After stashing a car near the eastern end of the trail, shuttle a few miles west and walk up the ominously-named Dark Entry Road for 0.6 mile where the Coltsfoot Mountain section of the Mohawk Trail disappears into the woods. The trail continues to climb at a moderate pace as it runs across, and then alongside, a small forest stream.
Leaving this cascading brook behind, the hike continues toward an overlook on Coltsfoot that peers east to Mohawk Mountain. Continue north from the overlook passing oddly-shaped boulders (perfect picnic spots) and scattered wildflower stashes. The trail descends Coltsfoot on a short stretch of steep, rocky terrain before leveling out for 0.6 mile before joining the road. With plenty of chipmunks and birds for company along the way, this trip is a Connecticut classic.
Note: This trail may be closed October 22nd through November 5th.
-Mapped by Genny Fullerton
TO TRAILHEAD: Western Trail Parking in Cornwall Bridge, CT: Travel east on Route 4 from the intersection of Route 4 and Route 7. The parking area will be on the right side of the road within a couple hundred feet.
Eastern Trail Parking in Cornwall, CT: From the intersection of Route 4 and Route 7, travel east roughly 3 miles. Turn right onto Jewell Street and immediately bear right. Jewell Street turns right and becomes Valley Road. Bear left onto Essex Hill Road. Park at Cathedral Pines on the left.
- Distance: 8.8
Location: 41.8185844, -73.3682861
Western Trail: After stashing a vehicle at the east end of the trail, park on the south side of the road (just east of the Route 4 and Route 7 intersection). Walk back towards Route 7, bearing left as the road forks and making a left onto Dark Entry Road. The trail's first blue blaze is about 0.6 mile up the road.
Location: 41.8128471, -73.3652115
Leave the road and bear left into the woods. Follow the trail to the southeast.
Location: 41.8098946, -73.3635101
Cross a small brook and head upstream. Blazes are a little spread out in this area and hard to see. Just keep the stream close by on your left. Ahead: Pass several cascades.
Location: 41.8079567, -73.3571548
Veer left, crossing over to the other side of the stream. Leave the stream behind you as you hike northeast.
Location: 41.8096657, -73.3564301
Cross another little stream. Here the trail levels out for a stretch.
Location: 41.8115845, -73.3536148
Another little stream crossing. Next, follow the trail to the east.
Location: 41.8110428, -73.3490753
Trail descends slightly. Prepare for the climb up Coltsfoot Mountain. Continue on the trail around some big boulders.
Location: 41.8160477, -73.3459778
Coltsfoot Overlook: Check out big views to the east. Mohawk Mountain has a barely visible tower on top.
Location: 41.8310242, -73.3409042
The descent of Coltsfoot Mountain begins gradually before heading down a steep rocky section 0.3 mile down the trail.
Location: 41.8345528, -73.3373032
The trail swings southeast and starts down a steep section with a smattering of rock steps.
Location: 41.8331833, -73.3356018
This is the end of the steep section. Enjoy the last little bit of hiking through the woods as the trail heads north on level terrain.
Location: 41.8404655, -73.3342514
Cross a small bridge. Keep an eye out for herons.
Location: 41.8417435, -73.3345642
The wetland brush opens up into what looks like someone's back yard. Head left and continue following blazes up toward the road.
Location: 41.8424683, -73.3339386
At the road, turn right and walk 0.6-mile to the parking area at Cathedral Pines.
Location: 41.8364105, -73.3271866
Pick up your shuttle car at the Eastern Trail parking at Cathedral Pines.
Location: 41.809433, -73.3630753
Location: 41.8091354, -73.3620911
Location: 41.8122063, -73.3487625
Location: 41.8160286, -73.3459854
Looking east to Mohawk Mountain
Location: 41.8285179, -73.3421936
Location: 41.8342699, -73.3372164
Location: 41.8409996, -73.3343353