- Old Furnace State Park
- South Frontage Road, Killingly, CT
- Trailhead: 41°47’17.65″N, 71°51’56.44″W
- Last Time Hiked: May 18, 2014
- Approximate distance hiked: 2.5 miles
- Difficult with strenuous elevation, climbing and rocky footing.
After three shorter morning hikes in Rhode Island I stopped on the way to Killingly to pick up a family member for the fourth hike of the day. He had suggested this hike to me a few weeks before I broke my ankle last summer. Without any doubt whatsoever this hike has been the most challenging since the injury. The sense of accomplishment was overwhelming and the views were breathtaking. We started the hike from the parking area at the north end of the park following the blue blazed trail crossing a stream before veering onto the yellow trail. We followed the yellow trail over a foot bridge and through some muddy areas before approaching a small dam at the pond. While at the pond we noticed a massive rock overlook up on the hill to our right. Like kids again, we looked at each other at said “let’s do it”. We followed the stone wall dam of the pond until we got to the bottom of the hill. This trail was not blazed. Up to this point the hike was relatively easy, but that was about to change. We began our ascent up the hill. In some sections the grade was 75 to 100 percent (see chart below). After stopping for a bit for some water and a breather we made the final push up (in my opinion the wrongly named) hill. Half Hill is 540 feet above sea level and 200 feet above the pond below. The views from above are truly impressive, overlooking Killingly and Foster, Rhode Island. We also ran into some rock climbers at one of the overlooks. I will stick to hiking, thank you very much. There are also some quite impressive chasms here. We then continued to follow the trail downhill where it forks. We took the trail to the left following downhill (the trail to the right was blazed blue). It would eventually turn to the left and come out to a parking lot. We then crossed the parking lot picking up a trail that would follow the pond to the right and the cliffs above to the left. This narrow trail at times became more of scurrying over rocks and boulder. The trail ended at the trail we came in on just at the base of the hill. We turned right following first the stone wall dam and continued retracing our steps back to the car. We came across several hikers here and I did not see any wildlife here other than birds.
Trail map and additional information can be found at: Old Furnace.