Map coming soon!
If you find a map of this area please pass it on to me, thanks!
Birge Pond The Hoppers Area – Bristol, CT
This is a very easy hike. There are two main sections of Birge pond area. The official Birge Pond parking is along Ambler Rd. Right off the parking lot, there is a nice walking path/boardwalk alongside Birge pond that is approximately 1 mile long. The path does get pretty muddy and some parts aren’t as well maintained. It’s hard to get lost as it’s a pretty easy to follow the path. This section also has lots of people fishing along the side
The second part is easier to access if you park in the corner parking lot of Perkins St and Pinehurst rd. However, you can access it by parking on Ambler rd and cross the street to the blazed trails. The Pinehurst rd parking lot leads you to a giant open field with a bunch of small trails diverging off to the side. There’s about 10 miles worth of trails along the side and the main field is about 1 mile long.
Both sections are great for your dog. The pond is nice but it is close to the street so be careful if you plan to let your dog off leash. The second part EVERYONE has their dogs off leash so if your pup isn’t friendly, I wouldn’t bring them to this section. It’s not an enclosed field so before letting your pup off leash, make sure they respond well to you!
History of the area:
This area dates back 20,000 years to the melting of the Laurentide ice sheet, which covered most of Canada and the northern US at the time. Once you walk into the trails you will notice large crates along the inside of the trails. The holes are called kettle holes or a hopper. When the glacier melted it left behind a long winding ridge of stratified sand and gravel which formed as streams flowed in or under the melting ice. As you walk the trails within the preserve, you feel like you are walking on a beach with its sand and rounded rocks but it is all sediment left by the glacier as it retreated and melted. All of this can be seen while walking the white-blazed Glacial Trail along the western edges of the preserve.
According to local folklore, Chief Cochinpianee of the Wappingers tribe spent hours trying to navigate the hoppers to transport apples to a cider mill in Farmington. During Colonial times, Stephen Graves, a monarchy supporter who made the Tory Den in Burlington famous, once hid in an area of the hoppers known as Pine Hollow.