Friday, October 31, 2008

Toby's Rock Mtn, Beacon Falls

Ever wonder what's up on those rocky ledges overlooking Route 8 on your way up to Naugatuck? You know, the ones with all the graffitti? Turns out part of it is located within Naugatuck State Forest, a forest which is, oddly, scattered about the region in several unjoined "blocks".

I have never seen a map or description of the trails there, other than what can be found for letterboxing clues. Access is via Cold Spring Road, a gravelled series of potholes that follows the traintracks to a remote parking area. There, I found some unexpected interpretive signs at the parking lot which tell about the history of the area as a sort of amusement park. I then went back out to the gravel road and found the trailhead on the south side of Spruce Brook. Although the trail is mostly unmarked, it is generally easy to follow along the bank of the brook past a series of scenic waterfalls, chutes, and pools.

After a beautiful walk along the brook, I found a turn-off for the poorly maintained blue trail, which I followed up to the top of Toby's Rock Mountain. The view was spectacular, looking north up Route 8 through the notch where the Naugatuck River Valley constricts to its narrowest point. Turkey Vultures (the ones who are constantly circling over Route, apparently waiting for you to die) were sometimes flying below me, and migrating hawks occasionally passed overhead.

I don't know of any maps available for hikers, and the trails are not well marked or maintained, which is a shame, because the scenery there is amazing. Here are some of my photos.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

nice description. We went there today, spurred by an Peter Marteka column in the Courant about Spruce Brook Falls/Ravine. Very beautiful, especially before leaf-out, and the Falls were running strong. We went up the purple trail to Toby's Rock and it was worth the climb. Made me wonder if there were similar trails on the north side of the brook and the mount there.