Home > Case Mountain
Preplanned Hike for Case Mountain: Carriage Trail
Quick Facts I
From/To
Spring Street parking lot
Distance
2.8 miles
Time
1 hr. 15 min.
Easy
Note
* View of Hartford, CT
* Great family hike
Hike Rating 4 Stars
Quick Facts II
Elevation
744 ft.
Location
Manchester, CT
10 mi. east of Hartford, CT
Best Map
USGS Quad:
Rockville, CT

Mountain
Summits.com
Recommendation

Recommended

 Overview

     The summit of Case Mountain (744 ft.) offers an excellent view of Hartford, the capital of Connecticut.  The summit area is flat and spacious, an excellent place to admire the view and enjoy a snack.  The town of Manchester's South Main Street and, farther in the distance, Buckland Hills Mall (which perhaps you don't want to see) are also visible.  Case Mountain is well worth visiting because its network of trails is easy to hike, run, or bike and well maintained.  It is an excellent mountain for a family hike with the kids and dog. Trails connect Case Mountain with Gay City State Park in Hebron.  Also, the 29-mile, blue-blazed Shenipsit Trail crosses Case Mountain on its way from East Hampton, CT to the Massachusetts border.  A waterfall adjacent to the trailhead parking lot on Spring Street offers a splash of cool water on the face as well as scenic photos.

Preplanned Hike 

Mileage

0 mi.     Spring Street parking lot, Carriage Trail begins
.75 mi.  summit of Case Mtn.
2.3 mi.  sign on tree indicating Carriage Trail turns left, 0.5 mi. to Spring Street parking lot
             (Carriage Path continues straight)
2.8 mi.  Spring Street parking lot

The Hike

     Your hike begins at the Spring Street parking lot.  Walk around the yellow gate and up the paved road that quickly becomes a gravel road.  This is the "Carriage Trail" and it is marked by white blazes.  The hike starts at a moderately steep pitch, which is the steepest section of the entire hike and does not last long. Within a half mile the slope becomes more gradual and stays that way until you return to this section on the final leg of your hike.  There is a network of trails on the mountain.  You will pass the "Highland Trail" on your right and the "Carriage Path" on your left.  Stay on the main gravel path.

      Just as you are admiring the mountain laurels along the Carriage Trail, you exit the forest and enter the summit area.  The peak is just a few steps up to your left.  To your right (west), an area has been cleared, offering fine views of the Connecticut River Valley.  This is one of the best views of Hartford east of the Connecticut River.  Closer and to the right of Hartford is South Main Street, town of Manchester. Landmarks are the stone Methodist Church at the corner of Charter Oak and South Main and then, farther up to the right, the white steeple of Center Congregational Church at the top of South Main.  To the right of Main Street (or more northerly), you can see Buckland Hills Mall with a tall, narrow, light-blue water tower next to it.

      Leaving the summit, the Carriage Trail continues on the path you hiked up on.  It curves to the right (with Hartford on your right) and continues to be marked with white blazes.  It is a wide, often flat, path.  Other trails will intersect from time to time, including the Shenipsit Trail - just stay on the path and follow the white blazes. Big boulders sit high on the side of the trail. At 2.3 mi., a sign on a big tree directs you to turn left to remain on the Carriage Trail. The Spring Street parking lot is 0.5 mi. from here and that will complete your 2.8 mi. loop.

      However, if you're not ready to end your hike so soon, you can go straight here, which would add another mile to your hike.  That mile is a loop that ends about 0.1 mi. to the left of where you presently stand just up the little hill that you can probably see.  The highlights of the mile are Case Pond and a well-constructed stone wall.  You would be on the Carriage Path and it follows white blazes too.

      Sticking to the original plan, turn left to remain on the Carriage Trail.  You quickly come to a junction with the Shenipsit Trail Relocation to the left and the Carriage Path to the right.  Take the middle trail with the sign that points you to Spring Street (the Carriage Trail & Carriage Path share the same trail here).  You arrive at the junction of the Carriage Trail and Carriage Path.  Turn right to descend.  You are retracing steps back to the Spring Street parking lot.  At the trailhead, if you haven't done so already, consider checking out the waterfall for some pretty pictures or to splash refreshing water on your face.

Directions

Case Mountain is located in Manchester, CT, just 10 miles east of Hartford, CT.

Spring Street parking lot:

From I-384 East:

Exit 4, "Highland Street"
Stop sign at end of ramp.
Set odometer.  The trailhead parking lot is only 0.2 mi. from here.
Take right onto Spring Street.
Drive down little hill and over narrow, single lane bridge.
Park in lot immediately on left after bridge and next to waterfall.

From I-384 West:

Exit 4, "Highland Street"
Stop sign at end of ramp.
Set odometer. The trailhead parking lot is 0.7 mi. from here.
Take right onto Highland Street.
Come to Highland Park Market on your left.
Right turn at light onto Spring Street.
Cross bridge over I-384.
Drive down little hill and over narrow, single lane bridge.
Park in lot immediately on left after bridge and next to waterfall.


Submitted by: Mark, MountainSummits.com, age 31, athletic male.


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