24.4 Miles, Voluntown, Sterling, Griswold, Rhode Island
December 2008 –
The Pachaug is a mostly flat 24.4 mile horseshoe-shaped trail in the eastern lowlands of Connecticut. It traverses the Pachaug State Forest through Griswold and Voluntown and ventures into Rhode Island for a couple miles as well. Pachaug is a Native American word meaning “turning point of water.” This refers to the winding Pachaug River that the trail follows for a ways… so wait, the name of the river is “turning point of water river?” That hardly makes sense.
Also not making sense is my attempt to solo this and the other three trails that wander through these beautiful pine forests – the Narragansett, Quinebaug, and Nehantic Trails. Yet, I plod onward as my choice of hiking times (sunrise on Sundays) discourages most partners and let’s be honest; I often enjoy the solitude of my journeys.
However, this will make for difficult times on these trails, as they are sort of a crazy spoked wheel, radiating out from Green Pond in Voluntown with plenty of small loops, but extended spokes for miles. As a result, I will need to be a bit creative in my planning and hiking – and ultimately my writing – of these trails.
My first foray was a jaunt down the Quinebaug from Plainfield, down to Phillips Pond in Voluntown and then crossing over to walk a portion of the Pachaug back up and east a ways; a section I’ll call “Section 2” I guess. This should be fun.
Get started with Section 2 (for now, until I hike section 1!)