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Mowhawk State Forest Mountain Bike Trails

Western Region, CT

Gravel Grinders, Scenic Viewpoints, Firetowers, Wildlife Watch & Photo-Ops

Directions
Trail Description

Location: 20 Mohawk Mountain Road, Goshen, CT. Litchfield County.

GPS Coordinates:
Park Headquarters: 41.800418,-73.349419

Altitude: 1,312 ft.

Length/Configuration: 15+ miles of paved park and unpaved doubletrack forest roads. Design your own loop or out-and-back mountain bike ride.

Terrain/Surface: Gravel and hard-packed dirt surface on doubletrack trails and forest roads.

Technical Difficulty: Easy to moderate.

Elevation Change: Hilly terrain requires climbing, but nothing very difficult except for the ride up Mohawk Mountain from Wadhams Rd.

Trail Use: mountain biking, hiking, horse-back riding, skiing

Caution: Take precautions against deer ticks if you hike through the brush.

Mohawk State Forest Trail Map
Mohawk State Forest Trail Map

This trail map is a geographical representation designed for general reference purposes only.

Mohawk State Forest Overview

Nestled on the western edge of Connecticut's Litchfield Hills, 3,703 acre Mohawk State Forest remains one of the few state forests where hunting is prohibited. It's a scenic woodlands and wildlife sanctuary with a network of old dirt and gravel forest roads that outdoor recreationalists use to draft the craggy hills.

These multi-use trails and woods roads link to form mountain biking routes through diverse and scenic forestscapes where you might catch an occasional glimpse of deer, fox or bobcat. Trail and forest roads meander around Mohawk Pond, unusual bog areas., and climb up to to the scrubby oak topped Mohawk Mountain summit for a picnic, scenic viewpoints and a personal Photo-Ops frame of reference.

Mohawk State Forest / State Park Trail Connections

There are several Blue-Blazed Trails (designated hiking trails) that pass through Mohawk State Forest.

Mattatuck Trail

The northernmost section of the Mattatuck Trail travels through the Mohawk State Forest in Cornwall., CT and meanders beside streams, passes between rock walls and climbs Mohawk Mountain. The Mattatuck’s northern terminus is at its junction with the blue-blazed Mohawk Trail.

Mountain Bike Trails - Mohawk State Forest

Wadhams Road

Mileage / Blaze: 2.8 miles

The spine of Mohawk State Forest. It north/south for 2.8 miles through the forest. It links to forest headquarters in the north and Eli bunker Road to the South. Old forest fire roads and trails ideal for mountain biking branch off of this "spine" in all directions along it's length. It could take a day of adventure to discover and ride them all.

Tornado Trail

Mileage / Blaze: 1.23 miles

The Tornado Trail is a Firebreak Rd. created by the path of a tornado in the far northwestern section of the forest. There are several roads and trails that connect to the Tornado Trail. The shortest route is Clark Road that travels along the east side of Clark Pond and wetland area.

A cluster of tornadoes, including a very powerful EF-4, battered Litchfield and New Haven counties in July 1989. It destroyed forests and buildings in Cornwall Village and on Mohawk Mountain. The path of the tornado moved south-southeast, carrying debris as far away as Bantam.

"The general rule of thumb is to avoid getting caught in a tornado. If you do get caught in one, spin around at 700 miles per hour or so — staying on the bicycle if at all possible, of course, and being sure to keep an eye out for farm animals, tractors, uprooted trees, et al."

https://www.CornwallHistoricalSociety.org

Mohawk Mountain Tower Trail

Mileage / Blaze: 6 miles, Blue rectangle blaze

Mohawk Mountain was one of the many lookout and bonfire vantage points for the local Algonquian tribes who had banded together in defense against the Mohawk Indians. Today, people make the trip to the top for it's spectacular panoramic views.

The 2.7-mile climb to the summit on gravel state CCC built forest road (Toumey Road) begins off of Route 4. It leads to the Fire Tower, now just a stone shell, on the 1,661-ft. summit. There are picnic facilities and a paved parking area for motorists or bicyclists who arrive on the gravel road. Weather permitting, there are multiple viewpoits - west to the Catskills in New York; west and north into the Berkshire range and south and east to the surrounding Litchfield Hills.

This a prime leaf peeping spot in the fall.

Mohawk Mountain State Park Ski Area

The Civilian Conservation Corps (C.C.C.) developed miles of downhill and cross-country ski trails that became the Mohawk Mountain Ski Area. Today. Mohawk Mountain Ski Area is a private corporation working in partnership with the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection at Mohawk State Park.

Mohawk State Forest has cross-country trails for snowshoeing and xc country skiing at the top of the mountain but they are not maintained or connected with the Ski Area.

Trail Access: Off of Rt. 4 in Cornwall, CT.

Mohawk Pond Loop Trail

A small 16-acre kettle pond on the east side of the mountain is stocked with brook, brown and rainbow trout. Combine Hubbell Road, Wadhams Road and Rock Box Road for a mountain bike ride loop around the pond. In the winter, stay off the ice.

Hubbel Road

Hubbel Road is a woods road / doubeltrack trail begins on Eli Bunker Road at the southern end of the forest. Head north on Hubbell Road for three quarters of a mile towards Mohawk Pond. At the intersection, turn east onto a dirt road (Camp Road) to access swimming at Mohawk Pond.

Rock Box Road

To the east of Hubbell Road a scenic parallel trail links Eli Bunker to Wadhams Road and travels along the East Branch of the Shepaug River. The first half of the mountain bike ride along the river is fairly flat and then it climbs uphill over exposed rocks.

Trail Highlights and Nearby Points of Interest

Bike & Wildlife Watch & Photo-Ops

Black Spruce Bog Trail

While you are here, take the time to visit the Black Spruce Bog. About halfway up the mountain on Toumey Road, Mohawk Mountain Road comes in from the left. Follow Mohawk Mountain Road a short distance to a trail opposite park headquarters; it leads to the Black Spruce Bog, of a type rare in southern New England. The trail passes through mountain laurel and hemlock, then reaches a boardwalk built over the peat bottom.

Many unusual plant species such as the carnivorous Pitcher Plant along with sundews, cranberry, creeping snowberry and the Black Spruce and Tamarack trees, more common in northern climates grow here.

Mohawk Pond

The southern section of Mohawk State Forest encompasses Mohawk Pond, a 16-acre pond, stocked with trout and noted for largemouth Bass.

Location: Route 4, south on Great Hollow Road, east on Great Hill Road to the boat launch.

Bikes & Scenic Viewpoints

See Mohawk Mountain Tower Trail description above.

Historical Notes

Mohawk State Forest was created in 1921 when the land was donated by the White Memorial Foundation with a few legal strings attached. Mohawk State Forest was to serve the purposes of public forestry, recreation, and a “bird and game sanctuary”.  The forest is managed to produce a resilient and diverse tree species, sucessional forest habitat and types "tailored" to support local wildlife.

Directions

From the South: Take Route 8 north, Exit 42, (Harwinton Exit). Proceed west on Route 118 to the center of Litchfield, and then go north on Route 63 to the rotary in Goshen Center. Take Route 4 west from Goshen approximately 4 miles to the entrance on the left for Mohawk State Forest.

From The North: Take Route 7 south onto Route 63 south to the rotary in Goshen, then Route 4 west to Mohawk State Forest.

More Information

Connecticut Dept. Of Energy & Environmental Protection: https://portal.ct.gov/DEEP

 

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