West Thompson Lake – South Section

Location: Thompson, CT

Links: US Army Corps of Engineers; AllTrails; PDF Map

Date: February 1, 2018

Time: 10:00 am – 1:30 pm

Hike Duration: 3.5 hours; 5 miles

Weather: Mostly overcast, started out around 25 degrees F with temps increasing to around 40

West Thompson Lake
Almost our lunch with a view…we sat in the woods off to the left, protected from the wind

Well, I’m not gonna lie. As much as we always have fun in the woods, this was not one of our favorite hikes. We usually hike the other side of the lake, which I would say we both prefer. But hey, we were outdoors, soaking in the fresh air, and that’s all that matters!

We started this hike parking at the Old West Thompson Road, one of the gated roads off Ravenelle Road. We walked in a bit and turned north onto the Quinebaug River Trail (orange). We followed this wooded trail to the Blain Hiking Bridge that no longer exists,

You can see where the bridge used to be

and then onto the Ravenelle Ponds Loop Trail. On our return trip, we picked up the Shoreline Trail (yellow) all the way back to Old West Thompson Road.

It felt so good to be in the woods. The trails were blanketed in a couple inches of snow. Not snowshoe worthy, but I was glad I had my hiking pole. As we set out in the woods, 5 crows flew overhead, drawing our attention with their caws.

“Wherever crows are, there is magic. They are symbols of creation and spiritual strength. They remind us to look for opportunities to create and manifest the magic of life. They are messengers calling to us about the creation and magic that is alive in our world everyday and available to us.” ~ Ted Andrews, Animal Speak

Quinebaug River

The birds were active, flittering about in the canopy of trees and sharing their bird songs. Today, we practiced extending our sense of hearing as we walked. I find that bringing my awareness to my senses when I’m hiking (or meditating) really helps me release the hold my mind and thoughts seem to have over me. I think of it as Nature Breathing.

As I practice this, I begin to feel a deep connection to the earth. In a mystical sense, I feel as if I am connected to the heart of God and to the heart of the Earth. In my own heart, these two energies combine with each other. I feel so much reverence for the vastness that lies beyond all space and time, and for the solid ground that supports each footstep I take.

It dawns on me that this is why I feel such an affinity towards the trees. They reach up with their branches towards the sky, receiving nourishment from the sun and air. They reach down into the earth with their roots, receiving nourishment from the earth. Both energies combining to give the trees their life. My heart opens when I feel that connection within myself.

We continued our walk along the water until we made our way back to the road.

This was one of the longer hikes we’ve done in a while. I was surprised to map it out later and realize we hiked 5 miles. My legs were certainly feeling it the following day! There’s still more to explore here. The post at the beginning of the trail showed a North Section map as well, although I haven’t been able to find much information about it online. I’ll have to add it to the Bucket List.

Happy Hiking!

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