Narragansett Trail – Lantern Hill
Parking: Shoulder parking near 215 Wintechog Hill Rd, North Stonington, CT
Trail Map Trails: 1.5 miles Rating: ★★★☆☆
Lantern Hill is the western terminus of the 16 mile Narragansett Trail which runs from North Stonington to the Rhode Island border. Lantern Hill is the best overlook in southern CT and provides great views especially in the fall.
From the parking along Wintechog Hill Rd the trail heads steadily uphill on rutted and eroded path. A trail soon comes to a fork with an option to head right towards the Two Trees Inn, straight to follow the base of the hill, or left to continue uphill on the Narragansett Trail. The trail gets steeper and reaches the rocky cliffs.
The overlook is about a half mile from the parking area and has views northwest over the Foxwoods compound there is another with views east towards Wintechog Hill. The trail then descends down the back side of Lantern Hill. While the Narragansett continues left there is another short trail to a south facing overlook and a rough trail leading down to the quarrying operation.
Continuing on the Narragansett will take you through the North Stonington transfer station. Blazes are few and far between, but taking an immediate left and heading up the driveway to cross Wintechog Hill Rd is the current route.
The next section is 2 miles to Rt 2 and is technically closed though I had to learn that the hard way. The trail notice says this section closed in 2015 for “clearing important pastureland to conserve rare livestock breeds” and had planned to reopen by 2017.
A recent reroute leads you around an open field and through recent timber harvest to a clear cut near the summit of Wintechog Hill. At the clear cut is an electric fence which can be skirted for a quarter mile until it re-enters the woods on the opposite side. From here the trail is faint and unused, but passes through some great terrain. Within sight of Rt 2 the trail is stopped by a few hundred feet of fencing. See my movie of the hike for the full experience.
Next Section: Cossaduck Bluffs
Since the crash of my website the best history currently is here, The Story of the Yawgoog Trails, until I can recompile the info.