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The Mattabesett Trail Summer Challenge
Wed, Jun 1, 2022
About This Activity
The Mattabesett Trail is a 62-mile (100 km) long, hook-shaped Blue-Blazed hiking trail in central Connecticut and a part of the New England National Scenic Trail. One half of the trail follows the high traprock ridges of the Metacomet Ridge, from Totoket Mountain in Guilford, Connecticut to Lamentation Mountain in Meriden, Connecticut from south to north. This ridge is known for its biodiversity, miles of scenic cliffs, and rugged hiking. The second half of the trail extends north from Guilford to Middletown, Connecticut and ends at the Connecticut River. Here, the trail follows an upland of metamorphic rock with occasional views and dense forests. Depending on what source you use, the end-to-end distance is between 57-62.5 miles. Here's the trail on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mattabesett_Trail And here's the website of the CT Forest & Park Association, the organization that maintains the trails: https://www.ctwoodlands.org/blue-blazed-hiking-trails/blue-blazed-hiking-trails-interactive-map (Click on the blue trail line around Middletown.) The trail runs from the Connecticut River east of Middletown to US-5 and Spruce Brook Rd in Berlin.
Although it doesn't get the love other trails in the state do (Metacomet, Nipmuck, Shenipsit, AT) its distance and proximity make it perfect for varied distance events. To give it some love (and since I plan to give a section a go this summer) I wanted to open it up to others to join in the fun. This is a in person, onsite virtual FKT type event.
Using Rte 77 as a breakpoint, this challenge is broken up into three distances:
Distances per the CT Walk Book:
Marathon - 28.8 (Eastern Half from Rte 77 to River Rd.) - Starts at Rte 77 Bluff Head Parking area and heads northeast (cross Rte 77 to follow trail) and run to the River Rd. terminus. In true trail Marathon tradition it is a bit longer than a marathon
50K - 32.1 Mile (Western Half from Rte 77 to Rte 15) - Starts at Rte 77 Bluff Head Parking area and heads northwest. Run to the Spruce Brook Rd parking Area. Then run to Rte 15 and back to the parking area to complete the run.
100K - 61.7 (Includes out & back from Spruce Brook Rd Parking to Rte 15) - Start at either Spruce Brook Rd Parking area or River Rd terminus and run through to the other terminus. Depending on which way you are going (Eastbound or Westbound) you will do the Spruce Brook Rd to Rte 15 Out & back either at the start or end.
This is a free, solo, old school, choose your own adventure. No cost, no swag, no medals (no excuses). Just the pleasure of time on the trail and seeing a result next to your name. Course is simple, follow the blue blazes.
There will be 4 categories to choose from:
Distance chosen (marathon, 50K or 100K)
Northbound (starts at Rte 77) to run toward either Spruce Brook Rd Parking or River Rd Terminus
Southbound (starts at either Spruce Brook Rd Parking or River Rd Terminus and run to Rte 77 Bluff Head Parking Area)
Supported - Assisted by either crew or fellow runners
Unsupported - Solo (water food caches are allowed).
If you do the full length, indicate which direction (East or West) and feel free to give the FKT a try (https://fastestknowntime.com/route/mattabesett-trail-ct).
This is a self timed, honor based system with the only requirements being that you complete your section between June 1, 2022 - August 31, 2022.
Email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) two pictures (one at start, one at finish), info on your direction and whether support or unsupported along with your GPX file and I'll put together a list of results.