CCC Trail – Natchaug State Forest

Location: Eastford, CT

Links: AllTrails; Trail Map 1; Trail Map 2; Our Map

Date: April 26, 2018

Time: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Hike Duration: 3 hours; 4 miles

Fitness Stats: 10,500 steps; 35 floors

Weather: Partly cloudy; 55-65 degrees F

Our lunch with a view

This is one of those hikes we’ve done multiple times. The maps online can be somewhat confusing, so we use a paper copy of a hand-drawn map supplied at one of the trail heads (see link above.) I marked it up with the trail we followed and some main points of interest.

Today, we started out at Beaver Dam Marsh. A couple of Canada Geese were gliding through the water, away from us, as we approached. The scenery is beautiful, with a wide expanse of water and sky that always makes my chest feel like it’s opening up. I feel my being calm and my breathing become slower and deeper. Great way to start a hike!

Crossing over the road from the entrance to Beaver Dam Marsh, we head into the woods on the Natchaug Trail. These trails are filled with a variety of evergreen trees, which is probably why this is one of our favorite hikes.

I can feel an energetic shift in the air when I walk into an evergreen forest. It feels softer and quieter. My senses are heightened as I breathe in the forest’s unique aroma. Dried, orange needles blanket the forest floor. And cool, green needles tickle my palms as I reach out my hand to glide across lower branches.

Tree Leaning

As we hiked today, the word reverence kept coming into my mind. Reverence means to have deep respect for someone or something. I feel that sense of reverence so powerfully when we are hiking in the woods.

This part of the Natchaug Trail is filled with many brooks and streams. Another reason why we take great pleasure in hiking here. The streams get larger in size and flow more swiftly the closer we get to the Natchaug River. When it’s warmer, I’ll take off my hiking sneakers to cool my feet in the water. For now, I’ll settle for some Sound Bathing and Rock Hopping!

We came across a few great finds on this hike. Dennis walked right over a garter snake without even realizing it. Which is funny to me because he HATES snakes! We also came across a tiny little campsite. I’m thinking it was made for a chipmunk or squirrel ;). And finally, I discovered a peace rock in the spot we chose for our lunch. An inspirational message for the end of our hike.

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