Moosic Mountain; Dick and Nancy Eales Preserve
Mileage: 6 Miles Directions
Rise: 728 ft Facebook
Hike Time: 2hr 45 min, with 1 child Weather
significance:Views, Streams, Reservoir
Here is some of what you need to know: This is a very popular mountain bike trail so watch your back. The trail heads are fairly well marked but that is about it, the trail blazing receives a D from me. Be sure to print the Nature Conservancy Map; There are places the trail splits without any indication as to which direction you should take, but by looking closely at the map I was able to stay oriented.
1. Scroll the mouse over the altitude line to see where it lines up on the map
2. Click on the flags for more information
3. Click on the pictures to make them large
The back story here is that an industrial park was ready to be built when the Nature conservancy swooped in and made this a preservation area. With that in mind the hike is part road and part trail with occasional reminders of what this place almost became. From the Parking area we took the short walk to the first intersection and made a left. Our destination was the Gene Trail-head which is just under a mile from the parking lot. On your way there you will catch some cool views. You will also see areas where the forest has burned, from what I read this has been done on purpose “prescribed for habitat Management”
Gene’s trail is an actual path and runs about three miles through the woods. The beginning is narrow and rocky at times. You will travel through some nice forest over a few streams and gain relatively little elevation. One place to look out for as you get closer to the reservoir is an intersection without any markings; Follow the path down hill towards the reservoir (It actually takes you away from the reservoir at first, but left and downhill is the key). The trail goes around the reservoir; do not take the shortcut over the dam, it is not allowed and you will miss out on cool nature stuff.
After the reservoir the landscape changes; For a short time you leave the woods, the path turns to all rock and you travel through a bog dotted with Scotch Pine and Oak. Here the trail may be a little difficult to follow, the path twists and turns without any blazes to guide you. Most of the time you can see where they want you to go, other times cairns (rock piles) will show you the way.
The next trail junction is a funny one. It is a four way intersection without any trail names or blazes (ugh, again). The main part of it is big enough for an ATV and is rocky as hell, take this up hill. The Google map above calls this the Rock Angel Quad Trail and will take you to the powerlines.
As you walk the powerlines you will come across the trailheads for the Waterfall loop (Left) and Stonehenge (Right).
Shortly after the Stonehenge trail-head the road makes the 90 degree right turn to heads back to the car. Their are some awesome views on this road and it was a great way to finish off the hike. 6 miles carrying my daughter most of the way was enough for me.
Let me tell you about the waterfall loop: The first time I took this trail I tried to find the waterfall. I ended up on the white birch trail without realizing it, before I knew it I was very off course. I believe this happened due to poorly marked trails. I only hiked a few extra miles but by the time I made it back to the car it was very dark, and I was cold and wet from rain. GPS helped me get back to the car and I was not a happy hiker.
The problems with the trail markings:
- Trail heads are not all clearly marked.
- You have to walk long distances between any kind of trail markers
- Many intersections lack indicators as to which way the trail goes.
I am not trying to discourage you from Moosic mountain, afterall it is a nice hike, but you need to be aware and print out the map. —–>Printable map