Bigelow Hollow Pond, Mashapaug Lake, Breakneck Pond Trail is a 11.2 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Stafford Springs, Connecticut that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
A sprawling state forest & park area that currently covers over 9000 acres and is located in Union,CT off of Route 171. The park is excellent for walking, hiking, mountain biking, etc.. There are over 25 miles of hiking trails the lakes and ponds. Hikers are reminded that there are only 2 loop trails to the west of the park road. Trails to the east of the park road DO NOT loop. Trails and roads run together in certain areas. Trail maps are located throughout the park.
a beautiful day with my dog :) a little muddy and a little bit of water to cross . I'm glad some of it was frozen
Great hike, but very buggy. Highly recommend bug spray and full coverage clothing.
Beautiful, easy loop on
edge of the water, with the option of a more difficult trail.
It was a great hike, everything was well marked and I would do it again.
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.
Going around Breakneck Pond will take 3 hours or so but worthwhile.
I hiked the blue blazed trail up and around Breakneck Pond. GPS said 6.53 miles for the hike. It was a wonderful hike, but not for the novice hiker.Some spots are muddy while others are very rocky. some of the trail is very narrow and on a steep incline which falls right to the water.
I followed Ted M.'s directions below to get into the park and onto the Blue Blazed Nipmuck Trail. I didn't find the trail hard to follow and only had to stop twice to look for the blazes. These two spots were at the top and bottom of the pond where there is a diverging of many trails. It should be noted that the trail down the west side of the lake is a blue/red blaze, instead of just the blue that it is marked on the map I got from the CT state park and forest web site. There are many campsites around the lake (many more than are noted on the map) and these sites make for great break spots as they all have excellent views of the water. It is 1.45 miles to the south shore of the pond, 3.63 miles around the pond, then another 1.45 back to the parking lot.
I went on a Wednesday afternoon in July, and aside from seeing a few cars entering and exiting the park, I didn't see another soul the entire time. It was a beautiful and peaceful hike. A few pearls of wisdom. 1. Bug spray is a MUST! I was wearing a 90% deet and still got a few bites. The poor dog just about got eaten alive by horseflies. 2. This park is a pay-to-play on holidays and weekends. I don't know what the fee is, but be prepared if you're going on the weekend.
I completed the Nipmuck Trail (Blue Blaze) this morning (4/18/15). What a great trail to hike on a beautiful morning! I hiked 8.4 miles in about 3.5 hours, with a few short stops and some minor backtracking.
I entered Bigelow State Park from Rt. 171 in Union, Ct. I drove past the guard shack and a short distance later there is a Kiosk on the right and a parking lot. I parked here, and entered a path (past a gate) at the back of the lot. Shortly up a dirt road on the right there is a sign on a tree with an arrow that says "Nipmuck Trail". I entered here and there were some White and then Blue Blazes. I followed the Blue for the entire 8.4 miles. The trail is generally well marked but I got turned around a few times. Nothing I couldn't resolve quickly with my IPhone compass and MapMyHike app.
The trail is like a popsicle - the first section is through forest/woods until you hit Breakneck Pond. I went right at the pond and completed the loop, and then returned down the stick portion of the popsicle. What a great hike, with some decent (but not extreme) elevation changes and some challenging areas. Some great views! The challenging areas were mainly due to water/rock obstacles but nothing too tough. I have to admit though that I was pretty beat by the end! I started at 7 AM and didn't see another soul until about 10 AM with the exception of some guys camping on the west side of the pond. It was cool though because they pointed out a Bald Eagle that was guarding its nest on a small island near their site.
I've added a link to info on the trail system. I've also uploaded some photos.
It was worth the 1.5 hour drive for me. I wish I was closer. Great hike!