Bigelow Hollow State Park is within the Nipmuck State Forest. There are three large ponds and miles of blazed trails accessible to non motorized vehicles. Marked trails lead from Bigelow Hollow to the Breakneck area. Hikers should be prepared to walk at least 6 miles to complete a loop around Breakneck. There are no marked trails to Briggs pond. This extensive trail system is maintained in cooperation with the Connecticut Forest and Park Association, which provides volunteer assistance.
I started on the Ridge Trail but due to the heat I cut across some four wheeler paths (where the first sign with arrows is) and went down to do the Breakneck Pond loop. Did 7.2 miles total. Definitely a great hike and will do it again when the weather cools down. Sweat, hills and bugs are a bad combination lol
I hiked at Bigelow today (4/30/16) and made an approx. 10 mile loop. I parked at the lot at the north end of Bigelow Pond across from the 2nd Kiosk. I crossed the street and entered the white blaze path right behind the kiosk. A short way in the Blue/Orange Ridge Trail started and I took this trail. I followed it all the way to the northern tip of Breakneck Pond, then hiked down the west side of Breakneck using the blue/orange blazes (park of the loop trail that looks like it's blue on the maps). Once I got to the south end of Breakneck Pond I hiked south up the dirt/wood Breakneck Hill Rd, then the Lower Breakneck Hill Rd, and then the Mountain Rd to Park Rd and then the short White blazed section back to the the starting area. The map which can easily be found online will help this description make sense.
The Ridge Trail is great. Some awesome views. The trail along Breakneck Pond is also excellent. I have to say I put on a few pounds over the winter and might be a little de-conditioned but this hike kicked my arse (in a good way). Some challenging areas with great views, very remote, and just a great hike. An added plus was that although the bugs are starting to emerge, I didn't need to use any spray at all today and gnats were not an issue. Awesome day.
We parked at the northern end of Bigelow Pond and started our hike on the very well marked ridge trail. This trail was an interesting mix of rocky outcroppings and scenic woodlands. This trail is listed as a difficult trail but I would rate it as barely moderate. There were a few hills that got the heart pumping but that was about it. We followed the ridge trail to the northern end of Breakneck Pond and then took the Nipmuck trail down the east side of Breakneck Pond. This was a pretty easy trail but did get very narrow at times. There were areas where the path was very near the pond with a steep drop off. If you bring children, have them close to you on this trail. The Nipmuck trail was very scenic . I've uploaded a few photos. The combination of the two trails made for a 5 hour 8.5 mile hike.