Parciak Conservation Area
60 acres in Tolland, CT
Parking: Shoulder parking near 207 Bald Hill Rd, Tolland, CT
Trail Map Trails: 2.8 miles Rating: ★★☆☆☆
I started my hike at the parking along Bald Hill Rd a dirt road with a wide pull off. I headed down the yellow trail with the goal of reaching the meteor. The trail is wide and maintains flat or easy sloping downhill. There were a wide array of fungi of all shapes and colors. In a huge sea of ferns sits the knobby rock known as the “meteor”. Dark and pocked, it certainly seems like it could be from outer space, but a signpost clears up any confusion that is really just common amphibolite.
I didn’t head all the way down to the parking at Burbank Rd, instead, uphill towards the blue Ridge trail. The first section of the yellow trail here has been eroded and a new trail has been cut but not blazed circumventing it. While logs partially block the lower portion, yellow tape signals to avoid the section at the top. I was clueless and hiked right up it. Taking the blue trail led to a spur trail to a brilliant white quartz boulder spur. The boulder stands out like a beacon among the green leaves and dark trees. There were plenty of quartz bits around the boulder and I was tempted to pocket a fine arrowhead shaped one. A small sign next to the boulder gave an overview of the Native American beliefs around these rocks and that it was “bad medicine” to disturb them, so I took only pictures and left only footsteps.
Shortly after the spur trail, I reached the top of the ridge. From the town’s site,
“The highest point in Tolland, Bald Hill, is on this property at an elevation of 1,011 feet above sea level. The land is level in the northern section but then sharply drops 100 feet in elevation. There is an excellent view to the south from the ridge top, especially in winter. A bench is located there so that hikers may sit and enjoy the view.”
There wasn’t any view at all with the thick foliage. I could tell that there should be one, but I would amend the above description to say “…only in winter.” The map doesn’t show it, but there is a small additional loop past the bench that connects back to the blue trail closer to Bald Hill Rd.
Established as a conservation area in 2002.
Peter Marteka – Snow Quartz, Meteor Rock And Tolland’s Highest Point (2010)