Hike the Ragged Mountain Memorial Preserve
Connecticut › Ragged Mountain Memorial Preserve Trailhead
Added by Shannon Kalahan
Despite its mild elevation gain of only 560 ft (summit is 761 ft), Ragged Mountain Preserve offers some great views of central Connecticut for hikers, and is the most popular outdoor rock climbing area in Connecticut.
Ragged Mountain main loop is approximately 5.5 miles long, and is known for its expansive bare-rock vistas, vertical cliff faces, and scenic views overlooking cliff-side reservoirs and ponds. The trail is rated moderate, with some flat stretches among the trees, mixed with some uneven rocky footing, especially closer to the preserve’s cliff faces. The main loop can be traveled in either direction, since the elevation gain is mild and the obstacles are comparable in both directions.
If 5.5 miles is too much, there are several other smaller connecting trails offering plenty of shorter distance options for hikers looking for a less challenging route. Conversely, for those hikers looking for a longer distance, a portion of the Ragged Mountain loop belongs to the very popular 51 mile Metacomet trail. Due to the variety of options at the preserve, there will often be a mix of day hikers, through-hikers, trail runners, mountain bikers and rock climbers along the trails and cliffs in the park. In the winter months, snow shoeing is a popular activity here.
Much of Ragged Mountain has been conserved as nature preserve, rock climbing preserve, and as public watershed lands, so there are opportunities to view wildlife. There are also some “nature reclaimed” cars, and a waterfall to be discovered along the trails. Because parts of the preserve are designated as public watershed, there are some areas that are labeled as off-limits, and there is absolutely no cliff jumping or swimming allowed in the reservoirs.
While the official trails are all well marked, the trail junction maps have all disappeared over time. The only map that I have seen while hiking was at the trailhead. It is highly recommended that you obtain a copy of the map before you go. Because Ragged Mountain is so popular, there are some unofficial trails that seem to have sprung up over time, which can get very confusing without a map to refer to.
The trailhead for Ragged Mountain is located on West Ln in Berlin, CT. The parking is limited.
Activity appropriate gear (sturdy hiking books, snowshoes, climbing gear, bike)
Waters and snacks
Camera and tripod
Flashlight and emergency whistle
Bug spray in the warmer months
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Hiking, Mountain Biking, Photography, Rock Climbing, Snowshoeing
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Ragged Mountain, one of the great hikes of CT
Ragged Mountain is one of the great hikes of CT. Moderate distance and climb to great views. Several trails in the preserve allow you to choose a shorten or long hike. Bring lunch and eat while enjoying the view.
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