Litchfield County Highpoint Trip Report

Date: April 20, 2008
Author: John Hasch

By far the most challenging effort in Connecticut was getting to the state HP. The hike was just one part. I attempted but was not able to do CT on a Sunday because I could not get there! The Mount Washington Road is now not accessible because it is padlock-gated from the south on Mount Riga Road where the pavement formerly turned to dirt. I then considered the alternate New York trailhead up Brace Mountain first, then over to Frissel, as previously described by Dan Case in one of his trip reports. I finally found this trailhead but it was too late in the day to get started and Dan's brutal write-up of that route deterred me anyway.

Monday morning, I followed another Dan Case alternate route to the AMC parking lot through New York and Massachusetts, approaching from the north. I got to construction-type cement barrier crossing the entire road just south of the lot. Signs at both the north and south routes implied that the area had been bought by private parties who now desire to keep outsiders out.

So, the end result is that the Connecticut HP does not appear to be reachable directly from CT. One of the alternate access routes must be used. A local needs to confirm this so state HP notes can be updated.

The AMC parking lot I am referring to is in CT on Mt Washington Road, just south of the state line marker. I got there by taking NY 344 from Copake Falls NY to West Drive and East Drive past the state forest HQ buildings. East Drive in MA becomes Mt Washington Road in CT.

Follow-up note from Stony Burk

I drove from Salisbury, CT via Mt. Riga Road/Mount Washington Road to MA. The road is open, there were three vehicles at the AMC parking area for Bear Mountain Trailhead. The concrete barricade at the CT/MA State Line has been moved to the side of the road. There were five vehicles at the pull-outs just north of the Mt. Frissell Trailhead.

There are new signs regarding Private Property for Mt. Riga Residents but they generally refer to the woods and access beyond the road.

Mt. Riga Road is closed in winter by the gate in Salisbury and concrete barricade at the State Line. It reopened the previous week following some road repair. Sometimes the barricade remains in place, this year it is at the side of the road.

The gate that John referred to is the first one, galvanized. There is another gate about 100 yards up, painted orange. I think I have a photo of the orange one being closed a few winters ago. There is also a wood (saw horse type) barricade at the first gate with letters reading 'Road Closed', it was pushed to one side. I talked with some locals that were hiking along the stream that verified that the road is open and had probably been closed until the previous week due to road repairs and large rocks on the road.