The weather here in Connecticut officially feels like fall.
The leaves are beginning to show the first signs of turning colors, and the temperatures are perfect for hiking.
Last weekend I took the kids to Steep Rock Preserve in Washington, CT.
We had never been there before, and I’m still kind of new to hiking, so I wasn’t sure exactly where I was going or what I was doing.
There are several trails to choose from at Steep Rock Preserve.
We decided to hike the yellow circle trail because it was recommended by a friend and because it leads you to the summit. (you can access this map here)
We’ve done couple hikes before, but we hadn’t ever done one that led to a lookout point, so that was the objective.
You can start the hike at either entrance to the yellow trail, but I think we started on the side that most people would consider the end rather than the beginning of the trail.
So if you are planning to head to Steep Rock to hike the yellow trail and reach the summit, start at this entrance:
Then you’ll end up where we started.
Which was here.
As you walk into the trail, you see this beautiful field.
On the entrance we started on, the trail starts out as more of a dirt road with the river on your right.
There are several places where you can access the river via little pathways.
We are in a little bit of a drought here in CT so the water level was probably lower than normal and you could see lots of rocks and walk pretty far down the river.
The kids loved that.
Somebody made a cool little rock sculpture.
Number 5 thought it was cool.
We didn’t spend too too much time here because we had only been walking for a couple minutes and I didn’t want one of the kids to fall in and get their shoes soaked cause then we’d have to go home. Hiking with wet shoes wouldn’t be fun.
The trail had some cool trees and root systems.
The farther in we walked the less road-y and the more trail-y it got.
We found some cool little tunnels.
Eventually you come to a footbridge that crosses the river.
The bridge shakes when you walk on it.
Then the trail becomes more rugged.
And eventually, we reached the summit.
The kids were impressed. They’d never seen a view like that before.
I was happy there was a fence there because I know how my kids can be, and then can annoy each other on purpose and then one thing leads to another and one kid gets pissed off and shoves someone and then I’m envisioning one of my kids falling to his or her doom.
Am I the only one whose brain goes to those places?
It doesn’t matter cause there was a fence to save them all from plunging to their death.
They really enjoyed the view.
We took a bunch of pictures.
We had a quick snack break.
Then we headed back down the mountain.
We took a wrong turn somewhere at the top and instead of continuing the loop, we went down the same way we came up.
So instead of doing a 4 mile hike, we did a 5.9 mile hike.
But the kids were great, and we ended up back alongside the river at the end.
The kids went back into the river to check things out.
We left right after this photo because Number 7 fell in the water.
I knew it was going to happen.
We headed back to the car.
And I drove home with a naked Number 7 in the back seat.
Next time we go, we’ll start at the other end of the trail.
And I’ll be sure to bring a change of clothes for Number 7.