Undermountain Trail

Reflection on Undermountain Trail

Reflection on Undermountain Trail

Bear Mountain, Salisbury, Connecticut. I hadn’t hiked up Bear Mountain for close to a year so decided to give it a go today. Up Undermountain Trail, north on Paradise Lane, up the north side of Bear on the Appalachian Trail and over the top on same down the south side to Riga Junction and undermountain again back to the truck.

I must say, it remains a nice hike even though it’s very popular and a bit too crowded for my taste.

I spotted this nice little pool nestled among boulders coming down and decided to see if I remembered how to take a picture.

Race to Bear

Start of walk from Race Mt. to Bear Mt.

Southwest Massachusetts. Richard, Dave, and Loren about to set out on a twelve mile hike up Race Brook falls, across Race Mountain, down into Sage’s Ravine, into Connecticut, up Bear Mountain and back to Rt. 41 where our second car is parked.

This is a nice hike although we ran out of time and didn’t "summit" on Bear Mountain, instead taking the Paradise Lane trail under the east face of it.

The top of Race Mountain

The "summit" of Race Mountain, one of my favorite summits on our hikes so far. Nice views in all directions.

View east from Race Mt.

Dave looking east on the south ridge of Race Mountain. The walk along this ridge (about 1/2 mile) is the best part of the entire hike with spectacular views east down into the valley.

Bear Rock Stream

Me posing stupidly on a beautiful stone bridge crossing Bear Rock Stream.

Crossing Sage's Ravine

The bottom end of Sage’s Ravine with the water higher than we expected. There was no easy place to cross so Loren took the lead and walked in fast running water at the top of the falls, using his sticks for balance. Dave followed easily but my first step wasn’t so good and I went in up to my knee with my right foot. I made it but felt like a clod with a wet leg the rest of the trip.

Tip: with high water carry Keens, Tevas, or Crocks and a towel and wade across.

Even with this mishap it was a great hike and we had a blast.

Dave and kids on Bear Mountain

Dave and kids on Bear Mountain

Northwest Connecticut. Dave and I did a quick hike up Bear Mountain and found 30 amazing 6th graders with their teachers up on top. These kids had done a longer walk than we had to get there and they were in great spirits and wonderfully well behaved. Dave tought middle school geography for 39 years and has seen lots of kids but these kids were exceptional, even in his experience.

We spent the rest of our hike (down) wondering what school these kids were from (we forgot to ask) and how we might clone the teachers, parents, and kids to spread the good vibes elsewhere. Or, it might have simply been that they were so tired from the hike the edges were knocked off their behavior.

Whatever the cause, these kids were great.

Riga Junction on the way to Bear Mountain

South of Bear Mountain

Riga Junction, North of Salsbury, Connecticut. My hiking buddy Loren and I decided to explore a bit of the Appalachian trail in the northwest corner of Connecticut by hiking up to Bear Mountain, the highest mountain in our state.

This is where the Undermountain trail intersects with the Appalachian Trail. For those of you who don’t know it, the AT is over 2000 miles long running from Georgia to Maine.

I highly recommend this hike: great views, excellent trail and not too hard on the knees coming down.

Being Labor Day the trails had plenty of people on them but everyone was incredibly nice and we met a couple from Maryland who knew the area well who were a delight to walk with and we had lunch with them on top and they showed us a more scenic route back down.

This is one hike I hope to do often.

The picture was taken with my wife’s little Canon "Elph" which is a joy to carry compared with a Canon 5D with 24-70mm lens.

Note: This is the hike we met Dave McCullough on although when I first posted this I didn’t know he’d later become a good friend. We met him this day on Bear Mountain only to find out he was my next door neighbor back in Warren. Amazing.