Monday, September 18, 2017

Exploring a Different Type of "Blue Line"


The entrance to the trail is three minutes from my front door.

     Five years ago, my wife and I moved into our current home. She was pregnant with our son, who was born in January. Because she was not physically capable of doing everything she would have normally done, I did most of the unpacking and setup. Then, it was time to finish part of the basement for my home rehearsal/teaching studio. Then, a bunch of other stuff everyone does when they buy a house. Before we knew it, we became new parents and didn't sleep again for the next fourteen months. Four years later, my old life is starting to return, albeit in a somewhat diminished capacity.

     In light of how rushed the move (then the birth) was, we didn't do much exploring around our new neighborhood. I knew that our street is part of the Mattabesett Trail, but I never gave it much thought. Even after seeing hikers walk up and down the street all these years, it didn't really occur to me to investigate it. Surely they weren't there to look at suburban homes. Two parents working at either end of the clock was too taxing. At times, it seemed like all we could manage to do was to take care of our most immediate needs. 

     One morning last week, while junior was at grandma's house, my wife and I decided to take a walk around the neighborhood. We have done it plenty of times before but, for some reason, we had never noticed the little blue signs posted to trees just a short distance from our house. I stopped and walked over to the signs. I realized this was where all the hikers' destination. We didn't have time to investigate the trail that day, but I decided to do some research at home. Low and behold, the blue-blazed trail leads to the "Coginchaug cave." Our interest was piqued and we decided to check it out when the boy returned home the next morning. 



The beginning of the trail 


Follow the blue lines


Much like our backyard, there are a lot of big, fern-covered, rock piles. 


     The trail starts literally three minutes from our front door, making our lack of hiking it the past five years all the more pathetic! From the start of the trail, it is about 3/4 of a mile to the cave. The trail is very easily hiked, except when it climbs in elevation. It's hard for a reasonably fit adult, but there were some precarious places for our four year old companion.


This is not the cave. Take the left fork from here. 

I know less than nothing about geology, but I think this is quartz.
There is a ton of it here. 

The view from above


The trail headed down towards the cave was a little precarious for a four year old. 


First view of Coginchaug Cave


The view from inside the cave


     It took about 40 minutes to reach the cave, though it takes much less time without a small child in tow (I've made it there and back in about an hour). It's not really a "cave" as much as it is a huge rock overhang. If you had any illusions about a spelunking expedition, forget about it. The size of the rock is actually sort of impressive, even more so considering our proximity to it. The forest is beautiful, full of yellow birch, black birch, and beech trees, along with all sorts of ferns and mosses. 

     I haven't yet continued along the trail, but supposedly the next sight is the Pine Knob Overlook. I figure I'll wait until the leaves have fallen to check that out. Or maybe I won't wait. It's not like this place is far from home. All it's missing is a little stream, filled with native brook trout. Of course, if it had that, it wouldn't have taken me five years to find it. 


Coginchaug Cave

1 comment:

  1. It's always cool to find those interesting places close to home and think "Wow, I didn't even know this was here!"

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