Summer is over, here at the October Country Inn. Clear skies and cooler weather usher in the changing of the forest’s colors from brilliant greens to muted reds, oranges and yellows. This will soon turn to white as the temperature continues to drop and Winter’s snowfall sets in. We’ve been putting off an afternoon’s exploration of the Slack Hill Trail all Summer. And we realized that window was soon to close if we didn’t seize the moment. Therefore, the Slack Hill Trail in Coolidge State Park became a priority. So, we drove to the Park’s entrance. It’s a narrow, steep paved road leading off of Route 100A about 6 miles south of Bridgewater Corners junction at Rt. 100A and U.S. Route 4.
It’s a well marked trail.
The trail can be accessed from the Park entrance station, or a mile up the park road across from the picnic area. The trail is well-marked with blue blazes, and is easy to follow. It’s still easy to follow when the entire forest floor is covered with a blanket of fallen leaves. Start at the park entrance station trailhead. The trail climbs moderately through the mixed hardwood forest for about 1/2 mile. You will come to a marked junction. A signpost shows the way to a .3 mile spur trail that returns to the park entrance station. The main trail continues in the opposite direction. It climbs moderately in places before descending a short distance. There’s a vista overlook near the 2,174 foot summit of Slack Hill. A log bench invites you to take a break. The summit of Mt. Ascutney is seen in the distance.
The total distance of this loop trail is 3.2 miles.
The trail continues, alternately climbing and descending, for another mile to the picnic area parking lot. It’s another .8 of a mile downhill along the paved park road back to the starting point for a total loop distance of 3.2 miles. A 2 mile out-and-back to the Slack Hill vista point option is to start from, and return to the picnic area trailhead. Or, the loop option can be extended from the point where the trail meets the picnic area road by picking up the CCC trail and following it back to the park entrance station for a total loop distance of 3.6 miles. The park is open year round, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing is a Winter activity option. During the Summer, a day use fee may be charged.