A Mid/Late Autumn Walk

purgatory-brook

Beaver Pond on Purgatory Brook.

I know I’m stretching this into the third post, but I did forget a picture ;)

So, what should I do with my brother on Friday afternoon after he gets into town?  I wasn’t super worried about this question, but I did want something to do.  There are a lot of short hikes close to my house, some with a lot of country charm (i.e., fields, meadows, etc.), some with small lakes/large ponds, some with stands of ancient trees where you can walk through trees that were all alive before any European settlers where in the area.  There is also a nice little hike that has three waterfalls.

lower-purgatory-faals

Lower Purgatory Falls

The Purgatory Falls Trail trail head is about three miles from my house.  Actually, both trail heads are about that distance, but in different directions.  OK, perhaps it is closer to four miles to the Upper Falls parking, way out in the woods at the end of a dead end gravel road.  Wherever you plan to start, it is very close.

The trail is relatively new.  People had visited the Lower and Upper Falls for quite a while (150 years ago Wilton was the last stop on a daily train from Boston and many people came out to the country just to see Upper Purgatory Falls!) and there has been a network of trails, but for a while the Middle Falls was out of bounds.  Somebody had built an Eastern version of a Dude Ranch and wanted the Falls to be visited by paying customers only.  Finally he sold a few acres around the Falls and the trail went through.

middle-purgatory-falls

Middle Purgatory Falls

The total trail is just shy of 2 1/2 miles each direction, so at about 4.8 miles round trip, it isn’t long at all.  It is also a very flat hike, only about 300 feet vertical.  And it is pretty.

As I wrote elsewhere, unfortunately it was growing dark by the time we reached the Middle Falls so we turned back.  But just for closure, we went up and visited the Upper Falls on Sunday.  The Upper Falls are my favorite, going from almost flat country side into a deep bowl canyon.  It’s a very cool falls.

upper-purgatory-falls

Upper Purgatory Falls

It’s a nice hike and I’m not sure why I haven’t done it more often.  That is about to change – now that I’ve rediscovered it, I will be there all of the time, most likely with dogs in tow.

Oh, and a small taste of the hike on Saturday – this is a two hour drive away, so not an every day hike.  Many more pictures will be on their way!

lafayette-001

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27 thoughts on “A Mid/Late Autumn Walk

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      1. brittabottle

        I’d love to go farther up the East Coast one day. There’s so much to see on this side of the country!
        I’m having Friendsgiving with a college friend who is visiting me from Pennsylvania, so I’m very much looking forward to that. Have a good Thanksgiving, too, Trent!

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      The hill is Purgatory Hill, it has Purgatory Brook running down it, and Purgatory Brook has three waterfalls – I’m not sure why the early settlers to this area called it that. Wikipedia actually says “Mont Vernon town histories say it is unclear where the name “Purgatory” came from.” But the name work – it’s not Hell, not heaven, yet doesn’t seem of this Earth ;)

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      1. camilledefleurville

        Let’s see… I seem to remember that there was a La Fayette or someone with a name close to this who went the Americas. He was French and therefore might have fought against France arch-enemy: England. But when, why and how, that are the questions… Might have to look it up sometime ;)

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        1. trentpmcd Post author

          Marquis de Lafayette came over to help us with our Revolution against the British. Later he tried to be a moderating power in the French Revolution and was a player in the 1830 revolution, even being offered the job of dictator… Back in his day he was a hero on both sides of the Atlantic.

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          1. camilledefleurville

            You don’t say!!! :) Seriously now, he played a role of moderator throughout his life in French politics. But he is best known even in France for his deeds in the nascent USA.
            However, hen I first visited the US, I was surprised at how much he was remembered by you all. Everyone (well, almost everyone…) talked to us about him and a kind of special relationship between our two nations because of him.

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