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USA/New England: Litchfield, CT

The Land of Ethan Allen

A Recommended Walk

 


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Start

From the parking area, follow a wide path past the museum's front door. Continue on the path past a field that's on your right and proceed into the woods.

Waypoint 1

At a junction, where stone pillars face you, turn left onto a wide lane. You are now on the Mattatuck Trail. Ignore signs for a Nature Trail and Information, and cross a paved road. 

Waypoint 2

In two minutes, you arrive at a trail on your left (sometimes marked with a double blue blaze). Make a sharp left turn (almost a U-turn). If you reach a junction with a red trail, you have gone too far. Continue through woods, following blue blazes. Ignore a trail on your right. Walk for about two minutes and stop at a clearing, with a marshland (Duck Pond) to your right.

Waypoint 3

Turn sharply to your right (almost a U-turn) at the edge of the marshland, and step onto a boardwalk, leaving the blue-blazed trail. Continue beyond the end of the boardwalk to the next junction.

Waypoint 4

Bear left and cross a footbridge. The Pine Island area was long ago a potato farm, and Duck Pond was a wood duck nursery. Allain White raised wood ducks during the 1930s when the wood duck population was low. At the next junction, turn left, leaving the Pine Island Trail. Signs of beaver activity are found in the vicinity. At the following junction, turn right, rejoining the blue Mattatuck Trail. A short walk will again bring you to the paved Bissell Road.

Waypoint 5

At Bissell Road, turn right, keeping on this busy road's shoulder. Just before Route 202, turn left onto White Hall Road, the White Memorial Foundation entrance road. Walk past a house that's on your left and a welcome sign that's on your right. Poceed up a slight uphill grade.

Waypoint 6

Turn right onto a gated lane, designated as Pine Grove I. This is the green-blazed Windmill Hill Trail. At a junction just before a shelter with picnic tables, turn right as the lane descends and swings to the left. For the next 10-15 minutes, follow this mostly level green-blazed trail through hardwoods (ignore the Butternut Trail on your right). Some sections may be wet. The land to your left rises up to Windmill Hill, where a windmill once pumped water for all of the buildings of the White estate.

Waypoint 7

Arrive at a junction. Turn left, walk about 20 yards, and make a right into the woods. Follow green markers.

Waypoint 8

At a junction for the yellow-blazed Lake Trail, turn right and walk toward Bantam Lake. At the next junction, follow the path to the right. Within seconds, turn left at a stone marker and step onto a boardwalk to a wooden observation platform. The concrete pillars were formally part of an ice-harvesting operation. Retrace your steps, bearing left to Waypoint 8. Here you have two options. If you wish to cut short the walk and return to your car, walk straight ahead on a lane, following the yellow markers. To continue the longer walk, turn right, following the green markers onto a footpath that parallels the lane. Cross a footbridge.

Waypoint 9

At a junction just before another footbridge, bear right and cross the footbridge, following orange markers into a hemlock forest. On your left is Ongley Pond. Follow the path over two small boardwalks and left up a small bank, where the orange-blazed trail makes a sharp left. Continue straight, ignoring the orange trail and pass to the left of a lumber storage shed. Cross a dirt road.

Waypoint 10

Turn right in front of small trees, just beyond a low wood fence. Follow the path along the edge of the field. There are two buildings on your right. At a "hybrid chestnut" sign, turn right into the woods onto a lane blocked by two huge logs. Follow the lane as it bends around and heads to your left. Pass through a pine forest and pass a shelter to your right.

Waypoint 11

Turn right onto a gravel road and walk a short distance to a junction (Waypoint 1). Turn left and walk by the museum to your car.

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