This past March marked the 96th anniversary of the very first section of the Appalachian Trail opening. That 13. 5 mile section linked Bear Mountain, New York, to Harriman State Park in Arden, New York. The Appalachian Trail (AT) stretches from Georgia to Maine, and Connecticut.

While Norwalk boasts of the Norwalk River Valley Trail, the real nature beckons just a few miles upstate.

The upper left corner of the state was once known as “iron country” a nickname earned through the 19th century when the world was spawning industrial uses for trains, ships and eventually cars. This is where the forests were once thick and inevitably cut down to make fuel for the furnaces of the mills, foundries, and forges who produced everything from rails, nails and hoops. You can still see charcoal pits along the AT.

From Sherman to Salisbury, the Trail passes through some scenic towns. You can read more about the history of the Connecticut portion of the AT here.

In Falls Village the Trail passes by the massive canal built in 1851 (and never used) which serves as another reminder of the area’s industrial past.

In Kent, the Trail passes through the Schaghticoke Indian Reservation, which was established in the 18th century and is still active. On Bear Mountain, once thought to be the highest point in Connecticut, is a stone monument built more than 100 years ago and reconstructed to its present form in the fall of 1983.

For up to date info on the trails, parking and activities check out the Connecticut Chapter of the Appalachian Trail Club.

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