Did you know there is a Bear Mountain in Connecticut? I sure didn’t.
So for anyone reading this thinking ‘Bear Mountain is on the Hudson in New York,’ you’re right. But there is a smaller, lesser known, Bear Mountain right in Danbury, CT.
With only a few hours to hike before my friends wedding shower in Danbury, we decided on Bear Mountain. We figured if she has never heard of it while living on the same exit, it must not be highly trafficked.
We were right.
We showed up at 9AM and got right to it. The map box was filled with garbage so we went with just taking a picture of the map at the trail head – which caused us mass confusion later on.
The reservation boasts a variety of short trails that loop around the meadow, the woods above the lake, and a trail that even takes you down to Candlewood Lake. The beginning of the trail even has outdoor workout equipment for people that are extra healthy.
We walked through the meadow looking at the bird houses that are apparently for bats. The meadow has multiple mowed trails through the tall grass, which all lead to pathways in the woods.
When we made it to the woods we were already confused about what trail we were on and what trails to take. We turned before one of the few trail-markers on the path.
Luckily, an old man with an adorable pup walked by and told us how we can make it to the lake. We followed his directions – with a few wrong turns along the way – and eventually made it down to a clearing along the lake. For the most part the trail was moderate, just looping through the woods and a million spider webs. The hardest part of the hike down was the steep incline – that the tropical storm the night before made even harder – and the rock scramble to the lake. There were some arrows the rocks leading to the lake.
Once we were there we realized we should’ve brought books and sandwiches and spent the day in the clearing! We sat for about an hour talking and watching the wakeboarders fly through the lake.
We made our way back up the rocks and followed an old trail that did us no good besides essentially crawling up some dirt on the side of the hill.
We eventually made it back up the hill and then got lost once again looping through some trails in the woods. We eventually followed one back to the meadow and out to our cars.
By then end we were muddied, covered in spider webs, but still on time for her friends wedding shower!
This reservation was great for hiking with kids, dogs, having a picnic, kinda the all inclusive reservation to do everything. Highly recommend this hike for anyone in the Danbury area looking for a quick hike right in their backyard – just hope you’re better at following maps than I am! Also, bring a bathing suit to jump in the lake at the bottom, the area was secluded enough that you can take a dip without any worries!
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