You could park your car at a couple different places to get to the Indian Well overlook. I started at the end of Tahmore Place and followed the blue/yellow blazes of Tahmore Trail, taking a right turn at the sign to reach the overlook. You could also hike in from the Indian Well Falls parking area or the Beach off-season parking area, but Tahmore is more quiet this time of year.
|Indian Well overlook. The Derby/Shelton Dam and Rt 8 are in the distance.|
|Junction with white access trail from the beach|
|At Blowdown Brook. This was the trail last year. We rerouted.|
This stretch of trail between the two overlooks has an amazing amount of tree carnage. Every few weeks there is another blowdown across the trail. This hike was no exception, with another old hemlock down with it's spikes jutting out. It would appear that the riverbank was once home to many large hemlocks which died from the aldegid infestation, and these trees are still falling. As the hemlocks died, other fast-growing trees shot up and are themselves now falling. It's a mess.
|Blowdown of the week|
After Blowdown Brook, the trail does a steady climb up to the top of what we call Limbo Log Hill. It's the hill with the very big log across the trail at the worst possible height. Too high to chain saw. Too low to easily get under, especially if you have a backpack. This year we built a bypass through the raspberries and have done OK keeping it clear.
|The Limbo Log and new bypass trail|
|Top of the Landslide with glimpses of the river below|
|Another dead hemlock, but cool fungi|
|Welcome to Birchbank|
|Gateway to The Boulders|
|The Boulders. See the blue blaze?|
|The Rock Faces|
Right after that you'll get to the rock faces. There is some serious geology going on here and you may be tempted to explore some caves. After that is a long stretch down the hill on a talus slope. Deceptively treacherous to walk on and not recommended when wet. Be careful! I highly recommend a hiking stick or trekking pole. Occasionally a rock can shift when you step down, or may be mossy and slick. All it takes is one bad step to break an ankle. Unless you're like a mountain goat, go slow.
|Down the talus slope|
|Yay! No more rock!|
|Section benched in by High School students in 2016|
The high school students did a great job and the trail looks so much more natural this year. Last year it looked a bit like a scar upon the earth, but this year it's just a trail.
|Stairs to the overlook|
When you get to the old stairs, we don't know when those were built, but the Paugussett used to go here back in the 1980's or 90's before it was rerouted due to a pending subdivision up above. The 2016 reroute was partly new and partly a restoration of an older route.
Up at the top is the new trail register, and there are a few entries in the book now.
|Entries in the trail register|
Just a few more steps and the view opens up. Yes! That seems like longer than two miles. And it will seem even longer on the way back! But it's a good hike. If you can spot a car, I would recommend continuing north on the Paugussett to Round Hill Road. That would be about a three mile hike.