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Monday, September 14, 2020

Pine Knob Loop Hike - Sharon, Connecticut

Pine Knob Loop is a hiking trail in the northwest corner of CT that I kept hearing about.  I heard it was short, sweet, and scenic and Adam had hiked it several times.  We planned a weekend up in the northwest corner of Connecticut and I added this quick hike into our plans. 

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All in all, I thought it was a nice hike along a pretty section of woods and a stream with a nice viewpoint.  I liked that it was short and sweet and something that would be family-friendly or something easy to tackle with other plans in your day.  My only gripe was in an area of so many amazing hikes, this wouldn't be my first choice.  

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We arrived at the parking lot around 2 o clock on a Sunday of Labor Day Weekend and we were pleasantly surprised to see there was still room in the parking lot.  We set off on the trail, choosing to follow the trail in the counterclockwise direction, getting the incline out of the way at the beginning of our hike.  We saw about 6 groups of hikers as we followed the blue trail up the mountain, surprised again the trail wasn't busier on the holiday weekend.  

The trail itself was well marked and easy to follow and we enjoyed just how green and pretty the forest is up here in this corner of Connecticut.  Before we knew it, we were done with our climb and we reached the viewpoint, enjoying the scene and the sun all to ourselves.  

After leaving the view, we followed the blue trail just a bit farther to wear it joined with the white-blazed Appalachian Trail (left turn).  We followed the white blazes for a bit until we reached the intersection of the blue-blazed trail again, making another left to complete our loop.  

This last section of the trail followed the Hatch Brook and probably offered the most scenic section of trail beside the summit view.  It looked like a pretty perfect place to dangle your feet in the water on a hot summer day, or a great place to sit in the shade with a glass of wine and a book.  We had plans for the afternoon, dinner at Fife and Drum before loading up our packs and heading into the woods to camp along the AT for the night.  

Pine Knob Loop is a great little loop hike if you want to follow a scenic trail to a summit viewpoint, keeping the distance less than 3 miles and the elevation under 1,000'.  It is dog and kid-friendly and a great way to experience the trails in the Quiet Corner of Connecticut and a section of the Appalachian Trail.  

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Dogs and Kids: Dog-friendly (on-leash) and kid-friendly (mid to older kids, there are some steeper areas which may be challenging for smaller kids) 

Parking/Trailhead: There is a parking area on the west side of Route 7 just before Housatonic Meadows State Park

Trail: We followed the blue trail on the counterclockwise loop.  It eventually joins the Appalachian Trail for a section before joining back to a blue trail to complete the loop back to your car.  

Distance: 2.64-miles round trip - if you want to go up the steeper rockier section first, follow the loop counterclockwise.  If you want a more gradual climb up through the forest, follow the loop clockwise.  

Elevation gained: 690 feet 

Red Tape: Busier trails so be prepared to hike it earlier if you would like some serenity. 

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