1800 acres in Ellington, Somers, and Stafford, CT
Parking: Medium sized lot near 399 Gulf Rd, Somers, CT
Trail Map Trails: 18 miles Rating: ★★★★☆
Soapstone Mountain is the highlight of the 11 Shenipsit State Forest parcels. The tower near the summit has been newly rebuilt in 2019 and is once again open for all to enjoy. There are miles of trails to explore, picnic areas, and annual 24k and 6k races put on by the Shenipsit Striders.
From the main parking area the the trail heads off into the pines for a quarter mile before taking a southern turn. The trail splits with the right fork heading around the mountain and the left fork starting the climb up the mountain. The climb is only a quarter mile up a rocky slope, but isn’t very difficult and I’ve seen many complete it with ease. The trail passes right by the tower which had been closed for a few years until the town and state approved funds to completely rebuilt it. The view north is well worth the hike.
Just past the tower is a cell tower and beyond that the road up to the tower with picnic areas along the ridgeline. Trails from the tower continue off in every direction. While the trail map shows the majority of trails in the area around the tower, the father south you go the more unmarked ones there are. Be prepared for rugged, rocky, hilly terrain.
Blue – Shenipsit Trail – 4.2 miles
This section of the Shenipsit Trail runs from Sodom Rd all the way down to Hopkins Rd. This section is fairly rugged running over rocky hills, small ledges, vernal pools and past the lookout tower at the summit.
- Previous Section – Grahaber Road 1.3 miles
- Next Section – Unnamed Section — Unexplored- 1.2 miles
Soapstone Mountain was the first land purchased for the Shenipsit State Forest in 1927 in order to build a fire lookout tower. The north edge of the property is the site of the Civilian Conservation Corps Camp Conner in 1935 and the present day site of the CCC Museum.
- Caretakers of Soapstone
- Peter Marteka – Soapstone Mountain Has A Perfect View, No Matter The Season (2014)
- Peter Marteka – A New Observation Tower With Same Spectacular View On Top Of Soapstone Mountain in Somers (2018)
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Last updated April 11th, 2021
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