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Appalachian Trail: Lions Head to Bear Mountain

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Salisbury, Connecticut

Appalachian Trail: Lions Head to Bear Mountain is a 8.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Salisbury, Connecticut that offers the chance to see wildlife. The trail is rated as moderate and offers a number of activity options.

Length 8.2 mi Elevation gain 1,594 ft Route type Out & Back
Backpacking Camping Hiking Nature trips Bird watching Forest Views Wildlife
Waypoints (0)
Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (127)
Photos (819)
Recordings (121)
Completed (279)
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Nicole Nunziata
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HikingGreat!Rocky

Excellent views - best hike I've done in CT! We started at Bunker Hill Road after parking next to the small lot. There are some spots on the road where you can pull off if the lot is full. After a brief walk through some meadows, we started the ascent to Lions Head. This is the steepest part of the trail. After summitting Lions Head, we continued on to Bear Mountain. It was mostly easy walking, although it is quite rocky. There is another ascent up to the summit, but it didn't seem as steep as the first part. We rested and enjoyed the view for a little while, then walked back out. Overall, we it took us 4 hrs to the minute, including about 1/2 hr in breaks. My GPS recorded 9.32 miles, but it lost signal for a little bit, so I'm not sure if that is entirely accurate. Many gorgeous viewpoints!

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Jordan Chandler
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HikingBugsGreat!
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Jen M
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Hiking

Really exceptional hike. First mile is steep to Lion’s Head and then fairly gentle until the final ascent to Bear Mountain. Lovely view points along the way. For a great little side trip make the short walk to the Riga shelter. A picnic table and lunch with a view. The last mile up to Bear Mountain was a bit of a Bear with three wee ones in tow (7, 7, and 9) but the peak was worth it. Word to the wise- this out and back is over 10 miles, not 8.2.

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Cailyn Bashaw
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Walking

Wonderful out and back. Nice views. Enough assent to make you sweat but enough flat to give you some relief. Saw a bunch of through hikers- performed trail magic. It was a good day.

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Mysti Short
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Hiking

Great trail! It’s steep up to lion’s head then pretty easy to bear’s den. The steepness at the beginning wears you out coming down at the end.

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Wil Helmet
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Backpacking

Excellent trail conditions

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Ann Miller
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Hiking

Loved this one. Took about 4 hours total with a lunch break and rest at the top of Bear Mountain. The climbs felt really doable and the section in the middle is almost meditative as you wander through the brush.

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Roxane Debaty
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Hiking

Beautiful nature trail with sweeping, rewarding views. A quick, rather steep incline the first mile up to Lion’s Head, and then a relatively flat, shaded walk along the rim across many little brooks. The ascent to Bear Mountain is moderate and so worth it. Loved this trail!

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Julie Martin
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HikingRocky

Great trail! We were planning on just doing the Lion’s Head trail but ended up going all the way to bear mountain, having some snacks there and then back. The hike itself (excluding breaks) took us 3 hours and 40 minutes approx. Weather conditions were ideal, not too hot (about 66 degrees) and just a little windy so nice fresh air. Would definitely go back!

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Michał Zuzak
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Hiking

Awesome trail, with two different summits that offer boundless views. Really feels like your deep in the wilderness while your on the AT. With plenty of campsites along the way it would be a great weekend trip.

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Jo-Ann Hall
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Hiking

Absolutely fantastic trail with great views!

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Courtney Mullen
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Hiking

Just overnighted at the Rica Campsite. Was absolutely beautiful! No one else was there, only 6 mi and 2 mi to return but still enjoyable to take your time and spend it in nature and fall asleep to the sound of running water. Still a little cold, but no bugs, and barely any people. Highly recommend, favorite hike in CT so far!

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Matt Stopa
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HikingIcy

Trail was snow covered for the first half which made it very pretty. Short scramble up to Lion’s Head, then flat all the way to Bear Mountain. Cold and windy up there, but a lot of fun and beautiful views from the summit.

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Chris L
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Hiking

We parked cars at both ends. One at Mt. Washington Rd at MA/CT border the other at AT crossing on Rt 41. Trail along Northwest Rd was wet and muddy. Heading up the north side of Bear Mtn is a fun, steep, scramble for about 0.3 miles. Views to the east from the cairn atop Bear Mtn are great! Several nice water crossings on the way to Lions Head.

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Marco Hanig
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Hiking

Only a couple of people on the section from the trail head to Lions Head and until the junction with the Underhill Mountain trail (which provides the shortest access to the summit). At that point it got uncomfortably busy -- more than I would have liked for appropriate social distancing. During this period, I would recommend picking a less crowded destination.

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Jagoda Minorska
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HikingMuddyRocky
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Cindy Newman
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HikingIcyMuddySnow
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Rebecca Johnson
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HikingIcySnow
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Mike Skagerlind
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Hiking

8.30.19. Starting and ending at the hikers’ parking lot by Bunker Hill Rd, this is quite a typical AT hike, full of roots, rocks, and Mountain Laurel groves. For me, the drama was all at the Bear Mountain summit, with its spectacular views looking East over the twin lakes of Washining and Washinee. Definitely worth spending a few minutes drinking in the view from CTs highest “ground”, as it says on the accompanying plaque. As others have noted, the route is fairly easy with two short, sharp climbs, for the first 4/5ths of a mile, and then just before reaching the summit of Bear Mountain. A nice outing. Here are my stats, if helpful as a guide: Distance: 8.6 miles Elevation Gain: 1,644 feet Moving Time: 2:48:28

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RJ L
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Hiking

This is definitely an easy hike. Easily don’t with dogs and young children.

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Joshua Beaulieu
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Hiking

I left from hikers parking on Bunker Hill in Salisbury at 8:30am. Following this trail to the Bear Mountain peak there are only 2 areas that get remotely steep: the initial ascent to Lions Head and the last 3/4 mile to Bear Mountain. The majority of the trail is fairly flat. The trails are well marked and cleared. The views from Bear Mountain are very nice. My total trip time was 4hrs 20min with a total of 45 minutes of stops.

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Michael Diamantoplos Jr.
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HikingRocky
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Zdenka Sturm
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HikingBugsRockyScramble
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