Ascent of North Preston Hill on 2011-08-24

Climber: Edward Earl

Date:Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:North Preston Hill
    Elevation:1450 ft / 441 m

Ascent Trip Report

The AT is useful for much of the approach to North Preston Hill which, if it wins its prominence rivalry with Preston Hill about 1 mile to the S in NY, is the most prominent point not only in Litchfield county but also the state of CT. The useful AT trailhead is on CT-341 about a mile NW of Kent. The highway pullout has space for about 6 cars.

I hiked the AT southbound, which meanders near the summit of Mt Algo before dropping down to Thayer Brook. Just before crossing the brook is a faint road heading R, climbing parallel to the brook. The trail was very indistinct at first, but became more distinct as I hiked up it. Just before reaching the marsh that feeds the brook, I encountered the much more distinct dirt road heading to Chapel Pond. The road showed signs of recent maintenance. Upon reaching Chapel Pond I found a couple of watercraft lying on the shore. I backtracked slightly to where a path led NW before fading away. I continued cross-country through open forest over the tiny ~20' prominence bump N of Chapel Pond, then W and SW to the summit, which is fairly flat except for two large boulders, of which the northernmost (4' off the gound) is the higher and is topped by a cairn and register.

I decided to make the traverse to rival summit Preston Hill, about 1 mile S. It is highly advisable to follow the divide W and south, as occasional marshes are likely to impede progress anywhere off the ridgeline. It is a straightforward cross-country trek, taking about 25 minutes each way. The summit of Preston Hill is a broad flat slab, hardly rising above the surrounding dirt at all. I found the BM in the slab. Owing to the fact that the 1450' contour on Preston is a smaller fraction of the size of the 1440' contour than on North Preston, and the highest ground on Preston is a flat slab whereas North Preston has a summit boulder, I feel it is highly likely (>95% chance) that North Preston is higher and therefore takes the prominence prize for the state of CT. However a formal survey and/or accurate GPS measurement would be needed to be sure.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:1080 ft / 329 m
    Distance:3 mi / 4.8 km
    Trailhead:CT-341  370 ft / 112 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack
Ascent Statistics
    Time Up:1 Hours 15 Minutes

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