Mattabesett: Bear Hill & Kätchen Coley Mountain Laurel Preserve
100 acres in Middletown, CT
Trail Map Trails: 4.2 miles Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Starting at the north end of this section of the Mattabesett Trail heads off Bear Hill Road into the 50 acre Kätchen Coley Mountain Laurel Preserve. You’ll soon cross a utility corridor before re-entering the woods through thick stands of mountain laurel. Be sure to visit in late June to early July generally for peak bloom.
About 1.5 miles into the hike you’ll cross a junction with the blue/yellow blazed trail (dark blue on the map above) which can be used to create a couple different loops when combined with the Mattabesett. This trail, however, is often used by ATVs and has a couple wet/muddy sections.
As you ascend Bear Hill you pass over rocky sections and through pines until reaching the summit. There is a marker noting the elevation and small window of a view off through the trees.
From here the trail descends off the other side (with an unblazed connection to the Spiderweed Preserve) winding its way through more mountain laurel and rocky gaps until reaching Aircraft Road.
Previous Section: Asylum Reservoir/East Terminus – 4.2 miles
Next Section: Seven Falls – 1.5 miles
The Katchen Coley Preserve (formerly the Helfant property) is named for Katchen Coley, a longtime Middletown resident and conservationist. Coley passed away in 2013, but had spent over 40 years advocating for land preservation and environmental protection on behalf of Middletown, spending much of it on the Middletown Conservation Commission.
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Last updated August 31st, 2021
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