266 acres in Somers, CT
Parking: Small lot near 55 Wells Rd Somers, CT
Trail Map Trails: 4.2 miles Rating: ★★★☆☆
Whitaker Woods is the most fragrant hike I’ve ever been on. That’s not a word I expect to you when writing about hiking, but the scents pervaded much of the woods. I’m guessing it was the ferns. There was such variety from short ones fading the color of straw to chest high ferns right out of the Jurassic Period.
I hiked the outer most loop of the woods from white to orange to white again. After heading down a short hill next to the parking lot the trail crosses Gulf Stream which is rated highly for its cleanliness. Taking the outer white loop climbs a long, at times strenuous, hill for the third of the loop. This was the area thickest with ferns, they blanketed the forest floor in all directions. The scents were sweet but also rich and earthy and changed with the landscape.
Both ends of the 0.4 mile blue Underhill Trail looked interesting, but I kept hiking through the fall foliage until reaching the orange 0.9 mile Upper Shady Brook Trail. I bet this area gets particularly wet in the spring, but Shady Brook was bone dry during the drought. The trail skirts the base of a large hill along the property’s border before returning to the white trail amidst pines.
This section also has a connection to the adjacent McCann Family Farm trails, but I chose not to explore them this time.
The Town of Somers and the Northern Connecticut Land Trust combined to purchase the property for $1.2 million in 2006.
Peter Marteka – A Hooting Good Time At Whitaker Woods In Somers (2017)
Peter Marteka – Wishful Intent (2006)