|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Bear Mountain, CT|
||Undermountain Trail, Paradise Lane Trail, Appalachian Trail|
|Date of Hike:
||Saturday, April 20, 2019|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||No issues. Lot is signed from road, and it wasn't too muddy. |
||Wet Trail, Wet/Slippery Rock, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Mud - Significant, Leaves - Significant/Slippery |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||Normally this hike (which I'd done 4-5 times before) has no major river crossings. This time, though, the high water levels created several interesting crossings. All were possible to stay dry if your boots are waterproof - we never had to step on rocks that had more than 2 inches of water on them. But be careful - the rocks are slippery, and you don't want to fall into fast-moving, 1-2 feet deep streams. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||Well blazed and with only a few blowdowns. However, all of the trails were extremely wet, with lots of standing and running water. One particular place that needs a bunch of water bars is the AT from the summit of Bear Mountain to about 1/2 mile south of it. |
||If your dog likes water and is comfortable scrambling up steep, slippery rock slabs, then they should be OK. |
||A few were out at the lower elevations, but they were not bothersome. |
|Lost and Found:
||An inhaler was left on the kiosk at the trailhead. ||
||There was no ice or snow anywhere, which means there probably isn't any ice or snow on any mountain in Connecticut. However...|
This was a wet, humid, wet, dreary, wet, slippery hike. Did I mention it was wet?
Right from the beginning, the trail was muddy and had standing water. The first mile on Undermountain up to the junction with Paradise Lane wasn't too bad, but the lower section was quite humid. The humidity decreased (and the breeze increased) once we reached the Riga Plateau. However, much of Paradise Lane Trail, which is generally fairly flat, had large areas of standing and running water, and the rocks were very slippery. There was a water crossing there (that isn't usually there) that required about 10 steps, mostly on slippery rocks that were slightly submerged, to get across. Another water crossing a little bit later was luckily bridged. The steep climb up to Bear Mountain on the AT was interesting - the lower sections weren't too bad, but the steep upper slabs were treacherous, and had running water flowing down them. In several spots it was like climbing up a waterfall. The slabs just below the summit aren't so steep, but they were still very slippery.
At the summit, it was windy, however the temperature held steady in the 60s for the entire hike, so we didn't get cold. The first half-mile down from the summit was extremely wet, with almost constant deep puddles and water running down the trail. This section badly needs a series of waterbars. Going down the Undermountain Trail from Riga Junction, there were several water crossings that were much larger than they usually are, but they had enough rocks to allow rock-hopping with waterproof boots.
We were lucky - the rain held off throughout the entire hike - most of the time it was just misting or drizzling.
Living in NH, it felt like I had somehow moved forward a month - the conditions were more reminiscent of May in NH than April. But there's a reason why I've said for a while that Bear Mountain is one of my two favorite hikes in CT, and as usual, I thoroughly enjoyed this hike.
Disclaimer: Reports are not verified - conditions may vary. Use at own risk. Always be prepared when hiking. Observe all signs. Trail conditions reports are not substitutes for weather reports or common sense.