West Peak is one of a pair of prominent mountains in the center of Connecticut, rising about 900 feet above sea level, or about 600 feet above the surrounding terrain.
This is one of the most southerly sections of the Metacomet Trail. It is the last major south-going section, although it is necessary to walk it from south to north, because the northern end is almost completely obscured.
To walk the four miles (eight miles round trip) of this trail from a road is only slightly different than from the Metacomet itself. It starts at a trailhead just west of the entrance to Hubbard Park. Alternatively, you could join the Metacomet on the summit of East Peak and then walk down to meet the trail between the two Peaks.
From the trailhead you cross the highway and ascend fairly steeply to the ravine between the two peaks. From there, you pass a spring and then ascend steeply to the west. The trail angle approaches 45 degrees in some places before settling back. Great views of the valley are available. Further on, the trail crosses talus and massive stone blocks and then ascends to the southern summit of West Peak. The view from the cliffs is usually excellent to the east, south and west, and the cliffs themselves are spectactular, with potential for recreational rock climbing.
From there. the trail proceeds north through an unusual grassy area under the trees and then passes into a more normal forested area with signs of a past forest fire. Not long afterward, the correct direction to follow out to the north becomes somewhat confused. A variety of courses are possible, but we decided to follow a local down from the ridge to the west on a trail from which the Metacomet blazes had been removed. We then followed it across a field (where we found a fascinating cedar-apple rust fruiting body) and then back into a net of trails that led through the forest to the road.
The trail is somewhat demanding on the ascent and the views can be vertiginous. This is a moderately difficult trail, and the length of the out and back will require a carrying a reasonable amount of food and water.
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