Mattabesett Trail (NET)
Middletown to Middletown, 50 miles
Began: May 2008
Completed: November 2008
Post-2009 is an exciting time to hike the Mattabesett Trail! Why? Because our Federal government finally stopped worrying about trivial matters such as war, terrorism, and the economy and started doing important things like designating National Scenic Trails! The Mattabesett (along with the Metacomet and Menunkatuck trails) now form the 233-mile long New England National Scenic Trail!
This newly protected corridor is important for a multitude of reasons, most notably that the NET travels a rather developed corridor through Connecticut and Massachusetts. The Mattabessett portion has certainly had its land-rights battles over the years.
But don’t think for one second that this 50-mile trail is therefore somehow not worth hiking. It is… it totally is. From it’s western terminus on the Berlin Turnpike (The Metacomet’s southern terminus), the Mattabesett immediately ascends to one of Central Connecticut’s traprock ridges and takes in stunning views. The number and quality of viewpoints along the U-shaped trail does not diminish at any point.
The bottom of the U is in Guilford, near Bluff Head (and the Menunkatuck’s northern terminus) and the Eastern end is along the Connecticut River in Middletown. There is much history along the way as well as other cool little curiousities.
Again, as with the Metacomet and other trails in the middle of the state, I’m continually amazed at the remoteness and vistas one can obtain very, very quickly. So many people live so near this (and other) trails and yet, hiking here is still often a solitary pursuit.
As these hikes were done a long time ago, the pictures when viewing on a desktop are tiny and bad.
Section 1: Middletown, Meriden, & Berlin
Section 2: Middletown & Middlefield
Section 3: Middlefield, Meriden, Wallingford, & Durham
Section 4: Durham & Wallingford
Section 5: Durham, North Branford, Guilford, & Madison
Bonus: Lone Pine Trail, Madison & Guilford
Section 6: Guilford, Madison, & Durham
Section 7: Durham & Haddam
Section 8: Haddam & Middletown
Bonus: 3 Middletown Mattabessett Loop Trails
Section 9: Middletown
Mattabessett Trail Afterward