From the intersection of Rt. 7 and Rt. 44 in Canaan, drive south about 3 miles to
a small pull-out on the left across from a farm at the top of a small rise. It's easy to drive
past without seeing it unless there are cars there. DOT often, but not always, plows
Assuming there is snow on the ground, there will be a boot path winding north-northeast through a barb-wire fence. 150 yards north of where the path crosses through the fence is a stream (on the left as heading uphill). Occasionally, if it is frozen, it is possible to crampon up the streambed. Otherwise, follow the boot path uphill (steep in places) to the base of South Flow.
From Waterbury: I-84 East to I-691 East to Exit 5 (CT-71/Chamberlin Hwy.). Make left onto
Route 71. Go 1/2 mile to the end of road. Turn right onto Route 71. Stay on Route 71 for about
0.6 mile. There will be a long paved pull-off on the right, park here. Walk to
north end of pull-off, look for trail on right. Head up steep hill, trail will
bend left up through large boulders to cliff. 100 yards from road.
From New Haven/Middletown: I-691 West to Exit 6 (Lewis Ave.). Make a left at end of ramp. Continue to end of the road and take a left at the light (Kensington Ave. Go 1/2 mile to the end of road. Turn right onto Route 71. Stay on Route 71 for about 1/2 mile. There will be a long paved pull-off on the right, park here. Walk to north end of pull-off, look for trail on right. Head up steep hill, trail will bend left up through large boulders to cliff. 100 yards from road.
From the intersection of Rt. 79 and Rt. 80, go east on Rt. 80 2.7 miles. There will be a rough pull-out on the right. Park and walk west (uphill) - about 50 yards. Just past a small rock outcropping on the right side of the road there is a guardrail. The trail starts just before the guardrail and splits almost immediately. Go left (parallel to the road) and down across the gully. Follow the trail about 30 yards and take the orange-blazed trail (not very obvious) up hill to the cliff top (on your left). If you miss the turn, the trail will take you to the bottom of the crag. The entire approach takes about 15 minutes.
From Hartford: I-91 North to Exit 19 (Northampton/Amherst) about 45 mins from Hartford. Go straight on exit and merge onto Damon Rd. After 1 mile, Damon Rd becomes Bridge Rd. In 2.3 miles, take the first right on the roundabout onto Route 9 West. After 4.7 miles, you'll enter Williamsburg, MA. Bear right onto North St. which is just past the Williamsburg General Store (on left). Follow this road (which becomes Ashfield/Williamsburg Valley Rd.) 6.9 miles. Look for a well-marked parking area on your left. The approach takes about 3 minutes. There's a map posted at the parking lot.
From Waterbury: I-84 East to I-691 East. Get off at Exit 4. Go right at the end
of the ramp. Go about .75 miles and turn left on Hubbard Park Dr. Follow Hubbard Park
Dr. until you reach the gate to the castle.
From New Haven/Middletown: I-691 West. Get off at Exit 4. Take a left at the end of the ramp. Go about 0.8 miles, turn left on Hubbard Park Dr. Follow Hubbard Park Dr. until you reach the gate to the castle.
If the gate to castle is
open, drive up the road about 3 miles (bear left at forks) and park in lot by castle.
Note closing time on signs! If the gate closes, your car will be trapped. From the
parking lot, follow the blue-blazed trail east. East climbs are to the right after
5-10 mins walk.
If the gate to castle is closed, park in the lot by the swimming pool. Walk up either road under the highway. Turn left on the dirt road just as you reach the reservoir.
Hike to the Castle (top of climbs): Follow the dirt road along shore until you reach a white-blazed trail. Follow it uphill, past a gazebo, until you reach a trail junction on the right that heads steeply uphill. At junction of blue-blazed trail, turn right. Climbs are to the right after 5-10 mins walk.
Hike to the base of climbs: Follow the dirt road along shore until it curves sharply left. Start looking for a small trail that leaves the road to the right. Follow this trail across a small stream bed and diagonal up left through the woods several hundred feet to scree field. Hike up through scree to a faint trail that leads to base of cliff near routes "Shades of Grey" & "Grey Corner" (Amphitheater Area). A goat trail goes left and right along the base of the cliffs.
From Waterbury: Take I-84 East to I-691 East. Take Exit 4 (Route 322). At end of
ramp turn left.
From New Haven/Middletown: Take 691 West to Exit 4 (Route 322). At end of ramp turn right.
Then: Go a short ways and turn right onto Rt. 120. Go 0.7 miles and, turn right at a light onto Savage St. Follow 1.1 miles to end and turn right onto East St. When you see the entrance to YMCA Camp Sloper, park on the street (or just onto the grass) by the entrance.
Approach: Walk through the entrance and up the Camp Sloper driveway - if you look up from here you should see the power lines and the cliff. Continue walking up through their parking lot and onto the lawn staying to your right as you walk along the edge of the woods. After approx 100 yds. there is an obvious trail on your right that heads into the woods and under the power lines. Do not turn onto any paths that would lead out from under the general power line area (there is a fork where you must stay left). Soon the path heads to the right and up a rocky slope, there is a cliff in front of you now but this is not the main climbing area. Continue on as the path heads left to the main climbing area. As you reach the cliff you can fork right to the top of the cliff, or fork left to walk along its base.
From Waterbury: I-84 East to Exit 34 (Crooked St.), turn right at end of
ramp. Go to end of road and turn right at the light. Take first left onto Ledge Rd.
In about 1.6 miles, turn left into Crescent Lake parking lot.
From Hartford: I-84 West to Exit 33 (Route 72), stay right and get off at 1st exit. Turn right at the end of ramp. Go 0.5 miles to traffic light at Crooked St. (Sunoco gas station across intersection on right). Turn right and continue to the end of the road. Turn right at light and take the first left onto Ledge Rd.. In about 1.6 miles, turn left into Crescent Lake parking lot.
From the parking lot, follow the shoreline trail on the south side (right side) of the lake for about 10-15 mins until it curves around to the north by a open area of large hemlock trees on a slope. Head up hill for a few hundred feet to the cliff. Cliff should be visible from the shore line.
From Waterbury, drive north on Rt. 8 to Exit 37 (St. Hwy 262). Bear right off ramp and continue until next intersection. Turn left on Echo Lake Rd. and cross under highway. The trailhead is 0.7 mile on your right. It's hard to spot from the car. Look for a blue arrow painted on a telephone pole on the LEFT side of the road, opposite the trailhead. There is also a construction company opposite the trailhead. About 300 feet further up the road, there is a small pull-out on the right. You can also park along the road where the shoulder is wide enough. A 5 minute uphill hike on the blue-blazed Jericho trail will put you on top of the crag. Look for climbers trails on the right. The cliff edge is only about 25 feet to the right of the main trail. The descent trail is on climber's right.
From Hartford, take I-84 East across the river. Take Exit 55 onto Rt. 2 East. Drive 46 miles on Rt. 2 and turn right on Wintechog Hill Rd. Go about .2 mile to a parking area on the right. Park here and follow the trail. When the trail forks (the left fork goes uphill), take the right fork (which follows the bottom of the cliffs) until you are directly under a prominent clean white quartzite cliff. Continue and take the first trail on the left to get up to the top of the crag.
From Route 8: Take Exit 42 (CT-118). Turn right off ramp and go east on Rt. 118. After for 2.5 miles, Rt. 118 becomes Rt. 4. Continue on Rt. 4 for another 5.3 miles and turn right on Rt. 69. Go about 2 miles until you see small cemetery on your left, take an immediate right onto Scoville Rd. (there may not be a street sign). However, there is a sign for Tunxis Trail at this intersection. Follow this very windy road, which turns into West Chippens Hill Rd. for about 2 miles until you see the Burlington Fire Dept on your left. Take an immediate right onto Greer Rd.
From Hartford: I-84 West to Exit 38 (Rt. 6/Bristol). Go through light at end of ramp and continue on Rt. 6 for 10.2 miles. Turn right on Hill St. Follow Hill St. for 3 miles (it becomes W. Chippen Hill Rd.). Turn left onto Greer Rd.
On Greer Rd.: Go a short distance until you pass a pond on your left. Immediately on your left is a small parking lot and trailhead. Follow the blue-blazed Tunxis Trail around the right side of the pond. The trail goes over and around a few small rock outcroppings. Follow the trail until you see an obvious cliff on your left (3/4 mile). There's another crag 1/4 mile further along the trail. After the trail crosses an old dam and heads right, look for the crag off the trail about 50 yards on the right. Bushwhack to base.
From Waterbury: I-84 East to Exit 34 (Crooked St.), make a left at end of ramp. Go 0.4 mile to end of road and make a left at light onto New Britain Ave. Go 0.4 mile and turn right at light onto Metacomet Rd. at car dealership.
From Hartford: I-84 West to Exit 33 (Route 72), get off at 1st exit, make a right at end of ramp onto New Britain Ave. After 0.2 mile, make a left at light by car dealership onto Metacomet Rd.
On Metacomet Rd: Go about a mile until road turns sharp left and you see a pond on the left. The trailhead is on the right. Continue 100 yds. until there aren't any "No parking" signs. Park considerately and hike up the jeep trail until you reach some large cement blocks. Turn right up a small small path to base of cliff. You are at Dream Weaver Wall. A-Frame and Emerald City are to the left. Right Wing, Entertainer and Cracked Wall are to the right. Access to top is at far left and far right.
Follow the jeep trail from Metacomet Rd. past the cement blocks (do not turn). After about 40 more yards, the crag will be visible on the right about 30 yards off the trail. Bushwhack to the base or stay on the jeep trail until it intersects with the blue-blazed Metacomet Trail. Take a right and walk 50 yards until you see a low cemented stone wall and the lone pine tree.
Follow the jeep trail from Metacomet Rd. until it intersects with the blue-blazed Metacomet Trail (do not turn at the cement blocks). Turn right on the Metacomet Trail and follow it for 0.4 mile (about 20 minutes) to the top of the crag. Look for a distinctive jutting block on your right about 30 feet off the trail. The bushy, steep descent gully is climber's right.
From Hartford: I-84 West take Exit 35 on left and merge onto CT-72 East. Take first Exit 7 (CT-372/Corbin Ave.). Turn right off exit ramp onto CT-372/Corbin Ave. After 1.4 miles, bear right onto CT-71A (High Rd.). After 0.7 miles, bear right as 71A becomes Chamberlain Highway. After 1.5 more miles, turn left on Reservoir Rd. See below.
From Waterbury: I-84 East to I-691 East to Exit 5 (CT-71/Chamberlin Hwy.). Make left onto Route 71. Stay on Route 71 for about 4.5 miles. At fork, bear left onto 71A, make immediate left onto Reservoir Rd. See below.
From New Haven/Middletown: I-691 West to Exit 6 (Lewis Ave.). Make a left at end of ramp, Left at end of road at the light. Go up to end of road, about 1/2 mile, make right onto Route 71 east. Stay on Route 71 for about 4.5 miles. At fork, bear left onto 71A, make immediate left onto Reservoir Rd. See below.
Then follow Reservoir Rd. (which becomes Carey St.) until it ends in 1.9 miles. Turn right on Andrews St. and make an immediate left on Sheldon Rd. Park considerately on Sheldon Rd. or Moore Hill Dr.
Walk back down Carey St. about 1/3 mile. Turn left up gravel driveway following the blue blazes. You'll notice the trail leaves the driveway on the right (this leads to Small Cliff which is closed), but stay on the driveway until it turns sharp left. Here a trail, blazed with faint white circles, leads to the Main Cliff. At a bulletin board, turn right and climb the stairs to access the top of the cliff; go straight to access the base.
Walk back down Carey St. about 1/3 mile. Turn left up gravel driveway following the blue blazes. About 100 yards up, take trail right, off driveway. It will bring you to Small Cliff (currently closed). Head right along base of cliff. Go around the corner (by very large boulder) and continue another 100 yards to a short 30-40 ft high cliff.
Walk back down Carey St. about 1/3 mile. Turn left up gravel driveway following the blue blazes. About 100 yards up, take trail right, off driveway. It will bring you past Small Cliff (currently closed). Follow the trail up the rock gully on left side to top of the cliff. Follow the trail right (east) for about 5-10 minutes. Owl's Lair is at a clearing with a fire ring and large 6 ft. high boulder.
There are 4 major climbing areas on Rattlesnake Mountain (north to south):
Porcupine Hole, Green Wall, Will Warren's Den, and Rattlesnake Rock. The
Metacomet Trail runs the ridgeline and connects the crags.
There are three parking areas (north to south): Rt. 6, Forest Hills Dr., and Metacomet Rd. Driving directions are listed below.
Generally, the approach from Rt 6. is quickest for Porcupine Hole and easiest for the other crags if you are unfamiliar with the area. The approach from Forest Hills Dr. is a bit shorter but harder to find. The approach to Rattlesnake Rock takes pretty much the same amount of time from all parking areas.
From Waterbury: I-84 East to Exit 37 (Fieneman Rd.), make a left at end of ramp.
At second light, turn left onto Rt. 6 (Colt Highway). In one mile, you will pass
the Tilcon quarry on the left and
the road will turn right, downhill. In another 0.3 mile you will see a gravel parking area on the left
that can accomodate about a dozen cars.
From Hartford: I-84 West to Exit 38 (Rt. 6 Bristol), go straight through light at bottom of ramp. In 1.7 miles, you will pass the Tilcon quarry on the left and the road will turn right and go downhill. In another 0.3 mile, park in the parking area on the left.
Follow the short access trail from the parking area to the blue-blazed Metacomet Trail. Head up the trail (south). You will encounter Porcupine Hole (on right) in 15-20 mins, Green Wall (on right) in 20-25 mins, Will Warren's Den in 27 mins., and the top of Rattlesnake Rock in 30 mins. The beginning of the trail can be muddy after a rain.
Park in the cul-de-sac at the end of the Forest Hills Dr. Follow the power lines north. At the 2nd pole, pick up the small trail that heads right, into the woods. There is/was some surveyors tape on part of the trail. The trail which leads to the base of Green Wall can be hard to follow. If you lose the trail, just head uphill until you hit the Metacomet Trail. From the top of Green Wall, follow the Metacomet Trail left for Porcupine Hole or right for Will Warren's Den and Rattlesnake Rock.
Follow the directions for Pinnacle (Lone Pine) but hike left (north) on the blue-blazed Metacomet Trail instead of right. You will encounter the base of Rattlesnake Rock in 10 mins., Will Warren's Den in 12 mins., Green Wall in 20 mins., and finally Porcupine Hole in 22 mins.
From Hartford: 91 North to Mass. Take Route 2 East (Exit 27) approx. 45-60 minutes from Hartford. Go about 8 miles take Rt. 63 North. Go about 2 miles, on right side is the Northfield Mountain Environmental & Recreation Center. Park in lot by the Visitor Center. Trail maps are available in the visitor center and some climbing beta. Climbing is legal so you can ask rangers for directions.
From Hartford, take I-84 East across the river. Take Exit 1 onto I-384 East. After 8.4 miles turn right onto Rt. 6 East (Willimantic/Providence). Follow Rt. 6 for 35.3 miles. A few hundred yards after crossing under I-395, turn right onto S. Frontage Rd. After .5 mile, turn right onto Ross Rd. After .4 mile, turn right on a poorly paved road that leads to the Ross Pond State Park parking lot. Park here. The cliffs are across the pond on your right (North). See http://www.climbri.org/ross.htm for more info.
I-84 East to NY Thruway I-87 North. Take I-87 North to Exit 18 (New Paltz). At end of ramp, turn left onto Rt. 299 West. Stay on 299 thru New Paltz until the junction of Rt. 44 (about 10 minutes). Turn right onto Rt. 44 West. After about 0.5 miles, the visitors center will be on your right.
From Waterbury/Hartford: I-84 to 691 East. Get off at Exit 5
(CT-71/Chamberlain Hwy.). Turn left at
end of ramp onto 71 East. See below.
From New Haven/Middletown: I-691 West. Get off at Exit 6 (Lewis Ave.). Turn left at end of ramp, Left at end of road at the light.
Go up to end of road, about 1/2 mile, make right onto Route 71 east. See below.Then go about 3 miles, make left onto 364, follow signs to Timberlin Park. Once in the park find Marjorie Moore Road and park at just around the bend (at left turn, near swing sets, Timberlin ), there is a small park area for about 4 cars. Park here or on side of road. Walk across the road, up small hill and intersect a larger trail. Immediately follow trail down to stream and cross bridge. Continue on this well marked trail all the way to the top of Short Wall (this well marked trail continues on to the Small Cliff)
Follow directions to parking for Ragged Mountain. Walk back down Carey St. about 1/3 mile. After you the pass dirt driveway on the left which leads to Small Cliff, go another 300 ft. and turn right down private road, to a sewer grate at end of cul-de-sac. Continue straight into wood and pick up the blue-blazed Metacomet Trail. After ducking under a giant tulip tree log, there will be a trail junction. Follow blue blazes to the right and pass over old dam to reach southeast end of cliff or go left downhill and cross several bridges to reach the northeast end of cliff. 5 to 10 minutes from road.
From Kent (the intersection of Route 7 and Rt. 341) head west on Rt. 341. As soon as you cross the Housatonic River, turn right on Skiff Mountain Rd. (Kent School will be on your left and the river on your right). Follow the road a little less than 1 mile until you come to a subtle fork; bear right onto a dirt road (River Rd.). Follow the dirt road about 1.6 miles, until you see the Appalachian Trail (AT) junction. Park along road and hike up the trail (away from the river) into woods. There are two sections of the cliff. The Upper Cliffs have 100 foot friction slabs; the Lower Cliff has 20 foot climbs of high quality. The side trail to the Lower Cliff is on your left just past a tree with a box for trail maps (very close to the road). Stay on the AT for 10-15 minutes and you'll reach the base of the Upper Cliffs (on your right). There is a large ascent gully to climber's right. Warning: the gully can treacherous, especially when wet.
From Waterbury: I-84 East to Exit 34 (Crooked St.) make a left at end of ramp.
Go to end of road (about 1/4 mile). Turn left at light. Park in Big Y
Supermarket lot. (about 1/3 mile on the right).
From Hartford: I-84 West to Exit 33 (Route 72) stay right and get off at 1st exit, turn right at end of ramp. Park in Big Y Supermarket lot.
Walk left out of Big Y about 1/2 mile. Look for a blue Metacomet Trail sign on the left side of the road. Head up the trail about 100 yards. The crag will be on your right.
Seven Falls State Park, south of Middletown. Route 9 south, Exit 10, Aircraft Road. At end of ramp, turn right onto Saybrook Road. In less than a mile, you drive under power lines. Parking area is on the left after that.
From Waterbury, drive north on Rt. 8 to Exit 37 (St. Hwy 262). Turn right off ramp and go east on 262 across the Naugatuck River. Turn right after the bridge. Take the first left (Spruce Brook Rd./Rt. 262). Go about 1.2 miles. Where the road bends sharply right...
From Farmington/Bristol, drive west on Rt. 6 and turn left onto South St. (St. Hwy 262). Follow South St. 3.8 miles. Where the road bends sharply left...
There is a small pullout on the left with a pipe gate blocking a jeep road. Park here. Walk past the gate up the dirt road about 50 yards (a pavilion can be seen ahead of you). Before reaching the pavillion, take a right onto the blue-blazed trail. Follow the trail as it crosses a brook and continues uphill. When the trail reaches steeper rock, scramble up to access the top of the cliff or turn left off the trail and skirt the rock to access the bottom of the climbs. The entire approach is less than 0.5 mile.
From Hartford, take I-84 East across the river. Take Exit 1 onto I-384 East. After 8.4 miles turn right onto Rt. 6 East (Willimantic/Providence). After 13.9 miles, take the "To 195 University of CT Storrs" exit. Turn left off exit ramp onto Mansfield City Rd. and go 1.7 miles to a stop sign at a T junction and turn right onto Crane Hill Rd. Look for dirt pull-off on right after .8 mile. Follow the path (on right side of streeet) to the top of cliffs (5-10 minute walk).