Parking: Medium sized lot near 399 Gulf Rd, Somers, CT
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 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.
Just past the tower is a cell tower and beyond that the road up to the tower with picnic areas along a ridgeline.
I haven’t hiked the majority of trails here, but I have hiked the Shenipsit Trail from Sodom Rd all the way down to Hopkins Rd. This section is among the most rugged of the blue blaze trails though not much to call out other than the hills, small rocky ledges, and vernal pools.
Soapstone Mountain was the first land purchased for the Shenipsit State Forest in 1927. The purpose was 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.
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)