Metacomet: Will Warren’s Den
- Main parking north end: Medium pull-off 200 Colt Highway (Route 6), Farmington, CT
- South end: Large lot near 405 New Britain Ave, Plainville, CT
Trail Map Trails: 4.1 miles Rating: ★★★★☆
This popular section of the blue blaze Metacomet Trail is packed with overlooks, rugged terrain, rock climbing, and the history of both Will Warren’s Den and Hospital Rock.
Starting from the parking off Rt. 6 the short access trail soon joins the Metacomet / New England Trail. I first visited in the summer of 2018 and believe the trail has only gotten more popular since then. My February 2023 visit found this trail a mud pit despite the conscientious effort of the volunteer trail maintainers. The first 0.8 miles or so are switchback uphill on well traveled but very muddy trail until you enter the rocky ledges.
It will be another 0.4 miles (1.2 total so far) through these rocky ledges many of which are used for bouldering until you reach Will Warren’s Den. There is a small plaque affixed to the rock announcing the den and a low front entrance that may or may not be dug out on your visit. Either way climbing into this crevice is one of two options to enter this ‘cave’. The second is found by working around the massive boulders to the back where a high gap in the rocks and a well placed branch allow the adventurous to climb down in. The den is a good sized chamber between these rocks though ultimately not much to see.
Just beyond the den is the Rattlesnake Mountain overlook with cliff views south over Farmington and Plainville. The Metacomet then descends along the cliff face, crosses a utility corridor, and then climbs up and down on rugged trail for another mile until reaching Pinnacle Rock (one of many such named pinnacles in the state) with 180 degree views farther south and back towards Rattlesnake.
Just before the cliff are some old ruins of Nike Missile site HA-67 operational from 1956–61. There are also some well crafted wooden benches along the old road here and some new orange blazes that I decided not to explore further. If you hike on the old roads here heading east you will also find the archaeological site Hospital Rock.
This area is one of the best concentrated areas of legal climbing and bouldering in the state. There are at least six areas:
- Porcupine Hole
- Will Warren’s Den
- Kung Fu Cave
- Rattlesnake Cliff
- Cracked Wall / Dreamweaver Wall
- Pinnacle Rock
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Last updated February 13th, 2023
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