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Hemlock Hills

Intermediate
 3.8 (4) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Flora and fauna abound on this short hike, giving it a backcountry feel.


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Map Key

2.3

Miles

3.7

KM

Loop

771' 235 m

High

596' 182 m

Low

294' 89 m

Up

294' 89 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

17%

Max Grade (10°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildlife

Overview

Mountain Laurel (the CT state flower), swamp, and granite litter this quick route with awesome sites, sounds, and places to play. Try this hike in Spring when everything is in bloom.

Keep an eye out for poison ivy and ticks.

Description

From the Lake Windwing parking area, head straight east, past the iron gate on Red Trail. Take this doubletrack section to Windwing Connector, a short but very steep singletrack heading north into the woods. At the top of this trail look for obvious Orange blazes, and head straight (left, but not onto Green Trail - Red Maple Swamp) on Orange Access Trail - West. This wide, easy lane will lead you to Yellow Trail - Pine Mountain, take this on your right.

Climb an easy grade to the top of the Hemlock Hills ridge on this rocky and wooded singletrack. From here the trail continues east and passes some amazing rock formations and swamps as it runs in conjunction with Blue Trail. Eventually, Yellow stays east as Blue Trail veers away to the north. The trail then descends the ridge and intersects with Blue Connector. Take this on your right.

After some easy contouring, Blue Connector will eventually spit you out at a fork with Red Trail - turn right. Follow the Red blazes as the trail bends right, contours over large granite outcrops, and then heads west. From here the trail undulates through more rocks, occasionally showing awesome views of hills to the south as it trends generally uphill. Finally, after some tight switchbacks, Red Trail heads south and plummets towards the creek connecting Rainbow Lake to Lake Windwing.

Once the trail turns to the right (west), it becomes doubletrack and winds lazily to the shores of Lake Windwing. Continue past Orange Access Trail - West and Connector until you reach the parking area on North Shore Drive.

Flora & Fauna

Fauna:
  • Wild Turkey
  • Coyotes
  • Foxes
  • Deer
  • Beaver

Flora:
  • Hemlock
  • Foam Flower
  • Cattail Reed
  • Bull Lily
  • Trillium
  • Bloodroot
  • Jackin-the-pulpit
  • Mountain Laurel

Contacts

Land Manager: Ridgefield Open Space

Shared By:

Tom Robson

Trail Ratings

  3.8 from 4 votes

#3938

Overall
  3.8 from 4 votes
5 Star
25%
4 Star
25%
3 Star
50%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#21

in Connecticut

#3,938

Overall
198 Views Last Month
6,453 Since Dec 26, 2014
Intermediate

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Photos

Awesome light on one of the easier ascents on Yellow Trail - Pine Mountain.
Dec 26, 2014 near Ridgefield, CT
Yellow Trail - Pine Mountain features awesome rock formations and swamps.
Dec 26, 2014 near Ridgefield, CT
Hemlock Hills-Pine Mountain map
Sep 23, 2019 near Ridgefield, CT
Beautiful creek bisecting Blue Connector trail.
Dec 27, 2014 near Ridgefield, CT
Steep section of the Red Trail.
Dec 27, 2014 near Ridgefield, CT
Winter Sun beaming down on these tight Red Trail switchbacks.
Dec 27, 2014 near Ridgefield, CT

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Check-Ins

Oct 20, 2019
Craig Matthews
Oct 19, 2019
Craig Matthews
Oct 12, 2019
Craig Matthews
Oct 6, 2019
Craig Matthews
Aug 23, 2019
Julia Rose Chambers
Jun 17, 2018
Camilla Chicken
Some wet areas. Good for my 11 year old. Spotted a rat snake, tree frogs, squirrels, and chipmunks.
Sep 19, 2017
Marisa Lieberman