KILLINGWORTH RESERVOIR HIKING TRAIL
Despite a whirlwind trip to Utah’s deserts, it’s nice to be back home exploring Connecticut’s own treasures. One such spot I found is hidden away in the town of Killingworth.
The Killingworth Reservoir Hiking Trail is part of the Connecticut Water Company’s trail program. It allows visitors to enjoy the area’s wooded landscape and open fields between sections of the Cockaponset State Forest.
The trailhead blends seamlessly with its environment - a slight opening in the undergrowth is just a short distance away from the Platt Nature Center. And, it’s nice to find a trail that is fairly easy to follow and well-kept with not a hint of trash to be found.
It didn’t take long to come upon one of two fields I found on the property. The birds I heard chattering and swooping over the tall grasses found it just as alluring as I did. Not so welcoming are the gypsy moth caterpillars that seem to be everywhere these days and the numerous ticks that may want to hitch a ride.
Barely visible through the tree line is a bubbling stream that lies left to the trail. But the sound of the Menunketesuck River - a bit further in – is hard to ignore. A twisted bridge took my over the gurgling water and deeper into the forest still.
A side trail breaks off at this point, allowing visitors to head north toward Cockaponset. But, my path led me to yet another field, before I came upon a sweet little spot - Pete’s Pond.
It’s a large pond obscured in part by the heavy growth. I found myself tiptoeing around the soggy ground -- made swampy from all the recent rains – to get a closer look. The pond was eerily still on this quiet morning, with only the occasional bull frog announcing its presence with a large croak.
Back on the trail, and not much further on, I found myself on a road that separates this part of the property with one the reservoir itself lies upon. A large gate blocks its access. But, the trail – which follows the road - will take you by the reservoir, even if it is at a distance.
Now, a good mile into my hike, I found this to be the right point to head back. But, for others looking to explore the nearby Cockaponset Forest, following the road and veering onto the right fork is their best bet.
On my return trek, my eyes were peeled watching for any bears and the like (which I have yet to come across). But, my vigilance was rewarded after rounding the corner of one of those small fields I passed earlier.
On the edge of the woods before me was a young deer feeding on the grass. As soon as I saw it, I froze in my tracks. And, the deer did the same sensing the air for my presence.
It was a nice moment I was happy to stumble upon. But, with a switch of its tail, the deer raced off into the woods and the moment was gone.
But, it’s moments like these that keeps me exploring.
Trail Directions: Take CT-9 S toward Middletown/Old Saybrook. Take Exit 9 for CT-81 toward Killingworth/Clinton. Turn right onto CT-81 S. Turn left onto CT-148 E. Turn right onto Roast Meat Hill Rd. Limited parking is at the Platt Nature Center or on the road by the trailhead.
Trail Distance: 2 miles RT
Trail Difficulty: Easy
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