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The Pequot Trail
Town: Preston and Ledyard
Directions: The northern trailhead is located at the intersection of Route 165 (Shetucket Turnpike) and Old Jewett City Rd in Preston (look for the blue sign). The southern trailhead is located at the intersection of Shewville Rd. and Coachman Pike in Ledyard. There is no sign, but the start of the trail is marked by double blue blazes on a telephone pole at the intersection.
Where to Park: There is no marked parking lot at either the northern or southern trailhead. There is room for a few cars to pull off of Route 165 at the northern trailhead. There is a parking lot at Preston Community Park at the intersection of Route 2A and Route 117 at the approximate halfway point of the hike. The trail goes northeast along Lincoln Park Rd. and south into the woods from the park's northeast corner. There is also room to park on the side of the dirt portion of Thomas Rd.
Description: The 7.6-mile Pequot Trail is one of the Connecticut Forest and Park Association's blue-blazed trails. It starts at Route 165 in Preston and travels south and east to Shewville Rd. in Ledyard.
From Route 165, the trail goes south, following power lines for several miles before crossing Route 2. It then follows Lincoln Park Rd. to Preston Community Park before climbing back into the woods. The trail crosses Rose Hill Rd. and then turns southeast and emerges on Thomas Rd. Blue blazes on telephone poles follow Thomas Rd east, the turn south on Mathewson Mill Rd., and then east on Fanning Rd. The trail departs Fanning Rd. to the right and goes south to Coachman Pike, where it turns left towards the trail's end at Shewville Rd.
Regulations: Vehicles are not allowed on many sections of the trail.
Natural Features: Wetlands, large rock formations. South of Rose Hill Rd., there is a parcel of managed forest where other species of trees have been cut to allow red cedars to grow.
Things to Note: We hiked the trail in the spring, and many sections were wet. Waterproof hiking boots are a good idea. The southern section of the trail, which passes by the Pequot Burial Ground before intersecting with Caochman Pike, will eventually be re-routed to go directly to Shewville Rd. The CFPA has been working with the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation for several years to connect the existing trail with the original trailhead on Lantern Hill. A preliminary trail design is awaiting approval.
Owned by: The trail crosses a mixture of private and public land, and is managed by the Connecticut Forest and Park Association.
More information: A full description and trail map is available in the Connecticut Forest and Park Association's Connecticut Walk Book East. http://www.ctwoodlands.org