Ragged Mountain Trails

Ragged Mountain Trails (Metacomet side trails)
6.0 Miles, solo

Multiple hikes

rmb.jpgI’m doing something a little bit different for this write-up. Instead of me droning on about the hike, I’m pretty much going to let the pictures do the talking. One of my life’s goals is to convince Nutmeggers that we have pretty darn cool things to see once you step outside and get some exercise. I’m most interested in the areas that are close to large population centers and would blow people away if they knew about them.

Ragged Mountain is the epitome of such a place. Located along the Berlin/Southington line, it is mere minutes from Hartford, Waterbury, New Britain, Middletown… On and on. Not only that, the Ragged Mountain Trail is a nice distance for almost anyone, never too steep, affords hikers a ton of great views and is easily accessible. Heck, if one just wants to get up to the views, there’s a nice wide old woods road that does the trick is as few steps as possible; it’s not a CFPA – or even blazed – trail, but it’s gradual and maybe about 1.3 miles to some of the best views in the state.

I hiked the trail, which is a loop when combined with 2.7 miles of the Metacomet, in three seasons solely for the purposes of this photo essay. The fall foliage this year (2009) is the weakest I think I’ve ever seen in reConnecticut, but it’ll have to do.

The summer hike was with Hoang during our Metacomet hike and the winter scenes were from January 2009 (I think). If these pictures don’t inspire SOMEONE to get out there and up this 761 foot mountain, then you’re all dead. Even if my photography skills are lame.

And so, let’s hike through the seasons up, over, across and down Ragged Mountain, beginning at the parking area on West Street in Berlin and tackling the trail clockwise…






Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind
William Shakespeare

Blow, blow, thou winter wind
Thou art not so unkind
As man’s ingratitude;
Thy tooth is not so keen,
Because thou art not seen,
Although thy breath be rude.






Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly:
Most freindship if feigning, most loving mere folly:
Then heigh-ho, the holly!
This life is most jolly.






Freeze, freeze thou bitter sky,
That does not bite so nigh
As benefits forgot:
Though thou the waters warp,
Thy sting is not so sharp
As a friend remembered not.
Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly:
Most freindship if feigning, most loving mere folly:
Then heigh-ho, the holly!
This life is most jolly.




We’ll leave winter behind here, at the southern overlook on Ragged Mountain. Here, the loop follows the Metacomet north along the top of the ridge overlooking Southington and the Wassel Reservoir…



Fair Summer Droops
Thomas Nashe

Fair summer droops, droop men and beasts therefore,
So fair a summer look for nevermore:
All good things vanish less than in a day,
Peace, plenty, pleasure, suddenly decay.
Go not yet away, bright soul of the sad year,
The earth is hell when thou leav’st to appear.



What, shall those flowers that decked thy garland erst,
Upon thy grave be wastefully dispersed?
O trees, consume your sap in sorrow’s source,
Streams, turn to tears your tributary course.
Go not yet hence, bright soul of the sad year,
The earth is hell when thou leav’st to appear.



As we hike along the ridgeline, summer turns to Autumn… My favorite time of year. I really wish the colors weren’t so muted this year, but still… It’s cool to have a picture of “two roads” actually “diverging” in a “yellow wood.”

The Road Not Taken
Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;




Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,




And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.




I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.



And finally… Here it is! Two roads diverged in a yellow wood!


2 responses to “Ragged Mountain Trails”

  1. fritz says:

    i love Ragged Mountain, that was one of the first hikes my boyfriend, now husband took!! great pictures!

  2. Tom says:

    I led an AMC hike today (Nov. 8, 2009) and we did the clockwise loop of Blue-Red to the Blue-Blazed Metacomet Trail and back on the Blue-Red. It was 5.8 miles total with 1,500 ft. of climbing. Between the constant ups and downs and the ever-present trap rock, we all felt like we did 8 miles. I would not recommend this hike in anything less than dry conditions due to the numerous sharp slopes. Fabulous views from the top. If you do, hike clockwise so you get the harder stuff and most of the climbing out of the way in the first 2.5 miles.

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