Quick Reference Summary: Mount Misery
Total distance: 10.4 miles (16.7 kilometers)
Total hiking time: approximately 4 to 6 hours
Caution: Hikers should be very careful, by wearing at least 400 square inches (2,580 square centimeters) of blaze orange material, such as a vest, when hiking in Connecticut during the state's hunting season. The hunting season starts on September 1 and runs through the end of February. Hunting is prohibited in Yawgoog.
Note: The portion of the trail running southeast from the combined Routes 138 and 165 to the crossing with the enduro motorcycle trail is on private property. Hunting, fishing, geocaching, horses and vehicles are prohibited on that section.
From the loop off Firetower Road, the blue blazes of the Nehantic Trail immediately climb the hill, but beware of unmarked paths in the area; the Nehantic Trail overlaps the Pachaug Trail during the first part of this hike. After a short steep climb a fine view can be seen from Mount Misery. The trail descends the hill, climbs again, then descends to eventually turn right (southeast) onto Cutoff Road. The trail/road soon passes by a short wheelchair-accessible path to the left, north, in the Rhododendron Sanctuary.
Back at the road, the trail crosses Mount Misery Brook and veers left (northeast) to cross the picnic area; drinking water and waterless latrines are available here. Permits are required for camping and campfires in the State Forest. The blue trail blazes cross the picnic area, heading northeast, into the forest. The Pachaug and Nehantic Trails, which have shared the same route since the start of the hike, soon split apart. The Pachaug Trail turns to the left (north) while this hike veers right (southeast) on the Nehantic Trail. The path becomes an overgrown road which crosses the paved Park Road/Headquarters Road at a small parking area. The trail soon arrives at an observation deck overlooking Beachdale Pond; a small picnic spot and parking area are here, as well. The trail leaves the observation deck, heading east to carefully cross Route 49 (Ekonk Hill Road); turn right (south) and walk in single-file on the left side of the road, facing oncoming traffic. Another parking area and observation deck are here.
After crossing the bridge over the Pachaug River, walk south on Route 49 for about 0.4 mile (0.7 kilometer) and turn left (east) onto the blue-blazed path into the forest. Cautiously cross the Shetucket Turnpike and re-enter the woods on a dirt road. Look carefully to the right (south), as the trail soon leaves the dirt road. Very carefully cross Routes 138/165 (Beach Pond Road) onto the dirt Welles Road, a private access road.
Note: The next portion of the Nehantic Trail, running on Welles Road then into the forest to cross the enduro motorcycle trail is on private property. Hunting, fishing, horses and vehicles are prohibited on this section. Please stay on the blue-blazed trail.
Walk on the private Welles Road for about 0.5 mile (0.8 kilometer) and turn right (south) to cross a wooden bridge over a stream, which is actually the stone-lined spillway of a small earthen dam. Do not proceed any further on Welles Road, as it leads to a private residence. After running atop the low dam, the trail runs through the private forest. Along the way, the blue blazes make an abrupt turn to the right (east) at an intersection with an unmarked path; avoid the unmarked path, which veers left (north) to the private residence. The Nehantic Trail re-enters the Pachaug State Forest just before crossing the State Forest's enduro trail for registered motorcycles, marked with red arrows. The blue blazes of the hiking path wind through the State Forest and eventually cross the dirt Fish Road.
From Fish Road the solid blue blazes of the Nehantic Trail head south then southeast to cross Green Fall Pond Road and then a stream by a rock formation. The Nehantic Trail ends at Green Fall Pond. The pond offers a water pump (disabled in winter), waterless latrines, campsites, picnic areas, and a swimming area (no lifeguard).
To continue on to Yawgoog, hikers should briefly follow the solid blue blazes of the Pachaug Trail on the dirt road around the northern side of the pond, toward the campsites. Look carefully to the right (south) for a path, starting from a small parking area and marked in orange-on-blue, that hugs the shore of the pond. Just before the orange-on-blue markings cross the Green Fall River (about 1.25 miles/2 kilometers after leaving the road), look for the solid blue blazes of the Narragansett Trail that head left (northeast) and away from the pond. Follow the solid blue markings to the shelter and old mill site on Peg Mill Brook, then on to the junction with the yellow-blazed Tippecansett Trail. From this junction, bear right (south) to follow the yellow and blue marks to Dinosaur Cliffs and Caves and then to Camp Yawgoog Road at the state border. After turning left (southeast) onto the road, the hike ends at the T. Dawson Brown Gateway.
For the full description of this hike and driving directions, please see Mount Misery.