The Shenipsit Trail
East Hampton to Stafford
Completed December 2016
The Shenipsit Trail is located in Central Connecticut and mostly follows the low ridgeline east of the Connecticut River. It runs for about 50 miles in a north-south direction. There are about 25 miles of regional Shenipsit Trails as well. The southern trailhead is in the Cobalt section of East Hampton near Great Hill and goes north to a random road in northern Stafford, just shy of the Massachusetts border.
For whatever reason, the S’nip is always overlooked when discussion Connecticut’s (relatively) long distance trails. Which is a shame, because it has a lot of interesting features along its way. The trail runs primarily through the Shenipsit and Meshomasic State Forests, but also hits some Hop River State Park Trail in Bolton and Vernon and places such as Case Mountain, Gay City State Park, and Soapstone Mountain.
The trail navigates through several populated suburban areas and it also crosses a few a few highways. The most difficult one is Route 2… the trail used to officially have hikers run across the 4-lane divided highway, which is what I did in 2009 when the trail was blazed as such. There is a culvert under the highway which many people take, but officially, now, there’s a looooong 3+ mile roadwalk to a bridge. Officially, I can’t tell you which route choice to make.
Let’s do this trail!
Hikes are numbered beginning from the southern terminus at Gadpouch Road in East Hampton north to Greaves Road, Stafford.
Section 1: Gadpouch Road to Route 2, E. Hampton, Portland, Glastonbury
Section 2: Route 2 to Coop Sawmill Road, Glastonbury
Section 3: Coop Sawmill Road to Rte 31 Commuter Lot, Manchester, Bolton, Vernon
Section 4: Exit 67/Rte 31 Commuter Lot to Hopkins Rd., Vernon, Tolland, Ellington
Section 5: Hopkins Road to Old County Road, Ellington, Somers, Stafford
Section 6: Old County Road to Greaves Road, Stafford