Metacomet: Kilkenny Rock
acres in West Hartford, CT
Parking: Small pull-off near 2865R Albany Ave, West Hartford, CT
Trail Map Trails: 4.4 miles Rating: ★★★☆☆
Kilkenny Rock is a 4.6 mile section of the blue blaze Metacomet/New England Trail running from Route 4 to Route 44 passing reservoir roads, the eponymous Kilkenny Rock, Finger Rock, slight ridges, and a whole slew of mountain bike trails.
I started this section from the north end along the raised Talcott Reservoir flood control dyke. There is an option just to the left of the parking area that takes a nicer trail through the woods, but I preferred to stay on the official trail. After only a 1/4 mile the trail turns right to cross a small stream and begin a long slow climb up the ridge. The trail is wide and a bit torn up by mountain bikes and there are a number of unblazed crossing trails and features for mountain bikes along the way. The wide trail makes it easier to walk side by side with your hiking partner, but that’s about it.
The trail follows a less dramatic section of the Metacomet Ridge with a couple seasonal views down towards Deercliff Road. The trail then meets a Eversource utility corridor and follows the wide gravel access roads. This makes for pretty boring hiking until you reach a massive split boulder which the more adventurous can chimney climb atop. There is a rock named Finger Rock in this area but I’m not sure if it’s higher up the ledge or this boulder.
Just a bit farther climbing around a rock wall you’ll reach Kilkenny Rock a large erratic perched on the ledge (reminding me of Wolf Rock) and a vague seasonal view southeast towards Reservoir Park and Farmington. From here the trail climbs down a gap in the ridge and winds for another mile occasionally following the reservoir roads and utility corridors.
Previous Section: 2 mile mixed trail and road walk on Prattling Pond Rd, Metacomet Rd, and Old Mountain Rd
Next Section: West Hartford Reservoir #6
CTMQ – Metacomet Trail: Section 9 (2007)
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Last updated April 10th, 2023
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