Bear Den / Paine Hill – Nipmuck State Forest
Roughly 2600 acres in Union, CT
- North End: Shoulder parking near 198 Skopek Rd, Union, CT
- South End: Shoulder parking near 292 Stickney Hill Rd, Union, CT
Trail Map Trails: 10+ miles Rating: ★★☆☆☆
The Bear Den / Paine Hill section of the Nipmuck State Forest is largely geared towards mountain biking and off-roading. The main trail from the Stickney Road entrance is a moto / Jeep / off-road cutting through the forest north to the second entrance at Skopek Road. Passable by most off-road capable vehicles for the first half, it’s unlikely anything larger than a quad could make it the second half.
It would make for a nice easy out and back walk that could total up to 6 miles depending on how far you go. A couple wet areas may require a few careful steps.
The better starting point for hiking seems to be from Skopek Road, though I have not yet explored this section.
Mountain biking is definitely the best way to explore this area. A number of singletrack trails branch off the main trail and link all the way to the Massachusetts border.
Trail Forks notes 32 miles of trails, though notes that the area is unsanctioned and many trails are in need of work so it seems likely to expect at least a few rough or hard to follow areas.
TrailForks – Bear Den Mountain Biking
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Last updated June 13th, 2021
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