Un-blazed Connecticut Hill Hikes
The following are a number of hikes led by members of the Ithaca Hikers who have a long familiarity with the Connecticut Hill Wildlife Management Area. The hikes below utilize trails that are in whole or part un-blazed and often obscure. Hikers should not attempt solo hikes of the listed routes on their own without first having accompanied our members who are familiar with the area on a group hike to acquaint themselves with the routes. The hikes are included on our hikes list to facilitate hike announcements at the listed locations.
For everyone’s safety, individuals joining Ithaca Hikers for any of the trails listed below need to stay with the group for the duration of the hike.
Established blazed trails that traverse the Connecticut Hill WMA ( such as the FLT or Bob Cameron Loop ) will continue to have their own separate hike listings.
Radio Tower Trailhead for hike 46-A
Directions to trailhead: https://goo.gl/maps/2KoAZ2aTLc9WuL1i7
On 13S from Ithaca take the right turn toward Trumbull’s Corners, and then just past the stop sign bear left onto Connecticut Hill Rd; Connecticut Hill Rd will soon bear right at an intersection and ultimately dead-end at the radio tower.
Hike 46- A “Lost Coal Mine Loop”
The hike descends on the Bob Cameron loop before branching off to the right and passing the “coal mine” on a trail that’s often muddy. From there a trail climbs easily out of the valley to reach a left onto another trail passing through a stand of hemlocks, where yet another trail to the left brings the hike it back to BCL and a return to the cars.
Tower/Ridge Trailhead for Hikes 46-B and 46-C
On 13S from Ithaca take the right turn toward Trumbull’s Corners, and then just past the stop sign bear left onto Connecticut Hill Rd; Connecticut Hill Rd will soon bear right at an intersection and head uphill for a mile to parking at the wide and open intersection with Tower Rd.
Hike 46- B “Saddle and Pond Loop”
The hike follows several trails through mixed hardwoods and then hemlocks before descending into an area nicknamed the “saddle”. Then it’s a short climb over a small hill to an old logging road leading gently uphill to a trail that continues the climb past a forest management cut area to a large pond. From there it’s a fairly level hike on 3 trails winding through the woods to emerge onto Ridge Rd for a short walk back to the cars.
Hike 46- C “Wedge and FLT Loop”
After a short walk on Ridge, the hike first enters younger woods, following several fairly level trails before reaching older woods and descending into a valley. After crossing a stream and turning uphill, the next trail connects to the FLT for a steep climb back to the top to reach a more level trail back to the cars.
Lloyd Starks Rd Trailhead – Hikes 46-D thru 46- F
On 13S from Ithaca take the right turn toward Trumbull’s Corners, and then just past the stop sign bear left onto Connecticut Hill Rd; park at the first intersection (with Lloyd Starks and Boylan Roads).
Hike 46- D “Seven Streams Loop”
The trail climbs through the woods for about a mile before crossing Connecticut Hill Rd for a long descent with several minor stream crossings. Once down the hill, trails loop around a small green pond, follow along a larger stream, and then head across the dike of a large pond for a level woods walk back to the cars.
Hike 46-E “Carter Creek Loop”
The hike starts briefly down Lloyd Starks Rd before entering the woods on the right, passing a large beaver pond with an impressive dam before crossing the creek. From there a trail descends gently down the west side of the creek to Carter Creek Rd, where a short walk up the road leads to a trail along the deep ravine above the east side of the creek. A connecting trail climbs to the hilltop and crosses Lloyd Starks Rd before descending the hill to return to the cars.
Hike 46- F “Lloyd Starks Loop”
The hike starts briefly down Lloyd Starks Rd before entering the woods on the left, where it climbs along a forest management cut to reach the top of the hill. There a trail looping to the east passes a nice view over the hills of Newfield before following an old logging road across Lloyd Starks Rd. From there trails descend into the edge of the Carter Creek ravine before passing by a large beaver pond on the way back to the cars.
Cemetery Trailheads — Hikes 46-G thru 46-J
On 13S from Ithaca take the right turn toward Trumbull’s Corners, and then just past the stop sign bear left onto Connecticut Hill Rd; at the next intersection stay straight ahead onto Boylan Rd. At the top of the hill the road becomes rougher (seasonal) before reaching a T-intersection with Ridge Rd and the parking area.
Hike 46-G “Bridges & Quarry Loop”
The trail descends into a valley where pilings from a washed-away bridge flank a stream crossing. From there another trail flanks a tributary stream past remnants of another bridge before climbing to the view atop an abandoned gravel bank. The rest of the loop follows several trails through old woods, crossing the stream again, and ascend along a ravine to pass what may be a moonshiner’s site on the way back to the cars.
Hike 46-H “Three Hills Loop”
After a short walk south on Ridge Rd, a series of trails heads west through the woods past some vernal ponds and a porcupine tree, traversing 3 hills with moderate elevation changes before reaching a steeper descent into a deep valley. From there the 1-mile climb back to the cars is broken up by a stop at an abandoned farm site offering a deep well and stone basements of both house and barn.
Hike 46-I “FLT Loop”
The hike heads east to catch the FLT behind the cemetery, then branches off down an old logging road, crossing Cabin Rd before a series of 3 trails loop back to the west to rejoin the FLT for the return to the cars.
Hike 46-J “Ponds & FLT”
After a short walk south on Ridge Rd, a series of trails heads west through the woods past some vernal ponds and along a stream to cross Powers Rd and reach a larger pond. From there a trail follows another stream through a succession of woods, eventually reaching an abandoned section of the FLT, where a short climb finds the current FLT for a mostly level(ish) hike back to the cars.
Cabin Road Trailheads— Hikes 46-K thru 46-L
On 13S from Ithaca take the right turn toward Trumbull’s Corners, and then just past the stop sign bear left onto Connecticut Hill Rd; at the next intersection stay straight ahead onto Boylan Rd. At the top of the hill the road becomes rougher (seasonal) before reaching a T-intersection. Turn left onto Ridge Rd and park about a mile south near the intersection with Cabin Rd. Note that there is also a small parking area on the right just before Ridge Rd descends steeply (and roughly) to Cabin Rd.
Hike 46-K “Rope and Three Ravines Loop”
The hike starts briefly on the FLT before heading east on a series of trails that cross Cabin Rd before continuing downhill along a ravine to a rope-aided descent and a stream crossing. From there it’s up the other side of this 2nd ravine for a further descent to Carter Creek Rd. A walk along the road parallels the Carter Creek ravine before catching a trail on the right for a long climb back to a connector to the FLT and a return to the cars.
Hike 68-L “South Loop”
The hike heads west from the small parking area above Cabin Rd before a second trail turns south through varied woods, crosses the FLT, and (more woods later) eventually reaches an abandoned road that leads eastward to Ridge. A short walk north on Ridge accesses first an an east- and then a northbound trail that connects to the FLT for a return to the cars.
Doll Hill Trailhead — Hikes 46-M thru 46-N
On 13S from Ithaca take the first (right) exit at the Newfield traffic circle, continuing straight past the stop sign and up Blovsky Hill Rd. At the top of the hill it’s a right at the T onto Carter Creek Rd, which soon turns left. At the point where Connecticut Hill Rd becomes seasonal, turn left onto Rowell Hill Rd to reach the roadside parking 1/2 mile ahead (just before the road turns right and becomes dirt — don’t go past the yellow gate!).
Hike 46-M “ Homesteads Loop”
The trail arcs westward around the hill’s northern flank to reach an abandoned homesite with a well and remnants of a basement. From there it descends past another basement, this one well-preserved, before reaching the bank of Carter Creek. If the water level is low, the hike crosses the creek to turn north on Carter Creek Rd for a while, eventually accessing an eastbound trail that re-crosses the creek for a climb back up to the cars. (In the event of higher water, there’s an alternative connector that stays on the east side of the creek.)
Hike 46-N “Ravine, Damsite, & Homesites Loop”
The first trail arcs westward around the hill’s northern flank to reach an abandoned homesite with a well and remnants of a basement. From there it’s a brief descent to a side trail leading to a secluded ravine that offers one of the more challenging hikes on Connecticut Hill: steep descents, tricky footing, and several stream crossings are rewarded by 2 small waterfalls. At the bottom of the hill the hike comes to a broad, rocky crossing of Carter Creek (wet feet likely!) before reaching not-quite-a-trail to the impressive remains of a large stone dam. From there, it’s a short walk along Carter Creek Rd to a trail that re-crosses the creek for a climb past another homesite with well-preserved basement. Continuing upward, the trail returns to the first homesite before leading back to the cars.
Last edit 12/ 2023 JFR