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NET Mattabesett Section 2 – New England Trail| Average Hiker

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Mattabesett Trail – Section 2

The New England Trail, or NET Mattabesett, Section 2 Trip Report is a lot like Section 1 of the Mattabesett. Rough granite, prickly brush, and creaky older bridges make it a little more “wild.” The forest is fighting hard to take back it’s land, and man has less of a grip on these few miles.

Related Post: My Hiking Day Pack Has My Essential Items

Section 2 Quick Shot

Miles: 5.30

Region: Middletown, Haddam

Start – Trail Head & Coordinates: Bear Hill Road – 41.532457,-72.597970

End: Trail Head & Coordinates: Saybrook Road – 41.507143, -72.582580

Additional Planning Information:  Planning Page

NET Mattabesett Section 2 – Signage & Markers

Bear Hill Road is a small meandering blacktop. Just past it, through the forest, is a small kiosk and signage for Section 2. Past this is a gravel road and turn around underneath the always present power lines.

In the northeast, near large urban areas, these are to be expected, and their scoured lanes offer some of the best views along these sections of trail. The gravel turnaround is also probably the best place to park. Bear Hill Road has one small dirt patch to pull over on, but no room for more than one car.

Blazes, rock cairns and trail intersections are fairly clear along Section 2, but keep an eye out for Bear Hill Loop, that crosses over the NET. This, and several other side trails means you again need to pay attention, and keep your map app or maps close. I used my GAIA app.

mattabesett bear hill road
bear hill parking
mattabesett rock cairns

NET Mattabesett Section 2 – Difficulty

A little rock scrambling is about as tough as this section gets. Bridges are not as well maintained, and there are a couple of little brushy sections, so have good soles on your shoes and bring your bug/tick spray.

Some Minor Scrambling

Section 2 likes it’s rocks also, maybe even more than Section 1. Keep an eye out for the blue blazes. If you don’t see any, they are probably at the top of the rock. There was one section that required I wedge myself into a crevasse to climb up and down. I’m sure kids will find it fun! I found it a little irritating, but I’m no longer as fit or skinny as most kids.

rocky mattabesett trail
more rocky climbs
rock features on the mattabeset NET
rock crevice on the mattabeset NET
bad bridges on the NET

More Meandering Trails

Trail through Section 2 is mostly clear. “Brushiness” is slightly more than Section 1 but still minor. No scratches equals no brush in my book. This section had some really nice trail along the ridges.

nice broad trail on the mattabesett NET
bear hill loop intersection
NET trail

NET Mattabesett Section 2 – Features & Views

Rock formations, expansive views, and rolling trail make this another nice section of trail, but the water features are my favorite. Before Airport Road, the trail follows a rambling brook down off the ridge and drops into a small valley. The trail travels along the brook for about a half mile before turning to head towards Airport Road, where there is parking for about 6-8 cars.

rock cave on the mattabesett NET
powerline views on the mattabesett
creek on the mattabesett NET
mattabesett creek crossing
airport road parking

NET Mattabesett Section 2 – Summary

Although a little less maintained, this section of trail was just as nice as Section 1 of the Mattabesett section of the New England Trail. The trail ended at busy Saybrook Road where there is a large picnic area with tables. The parking area is also large, and can easily hold 10-15 cars. This is a great end to a section – a short hike followed by a picnic!

final mile to saybrook road
parking on saybrook road on the net
mattabesett picnic area

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