Mount Frissell, MA (and Bruce Mountain, NY)

Salisbury, Litchfield, CT

Source: Laubach and Smith, #1


Directions:

From Millerton, NY on Rt. 44 heading west, in the center of Salisbury turn onto Factory Street (100 yards south of the junction of Routes 44 and 41); drive 1.3 miles to where the road becomes gravel; at 1.6 miles cumulative pass through the gate of Mount Riga Forest Preserve; drive to a dam at the lake; turn right onto Mount Washington Road (rough road); drive 5.9 cumulative miles from Salisbury Center; park on the left (where a gate marks the trailhead).


Geology:

This is part of the Taconic plateau. It is actually a klippe, a gigantic section of the earths crust that has been dislodged and then has been slid westward in huge earthquake-induced landslides. This happened with the coming together of the European continent against North America.


Trails:

This is an out and back trail.

Most Direct Route to Mt. Frissell. Head northwest on the unblazed Bruce Mountain Trail. You cross Monument Brook and then the New York/Connecticut state line. Turn right (almost north) on the short-cut known as the Ashley Hill Trail. Turn right (east) on the red-blazed Mt. Frissell Trail going along the NY/MA border, passing the tri-state marker, reaching the highest elevation in Connecticut (2380 feet) and then turning left (north) to climb Mt. Frissell (2435 feet).

Visiting Both Brace Mountain and Mt. Frissell. From the Bruce Mountain Trail pass by the Ashley Hill Trail (instead of turning right on it); upon reaching the white-blazed South Taconic Trail, turn left and climb to the top of Brace Mountain (2311 feet). Return to the junction with the South Taconic Trail and the Bruce Mountain Trail. Continue straight (north) on the South Taconic Trail and then turn right onto the red-blazed Mt. Frissell Trail. Cross by the Ashley Hill Trail short-cut and continue as above.


PLANT LIST:


Trees:

Acer pensylvanicum (striped maple)

Acer rubrum (red maple)

Acer spp. (maples)

Betula papyrifera (paper birch)

Betula populifolia (gray birch)

Castanea americana (American chestnut)

Pyrus sp. (wild apple)

Quercus spp. (oaks)

Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)

Shrubs:

Aronia sp. (chokeberry)

Epigaea repens (trailing arbutus)

Gaultheria procumbens (wintergreen)

Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel)

Quercus ilicifolia (bear oak)

Rhododendron sp. (wild azalea)

Vaccinium spp. (blueberries)

Herbs:

Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla)

Asclepias sp. (milkweed)

Clintonia (bluebead)

Potentilla (three-leafed cinquefoil)

Solidago spp. (goldenods)

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