The Claddagh  LbNA # 3535

Placed DateFeb 23 2002
LocationCornwall Bridge, CT
Planted ByRubaduc      
Found By Molasses_hiking
Last Found Sep 14 2014
Hike Distance?

A single letterbox placed on 2-23-02 by the Gal Pals (adopted by Rubaduc) at the Pine Knob Loop Trail in Cornwall, CT in honor of our mothers. God Bless Them !

The Claddagh is an Irish symbol worn by people all over the world as a Universal token of love, friendship, loyalty and fidelty. We offer it to you in the form of a letterbox.

Difficulty- it's not easy but it's worth it. The 50 Hikes in CT list it as AB which means it is between difficult and tough. However, we old gals made it just fine !! ( Two of us are over 50 and we just started in September) We made it in 2 1/2 hrs. Bring water and snacks ! Approx. 2.8 miles to the loop trip

Directions- From CT-4 junction with US-7 in Cornwall, take US-7 north for 1 mile and notice the oval blue sign for the Pine Knob Loop Trail at the parking area on the left. ( If you go past the Housatonic Meadows Campground on your right, you have gone too far.)

The Hike to the Letterbox- Take the blue blazed trail at the norteast end of the parking area. Walk along Hatch Brook past an old cellar hole, bearing to your right to cross the brook. Trail passes through a break in a stone wall. At the junction of the trail, turn right and take the blue trail.

At 0.2 mile, the Pine Knob Loop officially starts. Here at the intersection, continue straight through the pine and hemlock forest heading north and parallel to US-7 and the Housatonic Meadows Campground.

Four tenths of a mile from the start of the Loop, the trail heads left at the double blazing and begins its climb to the summit of Pine Knob. It is a moderately steep ascent but there are places to stop and catch your breath along the way. ( a miniature waterfall is one of them) The climb becomes more rocky and rooty as you make your way up.

At one mile, the trail opens to a place of rest with a lovely vista. ( You are not far from the letterbox but take a break and have a snack here) Continue following the blue blazes through a thicket of mountain laurel - you will come to a little drop down but it is not that difficult if you take it slowly and help one another. Younger folks will laugh when they see it but I caution those of respectable years like myself to "easy does it".

Once down follow the path along a flatter trail. Shortly you will come upon a tree marking the junction of the Appalachian Trail with the Pine Knob Loop. Stand facing the tree marking the junction of the trail and bearing 330 degrees , go up 17 paces ( 34 steps) along the blue/white trail to a solitary boulder next to an evergreen tree. The Claddagh Letterbox is located at the base of the tree under a trap door. Good for you ! Stamp in and when done, continue on the blue/white trail.

The AT and Pine Knob Loop run together for 3/4 mile. After 0.4 mile, you will come to another beautiful outlook. You can see Mohawk Mountain off to your left from here. The beautiful Housatonic River is seen as it runs down to Cornwall Bridge.

Go down along the trail southwest as it descends to a branch in the trail where the Appalachian Trail leaves the Pine Knob Loop. Stay with the Loop Trail ( blue blazes) as it travels along with Hatch Brook. The trail descends through the ravine.

In another 0.5 miles, you will reach the loop junction and stone wall that you encountered on the way in. Turn right through the break in the wall and on back to the parking area.

We hope you enjoyed the hike !

PS. If you should see a turkey vulture or hawk flying over, know that Oma from "Oma's Outlook ", another letterbox in Durham, is watching over you. She was born in Cornwall Bridge just down the road a' piece. She is one of the mothers we honor here as well as Clare and Florence.