Pine Mountain
Ridgefield, Fairfield County, Connecticut
368 acres


Saw Mill River Parkway to its end (at around mile marker 29); north on US 684 for around 11 miles or so (at mileage marker 28); take the exit for US 84 heading east;  drive about 5.9 miles and take exit 3 for Route 7 South; get off at the first right, for the Danbury Mall; at the light, turn left; at the stop sign, turn right onto Miry Brook Road; drive 1.6 miles and turn left onto Pine Mountain Road.  Drive 0.75 of a mile and turn right to park in the five-car parking area at the trail head at the end of Pine Mountain Road. The trail entrance is about 138 steps back down the road on the right (look for the yellow markers). 


remains of Charles Ives' cottage


120 minute, difficult walk, including a view of Long Island Sound.

There are links with Hemlock Hills and Bennett's Pond to make an all-day hike.


6/14/2005.  Jack Russell terrier Sonar and I went hiking on a hot, muggy day.  Good thing we hiked in the morning because the radio said that the temperature and humidity combined would make the temperature feel like 110 degrees. 

This is a moderately difficult hike because although one does have to climb a mountain, the climb is not that much.  (But you do have to climb some.) 

Started up the mountain on the yellow trail; reached a spot where an orange trail comes in from the right; down and then up a low place; met with the orange trail again; the red trail on the right leads down to Bennett's Pond; come upon the lookout point where the Charles Ive's cabin was located; typical mountaintop vegetation including pignut hickory; one can see three mountain ridges to the west; walked through a white pine area; the red and yellow trails go together now, the red headed over and then down the other side of the mountain; reach a lone chimney with lyrate-leaved rockcress growing on it; reached the southern end of the mountain top.

Start back home, walking now on the eastern side of the mountain.  The red trail finally leaves the yellow to head down this side of the mountain.  I kept going straight. 

The first part of the walk on the yellow trail was very easy because the trail markings were big and bright (probably recently done).  On the eastern side of the mountain heading north the yellow markings are fewer and faded; and a couple of times the yellow markers went two ways and I had to make a choice between the two. 

Reached a big rock outcrop on the left.   (There is a short side trail on the right leading to a large rock balanced on top of a large erratic.)

Turned left, went west for a short ways; turned right and headed downhill.  There is a swampy area (skunk cabbage marsh) below on the right.  I went off trail to see if I could find some new plant species.   This little bit of water explains some of the wetland species on the plant list.  

Headed uphill heading southeast; descended cliff, turned left onto a wide path. Shortly came to a choice of yellow trails, straight or to the right.  There were three red ribbons at this intersection and I figure someone must be trying to sent the hiker a message: "here's the short-cut back to the yellow and red trail combined."  I was pretty tired now and decided to take what I figured would be the fastest way out.  Went though a shallow valley and then west to the red/yellow trail.  Turned right and walked to the lookout and then continued north and then downhill to Pine Mountain Road.   Dr. Patrick L. Cooney.

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney

*  =  plant blooming on date of field trips, 6/14/2005

Acer pensylvanicum (striped maple)
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Amelanchier arborea (shadbush)  
Betula alleghaniensis (yellow birch)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Carya glabra (pignut hickory)
Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
Carya tomentosa (mockernut hickory)
Castanea dentata (American chestnut)  
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)  
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)  *
Ostrya virginiana (American hop hornbeam)
Pinus rigida (pitch pine)  
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Prunus sp. (cherry)  
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Tilia americana (basswood)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)

Shrubs and Subshrubs:
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)   lots of it
Chimaphila maculata (striped wintergreen)
Cypripedium acaule (pink lady's slipper)  
Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive)  found only one  
Gaylussacia baccata (black huckleberry)  
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel)    *
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)    *
Rosa sp. (rose)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)  
Vaccinium angustifolium (low bush blueberry)  
Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry)
Vaccinium pallidum (hillside blueberry)
Viburnum acerifolium (maple-leaf viburnum)

Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)    ?
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Polygonum convolvulus (black bindweed)  
Smilax rotundifolia (round-leaved greenbrier)

Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed)  
Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut)
Anemonella thalictroides (rue anemone)
Arabis lyrata (lyre-leaved rockcress)    *waning
Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla)
Arctium sp. (burdock)
Arisaema triphyllum (jack-in-the-pulpit)
Artemisia vulgaris (mugwort)
Aster linariifolius (stiff aster)  
Aster spp. (aster)
Bidens sp. (beggar tick)  
Cerastium vulgatum (mouse-ear chickweed)  
Galium aparine (cleavers)   
Galium circaezens (wild licorice)   *soon
Galium lanceolatum (lance-leaved wild licorice)   *soon  
Geranium maculatum (wild geranium)  
Hieracium caespitosum (field hawkweed)    *  
Hieracium venosum (rattlesnake hawkweed)    *  
Lespedeza sp. (bushclover)  
Lysimachia quadrifolia (whorled loosestrife)    *  
Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)
Medeola virginiana (Indian cucumberroot)  
Melampyrum lineare (cowwheat)    *  
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel)   
Paronychia canadensis (forked chickweed)  
Plantago major (common plantain)
Polygonatum sp. (true Solomon's seal)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose knotweed)    *
Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed)
Polygonum virginianum (jumpseed)
Potentilla simplex (common cinquefoil)   *
Prenanthes sp. (lettuce)
Scleranthus annuus (knawel)
Smilacina racemosa (false Solomon's seal)
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion) 
Triodanis perfoliata (Venus looking glass)  
Tussilago farfara (coltsfoot)  
Uvulariaperfoliata (perfoliate-leaved bellwort)  
Uvularia sessilifolia (sessile-leaved bellwort)  
Veronica arvensis (corn speedwell)  
Veratrum viride (false hellebore)
Viola cucullata (marsh blue violet)
Viola palmata (palmate-leaved violet) 

Luzula multiflora (wood rush)
Juncus tenuis (path rush)

Carex laxiflora type (loose-flower type sedge)
Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)

Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Panicum clandestinum (deer-tongue grass)  
Poa compressa (Canada bluegrass)
Poa pratensis (Kentucky bluegrass)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Adiantum pedatum (maidenhair fern)
Asplenium platyneuron (ebony spleenwort)  
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Dryopteris carthusiana (toothed woodfern)
Dryopteris marginalis (marginal woodfern)  
Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)
Osmunda claytoniana (interrupted fern)
Polypodium sp. (rockcap fern)  
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
Thelypteris noveboracensis (New York fern)

rock tripe lichen


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