The Bailey Road trail at Scantic River State park provides a quick and easy explore with a big payoff -- super cool ruins of an old Gun Powder Factory to explore. You'll find amazing old things in the woods here. (See my review of another leg of Scantic River State Park at Powder Hollow here).
There are a few obvious paths here -- you sort of need to just wander around until you can pick up the main trail. Follow the trail straight along the canals that once powered this factory. Keep an eye out for all kinds of cool factory remains along the canals. Because of the required scrambles to get up on the old factory foundations, this is a big kid hike. I'd say like age 7 and up. If you have a baby in tow you definitely need a carrier. No strollers here.
If anyone is your hiking party has a thing about heights, please be sensitive -- climbing up some of the foundations and canal supports can be triggering for some (sorry, Auntie). If you're going to explore the ruins it's definitely a hand-holding experience for anyone under age 8. The trail itself is pretty flat, clear and easy. If you have a history nerd or hard core explorer in the family they are going to adore this outing.
You'll reach the end of the hike once you reach the Scantic River. If you gently explore around the roots of the biggest tree at the end of the trail at the riverbed (the one with the rope swing) you'll likely find a cool snake den. I'm not sure about entering the water here. The end of the trail is very close to folks' backyards and the water is a bit stagnant here. Not as fun as down the road at the Powder Hollow park. We usually just follow the return path out to the street and walk back to the car.
This is a quick hike -- an hour at the most. There are no facilities on the trail. Look for the dirt pull off with the trail head sign -- the GPS lists it as 13-101 Bailey Road. Look for this:
For a rough direction, if you pull onto Bailey Road from Broadbrook Road, drive bout 0.5 miles and you'll see dirt pulloffs for parking. That's when you know you're there. If you visit in summer or fall, you can make an afternoon of it and visit Easy Pickin's Orchard which is right across the way at 46 Bailey Road.
I'm sure you'll love this trail as much as we do. Drop us a comment below when you visit and let us know what you think! See you on the trail! #hikingwithkids #newenglandlife