicate that this area, as most of southern Connecticut, was once heavily agricultural. These walls once bordered fields and pastures. In about 0.4 mile the trail, now heading south, joins the “east-west” logging road trail. To the east (left) the trail leads to Trailhead #2 (0.2 mile) and forms the “north loop.” Turning to the right (west), the trail leads to the junction of the “south loop” trail. At this junction, a spur trail continues west (straight) 0.2 mile to Trailhead #3 on Opening Hill Road.

The main trail turns sharply south (left) along the “south loop”. This section proceeds along a ridge that drops off to either side, especially to the west (right). Where stone walls mark the junction of what were once four fields, turn right and descend to an area rich in black birch, red maple and beech (and large boulders left by the last glacier). Shortly, the trail again swings southward (left). At a point about 100 feet before the State Forest boundary, marked by another stone wall, turn sharply left (northeast) even though the more heavily used path continues straight ahead (south).

(Note:  The well-used south path through private land, while not mapped, is blue-blazed and open to public hiking. Eventually, it splits to go either west or east. Turning west, it joins the Indigo Woods Trail, Trail 15 (within a Conservation Easement on private land); to the east it passes first east, then north over a high promontory and then down to Warpas Road, a few hundred yards from Trailhead 1 of the CCC Camp Hadley Trail).

The main trail, turning left (northeast), is less used, so look carefully for the blue blazes as it veers away and then again nears the State Forest border. Shortly after crossing a small stream flowing south, the trail swings northward, passing once more through stone walls, before joining the “east-west” logging road. Trailhead 2 is about 300 feet to the east (right). To the west, the logging road trail crosses a boggy area and small stream and then, at about 900 feet, joins the trails travelled earlier and then back to either Trailhead 1 or 3.