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Ann and Michelle's Excellent Adventures in the Woods

Ann Gadwah

Winter 2023

Greetings! Welcome back to Ann and Michelle’s Excellent Adventures in the Woods. Connecticut is truly an amazing state for hiking and there is something for everyone all year around! This past month, we walked around a suburban reservoir, hiked a beautiful state park, and climbed the tallest mountain peak in the state! 


MDC Reservoir #6 – October 26, 2023

Michelle and I met up late morning to walk around the Reservoir off of Route 44 in West Hartford. The path follows close to the water for 3.6 miles, mostly flat with paved road and gravel. There are spots along the water to sit and reflect. There are places where there is rushing water, places where the water is calm. The foliage was just past peak, but still really beautiful. There is a fantastic view of the beautiful Hartford skyline. You can make it a longer walk by taking the Metacomet trail up to Heublein Tower. There were families picnicking and walking the path with their little kids. I give this hike a 9/10 for a peaceful, easy trail with good conversation and a leisurely walk.

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Gay City State Park – November 9, 2023

Michelle and I met up on a chilly November morning at the entrance to Gay City State Park in Hebron. We walked from the entrance to the White trail, which takes you around the park through forest, over bridges, and around the pond. The terrain was varied, with some uphill sections, but not too strenuous. By now, the trees were bare, silhouetted against the gray skies. Something about November, where the Earth begins to go to sleep that always makes me reflective. The life within the lake was beginning to settle in for winter as well. We hiked at a good pace, keeping us warm in the cold temps. The 3.3 mile hike took us roughly 1 ¼ hours. I give this hike a 10/10 for the contemplative atmosphere, the quiet around the lake, and the challenge of a pace to warm you up in the cold weather

Bear Mountain- November 18, 2023

So this one is a little different from our usual adventure because Michelle was unable to make it this day. Sad to be without my usual hiking partner, but excited for the new folks that would be joining me, I set off for Salisbury to meet the group at the Undermountain trail. We had a group of five, two Sierra Club regulars and two new friends. We started our hike around 10:00 AM, following the Undermountain Trail for 1.8 miles that meanders uphill at a moderate incline. We then hit the mythical and magical Appalachian Trail (AT). We stopped to admire the scenery, again basking in the stark beauty of November in Connecticut. We followed the AT through scrubby forests, and rock formations to the summit of Bear Mountain, elevation 2323 ft. A stacked rock formation greeted us, and we sat upon it for a rest and a snack. There were other folks on the mountain that day and we chatted a bit amongst each other. After we finished and began to get chilly (the wind is something up there) we started our way back down. We did the entire trip in roughly 4 hours. Although it was strenuous in parts, it never felt like too much to handle. We were done by 2:00 and ready to go on with our respective days after our mountain hiking adventure. I give this hike a 10/10 for the fantastic view, the varied terrain, the mix of new and known companions, and a challenge met. 

Thanks for stopping by for the adventure! Please keep an eye on our outings page for some fun winter hikes coming up. Our next event is an information session on December 12, 2023 where you can learn about ways to get involved. Hope to see you out there! 

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