10 Highest Peaks

“Because They’re There”
Ten Highest Peaks in Connecticut

TOSHIBA Exif JPEGI was engaged in a Twitter “conversation” this morning about a random trail in Portland. Somehow, I ended up on the Meshomasic Hiking Club’s website and saw in their “Year in Review” that they had a difficult hike up a thing called Gridley Mountain.

In Connecticut.

Upon looking it up, I learned that Gridley is the third highest peak in the state. And I’d never heard of it?! What the heck was going on here? Am I not who I think I am? Not only did I decide this morning that I must climb Gridley, despite it being a pure bushwhack, I would try to sort out the five highest peaks in the state.

That’s when my friend Brendan sent me a concise list of the ten highest peaks. Ok, that’s even better I thought. “I wonder if I could do them all in one day,” I continued musing to myself, just as Brendan tweeted back that same idiotic thought. I gave him a virtual fist bump.

TOSHIBA Exif JPEGI’ll think about the “all in one day thing,” but I’m not getting any younger. Though it sure would be fun… and if you’re going to climb Round (that’s me and Hoang on that summit, above), you might as well continue on to the South Slope of Frissell to get the highest point in the state as well.

The list of the top 10 is from this site. And it bothers me because I’m not sure how accurate it is. While searching for the location of some of these peaks, I noticed that the elevations on USGS maps didn’t necessarily match up – and I also noticed what I think are mistakes. Take Haystack Mountain in Norfolk for instance. I am fairly certain Haystack is 1,716 feet high, but it’s not on this list.

Now several weeks later, I’ve become comfortable with the list. My friend Cumulus’s comment below led me to poke around some better sources and I found that that this list comes from TopoZone which is driven by USGS data. So unless someone presents a more compelling case, here are your top 10 peaks in Connecticut:

-A. South Slope of Mt. Frissell, Salisbury
1. Bear Mountain, 2,316 feet, Salisbury
2. Round Mountain, 2,296 feet, Salisbury
3. Gridley Mountain, 2,211 feet, Salisbury
4. Bradford Mountain, 1,961 feet, Canaan
5. Bald Peak, 1,929 feet, Salisbury
6. Bald Mountain, 1,739 feet, Norfolk
7. Mount Riga, 1,751 feet, Salisbury
8. Stone Man Mountain, 1,722 feet, Canaan
9. East Bald Mountain, 1,702 feet, Norfolk
10. Thorpe Mountain, 1,699 feet, Sharon

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Other than Round and Bear, and maybe Bradford and Riga, I think the rest are bushwhacks – and/or are private property of some sort. So, y’know… I’m not the one who told you to go get lost and die on some privately owned hump in northwest Connecticut.

By the way, the top 10 peaks in Connecticut are almost all over 1,700 feet which makes a tidier list than the one provided, does it not? After I pile a foot of dirt and rock on the summit of Thorpe, we can call them the 17ers or something that sounds far more grand than it is in reality. (I’m feeling too lazy to code an actual map right now though.)

CTMQ’s Geography page

3 responses to “10 Highest Peaks”

  1. Twelve Mile Circle says:

    I think you should to the all in one day thing so you could tell everyone that you’re the first person in history to climb the 10 highest peaks in CT in a single day.

  2. Cumulus says:

    Wikipedia lists Haystack at 1716′, but looking at various topo maps, Acme has it at about 500 meters (1640′), Google Maps at about 1680′, and USGS at about 1660′.

    Let me know if you do plan to hike all these some day.

  3. Brendan says:

    It looks like the stuff in Canaan is Housatonic State Forest/Yale School of Forestry land, so it looks like it could be done without being chased by a guy with a shotgun.

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