Trail Length: 56.6 miles
Towns: Sherman, Kent, Sharon, Canaan, Salisbury
Allowed Uses: Hiking Only
The Appalachian Trail (AT) in Connecticut is part of the fabled through-route from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mt. Katahdin in Maine, a distance of approximately 2,200 miles. The trail was the first in the nation to be named a National Scenic Trail, so designated by an Act of the U.S. Congress passed in 1968. Most of the original route in Connecticut was blazed by Ned K. Anderson, CFPA chair of the Housatonic Valley section from 1929 to 1932, when the AT was one of the early Blue-Blazed Hiking Trails. Today the entire length of the trail is blazed white, with most side trails blazed blue. The trail is maintained by the Connecticut Chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club.
The Connecticut section of the AT extends from Sherman at the New York state line to the brook crossing at Sage’s Ravine, just north of the Massachusetts state line at Salisbury. The trail goes up the Housatonic River Valley and twice crosses the river. The region is noted for its forested landscape, rugged rocky hills, open valleys, ravines, waterfalls, and magnificent vistas. Wildflowers abound in spring and summer, and year-round sightings of deer, turkey, and fox are not uncommon. From the mid-18th Century until the early 20th Century, the area was home to a thriving iron industry. The foundries and blast furnaces were fueled by charcoal heated to the extreme temperatures required to melt raw iron ore into molten crude, or pig iron. The charcoal was produced by itinerant colliers who chopped wood cut from the forested hills, stacked it into huge mounds, and burned and smoked it over several weeks. Remains of these hearth sites (flat circular areas) can be seen along the trail.
Several designated camping areas are available on or near the trail. Camping is allowed only at these designated locations. Camp and cook fires are prohibited along the AT throughout Connecticut. Additional AT information and detailed trail descriptions are available in the Appalachian Trail Guide to Massachusetts-Connecticut published by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.
- Trail mileage differs significantly from other trail mileage currently in print.