Activities: Bird Watching, Boating, Fishing

Absolutely amazing! Strenuous for sure but such a wide variety on the trail it keeps you going. There are rock scrambles (and easy bypasses if they are not your thing), views, cliffs, bare rock ridge walking, rhododendron forests, a little bit of everything. Blue trail harder so do that first. Also rock scrambles will be going up not down. Come back via blue/yellow unless you have stamina to repeat the blue. Blue/yellow trail doesn’t offer much and trail is very rocky with a rain gulley down the middle in many places. But blue is totally worth it!

Cool views in the power line clearings, nothing spectacular scenery-wise but a good hike to be aggressive on to get the heart rate going without feeling exhausted.

Great hike with lots of terrain changes - ridges, streams, forest, etc. 95% of the trail I would say is moderate, but that 5% is a real challenge!

On the first loop, go to the right (counterclockwise). You'll encounter the boulder climbing at the start while you're fresh, and coming down was nowhere near as fun as going up would have been (but it was still a fun challenge).

By the way, this hike measured just over 9 miles for us.

This is a really cool trail. I think it wouldn’t be as enjoyable in the spring or summer as I imagine it can get quite overgrown; but for fall/winter hiking it’s perfect. Tons of variation, changes landscapes, different plant life, and we even saw a hawk.

I have found many exciting things to see on these trails.

Really fun trail. Lots of options with some good bouldering spots, lots of running water and some stunning views all rolled into a deep forest hike.

Lovely trail with lots of interest. Elevation changes are continual, and several rock scrambles make it fun. My dogs all did well though it was a challenge for the 11 year old. Markings were very well done, thank you trail crews!

What a fantastic trail. Such diverse terrain and environments.
There is no parking on Thayer road you mist park on Saybrook road so don’t bother turning on to Thayer. The trial also starts In Saybrook Road at the end of the parking area.
The trail is clearly marked and well maintained.

We really enjoyed the blue trail- tons of fun up and over large rocks. We did 10 miles in 5 hours, stopping for lunch midway. The disappointing part was the 3 dirt bikes that were on the blue-yellow trail the entire time. We didn’t cross paths with the bikes until the end of our hike but could hear them the entire time.

My husband and I are throughly enjoying this entire rigorous blue trail and are doing it in sections.
Agreed, intersections are many and if we didn’t have the app we probably would have doubled back at some point.
Beautiful, quiet, only saw two others in a full afternoon.

This is one of my favorite hikes in CT. It's only 10 minutes south of Middletown but when you're on the trails it feels like remote New England. The paths are beautiful with a photo-worthy view around every corner. All of that aside - if hiking the full 10 miles from Bear Hill to Seven Falls and back - it is legitimately rated hard.
1. Make sure you wear hiking boots for this. Many places on the trail you are traversing various grades of granite. Some mildly steep, some very steep and in three different places there are near vertical 8 - 10 foot scaling. Several of these places my dog would not have been able to get up or down - and she is a very athletic border collie.
2. Several people reference the intersecting trails. There are 4 main places and several minor where I hiked into an intersection with 3 or 4 path options. While I had this app and I was also recording my progress on map my hike, that still didn't prevent me from choosing the wrong path sensing I was headed in one direction only to look down at my apps 50 feet down a path just to realize I was heading back the way I came. I finally broke out my old school compass given the frequency that it happened.
3. The blue-yellow trails are far easier than the straight blue trails. If you have a dog or younger kids you will probably be safer staying on those trails.
4. Definitely wear and bring bug spray with you. What makes this hike so pretty in many places are the springs, creeks and bogs. But with water come a lot of bugs even early in the season when it's still cool. I wore a lot of bug spray and reapplied several times so they were not an issue.
5. This entire area is breathtaking when the mountain laurels are in bloom.

Beautiful trail, scenic vistas, well marked trails. My only complaint is many looping intersecting trails. Some what confusing figuring out directions to continue on.

trail running
Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Really beautiful views and fun technical single track with some pretty demanding climbs throughout. Inconsistently marked at points. Plan on doing it again asap to clean it up and mark a little better where is needed. Super fun over all

My boyfriend & I only got to hike the Seven Falls Loop today. More of a moderate hike. A few places to scramble over. I only gave this trail a 3-star rating because my boyfriend and I will be lucky if we don't get some tick born illness or serious poison ivy/oak. I get we are hiking but I just don't love hiking a slim little trail through weeds and prickers. Good hike when things opened up. Would like to go back in the fall and do the entire blue trail. Definitely a pants & long sleeve shirt kind of hike. Wear bug spray.

Great hike so close to home. Definitely one to keep you in shape. I saw deer, coyotes and a lone turkey. Pay careful attention to the trail as many paths intersect the trails and you can get turned around

This part of the mattabassett is full of different terrain. Some spots along the streams and giant boulder cliffs demanded a stop. I went on a rainy week...the rock ledges are slick with lychens. No far reaching overlooks although there are some glimpses through the higher elevations. A laurel conservatory on northern end. There are some wood ticks and this past week was swarming with caterpillars. Definitely inspired to do more of this trail.

Excellent trial! if you see 1 other person out there you're lucky. Quiet, fairly easy, all around good spot.

Did up and around Bear Hill. The trails are enjoyable with some cardio action but to say this is hard is an overstatement. Note if it has been raining, leave your sissy trail runners at home. Boots only. Many of the trails are stream beds or are not well drained.

Really great hike. Gave me a good workout. I just wish it had better scenic views.

This review includes the Mattabessett Trail as well as the Seven Falls Loop and Bear Hill Loop. These 3 trails intertwine to make a very interesting and sometimes challenging hike. We started our hike at the Bear Hill Road.Trailhead. Parking is extremely limited so get there early. Although most of the trail is dog friendly, there were several areas where scrambling was involved so would be tough to do with a dog. My grandson and I had to cross some powerlines on the trail at the beginning of the hike. The utility company had a construction zone there and were busy drilling for installation of new poles. This confused us at first as they were blocking where the trail leaves the woods and crosses open ground. It took us several minutes to pick up the trail again as we made our way around the construction. June was the perfect time to hike this trail as we found ourselves hiking through floral tunnels where the mountain laurel tangled together over the trail creating scenes fit for wedding pictures. Most of the trails were moderate in difficulty. As previously mentioned, there were a few areas that definitely earned the (Hard) rating. Today, the woods were teeming with wildlife. We encountered many chipmunks, squirrels, a deer, baby fishercat , and a 4 foot Eastern Rat Snake. That last one really got our attention. See photos. There is a nice shady picnic area at the base of the Seven Falls Trail,near Saybrook Road, where there is a picturesque brook. It is a pleasant place to enjoy lunch. Doing the three trails together was a good work-out and a fun day.

Good, challenging

Easy trail that is lots of fun

4 months ago

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