Today we hiked Penwood State Forest in Simsbury Connecticut. This state park has a fairly extensive trail system that runs along the ridge and includes a road with several connector trails for easier hiking in case the kiddos get tired. There are other trails indicated on the trail map that we did not explore including the Metacomet Trail. There is also a small outhouse style bathroom at the trail head. We started out below the lot on the Yellow trail, hiked out for about a mile and a half before backtracking a short ways and switching over to the road until were back to the lot. Our hike was approximately 3 miles and took 3 hours with one break half way for water and snacks.
The yellow trail was easy overall with some short moderate climbs. I would not recommend this trail to anyone who is not a fan of steep drop-offs since the one side of the trail gets close to several along the way. There were more nice views along the way but mainly because the leaves are not out yet. I imagine that in the summer you would not be able to see as much as we saw today. The overlook was beautiful and is featured in a few of these pictures. It’s locationis indicated on the trail map.
We saw some pretty cool stuff along the way including this very weathered log and some amazing views.
The wind was pretty intense today in Connecticut but it was especially strong at Penwood because the park was on exposed ridge and there were no leaves on the trees to help break the wind. The boys and I don’t mind a little wind but this time it was a different. There were blown down trees everywhere at Penwood and some were clearly recent. We even passed a very large creaking tree within easy striking distance of the trail that had massive 8 foot crack in it’s trunk. I would not recommend going to this park on a windy day and if you do make sure to look up and be aware of any widowmakers.
We started back on the trail but Oscar decided he wanted to finish walking back on the road. It was nice to have a relatively flat and easy walk back.
Edgar normally does well in the backpack and today was no exception. He was pointing at everything and telling me what he saw as he bounced his way down the trail on my back. “Daddy I see trees! Daddy I see rocks! Daddy I see trees AND rocks!” He got a little tired towards the end so he slept for the last half mile or so. Oscar was happy to have my undivided attention for a while so I collapsed one of my poles and strapped it to the side of the pack so he could hold my hand.
We were all tired at the end but another snack and some water cured what ailed us. I would do this hike again but I think next time I’ll go on a calmer day and bring more water and snacks. We were all a bit hungrier and thirstier than I would prefer at the end. I would rate Penwood 3 out of four stars on a calm day and two out of four on a windy day. The views are amazing and the trail is well maintained but there was a lot of blow down and that cracked tree is a safety concern on a windy day. The lot is also a bit small so I would have a backup hike in your back pocket if you try to hike here on a busy day.