hiking

trail running

forest

lake

views

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.

Even with the map in hands, we had some trouble at the beginning to find the blue trail, and got to wrong trail two times wasting a lot of time. It was supposed to take 3 hours and we took 5. We finally gave up on the map and GPS helped a lot. The trail itself its well market, however right on forks its bad signalised and confusing.

The difficulty is moderate, however as we took a lot more time it felt like hard.

As it was a beautiful day, the pond was like a mirror of the sky, which made all the trouble worth it.

I followed the Nipmuck Trail from the main parking lot and connected to the Breakneck Pond Loop Trail. If you approach this way, be careful--you will get to a meadow, make sure you bear right and find where the Nipmuck Trail picks back up (you will find a baby blue blaze). The white trail and a feeder road also stem from here. The trail itself is not demanding but you will find some narrow/mucky spots you have to scramble over. Pay attention to the blazes, as there are some break off trails.A fairly long and interesting trail, with some nice views. I did not find many bugs and did not come across another soul, despite going on a cloudless weekend day. I will do this loop again, as it certainly tires my dog out, but it's not my favorite at Bigelow. I'd like to take the white trail sometime when it's a bit cooler and my pup won't be so hot, as that looks more fun and challenging.

trail running
3 months ago

Great run! I would recommend starting counterclockwise.

This trail has tree cover for almost the entirety of the trail, which is nice on hot/humid days (like when I went). There are a lot of hills in this hike, but they were all manageable. There's also signs for a "lookout point"... Do NOT get excited; it's just a rock where you can see the pond through some trees, but it's a nice place to stop of a rest and a snack.

You can call this trail moderate but after you do it you won’t feel that way, lots of short bursting ups and downs that over time will take their toll. Secluded except for the occasional motorbike / ATV that roars through illegally. This happens because of the primitive nature of the area, and the fact that over 20 years ago it was a known destination for 4 wheeling clubs.. so ignorant fathers who once rode there legally as a kid bring their kids out there thinking it is still ok. It’s not FYI the state of CT out it’s foot down on this. If you come across these 4 wheelers make you let them know this is no longer a permitted activity.

I guess after all is said and done this is the risk you take when you attempt to hike this loop.. might be better off heading south into the Yale forest and get on the Nipmuc trail there, that forest is beautiful and the ridge at Boston Hollow is killer. Not as strenuous as breakneck pond. Google it.

Finally - bigelow hollow is a mob scene on the weekends in the summer - ethnic groups have been gathering in hoards that leave a lot of trash around and make it difficult to enjoy the solitude of nature with their loud music and sheer #s of gatherers. I respect all people, but many aren’t aware of today’s norms for respecting these parks and the wilderness. They come to the wilderness equipped as if their were having a barbecue party on the beach..

Fun hike around Breakneck pond.

Wonderful hike with dog. Some parts are strenuous. Lots of elevation change, beautiful wild rhododendrons, beautiful pond views, many places to picnic. Trails were dry but if wet definitely wear hiking boots.

Been here more times than I can count-there are endless little trails and off-shoots to explore. I generally park in the little dirt lot across from the boat launch parking area. From there I hop onto the Nipmuck Trail and loop around, and then sometimes tack on the Breakneck Pond loop afterward. Great place to take my dog. It is my quiet, peaceful happy place. A nice and easy hike to clear my mind.

Parked at the address of the trail head that is proved! Hiked on the white trail to the blue trail (Breakneck Pond Trail). Important note that the blue markers of the Breakneck Pond Trail are being updated to a blue red marker (3 horizontal stripes blue red blue). There are signs for the marker changes, but not until later on the trail. Due to this confusion I stayed on the white trail longer and accidentally came across the blue Breakneck Pond Trail. If you do the Breakneck Pond Trail counter clock wise I thought it had more uphills than if you were to do it clock wise. I thought the rating of moderate was fair. There are parts of the trail that require rock hoping, walking over rocks to pass thru creaks, and walking on thin log bridges. Enjoyed my hike! While on the Breakneck Pond Trail there is a view of the lake a majority of the time. If you visit during the off season, there is no charge for parking. Went the weekend before Memorial Day and there was no charge.

trail running
6 months ago

Really enjoyed running this loop. Accessed from the North from Breakneck Rd in Sturbridge MA. Like the 1906 granite state border markers.

trail running
6 months ago

Nice trail on west side going up the hills with a few decent vista points along the way. A wet and annoying return on the access road starting at the state line. Looks like park officials want to restrict access to snowmobiles and motorcycles so put up a series of barriers along road. This, in addition to all the water, was a pain in the neck. Looks like there are alternate options though, one closer to the Pond and one up the hill. Overall, a nice property!

camp here often. trail head is at the end of mashapaug road just past the travelers restaurant in union ct. but they've been logging there. it's the first trail that cuts into the woods on the right. marked by blue/red markers. two camp spots have Adirondacks but plenty more if you tent. pack out what you pack in and be respectful :).

Can't get to the trail head, all posted land.

hiking
Monday, November 06, 2017

very well marked. this is my goto trail.

hiking
Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Not much elevation gain but don’t be fooled. This trail is very rugged in parts. The western side is more interesting and has a number of campgrounds you can explore. At the north end and on the east side you can hear the traffic from 84.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Great hike! Definitely will do it again.

hiking
Wednesday, August 16, 2017

I followed this trail almost exact, except I kept to the park maps Blue Blazed Nipmuck Trail instead of breaking off onto the Ridge Trail. There were some hills and rocky parts, and I've been pretty lazy during this summer (too hot!), but I was able to complete the whole trail while carrying my 1-year old on me and a backpack. I also had my dog with me and she LOVED the trail and swimming in the pond. I'm planning on bringing my husband back with me to camp since there are a lot of camping spots along the trail as well. We saw several frogs, toads, birds, mushrooms, flowers, and the southern half of Breakneck Pond was covered in lilies in bloom, thousands of them! The only down side was the bugs, bring bug spray and spray yourself REALLY well EVERYWHERE! I think this has been my favorite hike in CT thus far, I hope to find more like it.

My favorite place to go with my girlfriend to just get away and relax.

It was a beautiful place, very quiet, huge and plenty of trails to choose from. I suggest taking a trail map with you, we chose the orange and blue trail which was nice but there were forks in the path that were not marked so it got a little confusing. Very buggy so bring bug spray, the nature aspect was awesome, feels like you are in the middle of nowhere, plan on paying to get into the state park, $9 for CT residents.

hiking
Friday, May 19, 2017

Love the park, love the trails, hate the bugs!

hiking
Thursday, April 20, 2017

Nice half-day loop. Has a good balance of flat walking and uphill hiking. Well maintained though its easy to windup off the trail and on one of the access roads. Overall a great place to go when you want to stay local.

Amazing swimming holes and I always can find a private spot

Monday, April 17, 2017

My favorite place and its in my backyard

hiking
Thursday, March 02, 2017

Went in early winter, beautiful! The rocks on the trail can get a bit slippery. Definitely coming back in the warmer months.

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

hiking
Monday, January 02, 2017

Great winter hike!

hiking
Sunday, August 14, 2016

Hot but good hike.

Great hike, but very buggy. Highly recommend bug spray and full coverage clothing.

backpacking
Sunday, June 26, 2016

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

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