Click the red flag above to locate trailhead parking
Overview & Map
The Bailey Trail system (Hammonasset River Trail and Cider Mill Spur Trail) follows the west bank of the Hammonasset River from Rt. 80 to lower Summer Hill Road just north of Chestnut Hill Road. Because of its length, the trail is described in two separate sections: Bailey Trail North (Rt. 80 south and back); and Bailey Trail South (Georgetown Circle south to lower Summer Hill Road, including the Cider Mill Spur Trail).
Bailey Trail North: This section includes a gentle 0.6 mile walk south along the Hammonasset River from Rt 80 with views of the river’s deep gorge and flood plain, providing a remarkable contrast to the ridge on either side.
Category: Easy river walk with an optional more challenging ridge loop.
Start: Trailhead 1 on Rt. 80, just west of the Hammonasset River Bridge
Distance: About 0.6 miles, one-way to Georgetown Circle; including the Buck Hill Loop adds 0.5 miles
Approximate Time: About 2 hours if the loop is included, round trip
Parking: Trailhead 1: Turn-out on north side of Rt. 80, just west of the bridge
What to look for on the Bailey Trail North
At Trailhead 1 follow the trail south, first along a small stream which soon joins the river. Where the stream and river join are the stonework remnants of a mill (see Historical Feature below). At the point where the trail and river meet, a glance upstream reveals the bridge over Rt. 80, and the dam for the Hammonasset Reservoir. The river slows as it enters large pools bordered by ridges and ledges on both sides.
South of the pool the river narrows and drops over a short run of rapids into a large, flat pool and then broadens. The trail here rises over an outcrop and then drops once more to pass close to the river’s edge. The mossy cliff-faces to the east rise sharply here, as the trail nears another beautiful broad, flat pool below the rapids where kingfishers are often seen. The trail passes good examples of rock fractured and moved by nature.
The deep, cool, moist ravines favor northern tree species. Hemlock, yellow birch, beech and some sugar maple, as well as the oaks, black birch, red maple and ash are common. Here, as in many other areas along the trail, hemlocks have been seriously affected by the introduced hemlock wooly adelgid insect.
In the shallows along the pool’s west bank, and further along, on the east bank also, red osier dogwood and other wet site shrubs have established a dense thicket. The trail passes over glacier-smoothed boulders and continues south along the river, where soon, it enters a broad flood plain. Exposed roots, sand, and drifts of detritus attest to the high water table and to the frequent flooding here. A cascading stream enters the river from the east.
PLEASE NOTE: Hunting, camping, fires, cutting trees or vegetation, horses, and motorized vehicles are all prohibited on Madison Land Conservation Trust property. MLCT trails and properties are for hiking only. Dogs are allowed, but must be leashed. Please pick up all animal waste.