Reservoir Walk LbNA # 1210 (ARCHIVED)
|Placed Date||Apr 27 2003|
The Reservoir Walk Letterbox (2)
Two Boxes placed on June 28, 2002 by Little La and Bonsai! Plan to spend about an hour and a half on relatively easy trails. Things can get a bit mucky in spots, so don’t wear your best shoes! There are many rocky ledges that make nice spots to swim when it’s not too crowded. I like to bring a raft and float around on a hot summer afternoon, though the walk is also very beautiful in the winter when everything is covered in snow and the water has turned to ice.
Pattaconk Reservoir is within Cockaponset State Forest, which encompasses a large amount of land through the towns of Chester, Higganum, and Haddam. The forest has many lovely trails, most of which are so little visited that we have walked for many miles without seeing any other adventurers. Because the forest has several entry points, unused trails, and few landmarks I recommend bringing a compass and trail map for longer forays. The Reservoir walk sticks to the southern end of the Forest, on clearly marked trails.
Take exit 6 off Route 9. Head west on Route 148 about a mile and a half. Just past the Cedar lake beach area take a right (there’ll be a sign for Pattaconk and Cedar lake boat access). Follow this bumpy road about a mile past Cedar lake and into the State Forest. Turn left at the “Pattaconk” entry sign. Go past the small beach area and park in the lot up the hill (on the right).
At the western end of the parking lot follow the trail leading into the woods. Get on the Blue trail by turning right, then right again. Head towards the reservoir. There are many side trails, but just stick with the Blue trail. Follow the Blue trail to the left at the “Red Maple” sign. The trail meanders through a swampy area and goes up the hill that overlooks the western side of the lake. You will pass by the first “wall” (really just a natural rock outcropping that looks a lot like a stacked rock wall) as you climb up the hill. Not too far ahead you’ll come to a true New England stonewall. Take 13 steps up hill and find “The Wall” letterbox hidden towards the bottom of the rocks.
Continue on the Blue, passing by a small stream, until you come to an arch shaped wooden footbridge that crosses a larger stream. At the bridge turn about face and walk to the Blue with a Red dot trail to your left. Follow the Blue/Red trail as it clings to the shore of the reservoir. The trail turns away from the water for a short while to go around a boggy section (this is where it can be quite mucky) then heads back around the inlet towards the reservoir. Once you have come through this boggy/rocky section and have come to the other side of the little inlet you’ll see a tree marked “Basket Oak” on your right. If you take any of the myriad shortcuts off the Blue/Red trail you won’t see this sign. Facing the sign, walk 15 paces at approximately 100 degrees toward a medium sized boulder near the water. Look to the bottom of this boulder for “The Lake” letterbox (though it’s really not a lake; reservoir was too hard to carve!).
Follow the Blue/Red trail back to the beach area and parking lot.
NOTE: Recently this area has become a haven for some litterbugs. It's still a lovely spot, but would be lovelier without the trash. If you're planning on going, it would be nice to bring an extra bag to collect some of the trash as you walk.