The Nipmuck Trail
*Click on the map label of your choice for a full-zoom hiking trail map.
Map created with TOPO! copyright 2008 National Geographic
Map created by www.ctxguide.com copyright 2008
The forest is primarily pine and has fairly scenic terrain. The section of trail directly north of RT 171 and south of Breakneck pond is a lightly used pristine footpath that is barely visible in some locations. An easy hike without steep grades, but with a rugged surface in places peppered with rocks and roots.
Even though the map appears riddled with trails, the hike does not feel this way.
Breakneck Pond is a beautiful and unspoiled backcountry lake and you wouldn’t have any way of knowing that it was man-made. For backpackers, there is an inviting camp shelter located about 1/3 of the way up the lake. At the northern end of the lake along the earthen dam structure, a rope swing and fire circle mark a swimming hole, however the edge quickly drops off into deep water which makes this a dangerous area without the aid of a lifeguard.
The north end of the lake is the official terminus of the Nipmuck Trail. A hiker may continue around the lake in a counter-clockwise fashion and take the connecting trails back to the parking areas at Bigelow Hollow State Forest. An alternative for those that do not wish to backtrack is to continue north into Massachusetts along an old forest road given the nickname of “Mud Road.” Only after about 1/10th of a mile at the fork in the road, turn right off of Mud Road and continue along the main dirt track until reaching a T at a green gate. Reservoir Number 5 is visible at this point. Go left at the T and follow the dirt road to a yellow gate marking the beginning of Breakneck Road, which is accessible by car.
According to the CT DEP, backpacker camping permits may be obtained by writing to the Nipmuck State Forest DEP Eastern District Office
209 Hebron Rd.
Marlborough, CT 06447