Distance from Nearest Road: 1.1 miles
Distance from Nearest Trail: 0.3 miles
Cell Phone Coverage: Yes
Public Land: Yes–Canaan Mountain Natural Area Preserve within Housatonic State Forest
Travel Method: Hiking
Travel Distance One-Way: 2.1 miles
Project Remote is working to precisely calculate and travel to the remotest locations in each of the 50 United States. Below is a written account of our day hike to document the Connecticut Remote Spot. This is our 19th state Remote Spot documented as part of Project Remote.
Our trip into the remotest mainland spot in Connecticut is quite short. We are accompanied by our nephew, Cameron, who is taking this picture. A foot trail guides us to the Spot through the Canaan Mountain Natural Area Preserve. A mixed hardwood and coniferous forest cloaks the hilly landscape…
We frequently encounter fairly recent storm damage to the forest…”Damage” such as this is natural in the successional history of forests. When a tree or trees fall, an opening in the canopy lets in sunlight to the ground. Increased sunlight on the ground provides a nursery for tree and plant reproduction. Gotta get some new blood, or, should we say, “sap,” into the forest…
While looking down, we spot one of the many forest inhabitants–the spring peeper (Pseudacris crucifer), a small ground-dwelling chorus frog common to much of eastern North America. They get their name from their distinctive “peep” sounding call. You don’t often run into one of these outside of breeding season like this, probably because they are so cryptically colored.
This is a view northward from the Connecticut Mainland Remote Spot. We had to bushwhack-hike up a steep mountain slope 0.3 mile from the nearest foot hiking trail. The bushwhack took more time and energy to accomplish than the other 4 miles of the round-trip Remote Spot hike. We could hear a train as well as the nearest highway while standing on the CT Remote Spot in the mid afternoon.
The Remote Spot Assessment consists of spending 15 minutes recording quantitative data on human presence/absence. Specifically, one of us stands calm and observes all surroundings in the time alloted. We observe sights, sounds, and smells of anything of human origin, then we identify it, estimate distance, and record the compass bearing of the datum. This is an attempt to measure the current effects of humanity on remoteness in each state. Additional to the RSA, we also make wildlife observations. Last, and not least, we make high resolution, panoramic photo and video of the Remote Spot. Through Project Remote, we are quantitatively measuring remoteness as it currently exists in the United States. This work provides a baseline of information on remote (i.e. roadless) areas that is useful to current and future roadless area conservation efforts.
As we have mentioned throughout our website, there are many different definitions of remote, most of them qualitative. We define a Remote Spot as farthest different from a road or otherwise designated motorized vehicle route. But other factors come in to play when assessing how remote a Remote Spot really is – evidence of humans (while 8.2 miles from a road, we saw humans throughout our Massachusetts Remote Spot expedition), distance from a hiking trail (the New York Remote Spot was just steps from a trail), and ease of access. By all accounts, Connecticut’s mainland has the least remote Remote Spots of the 19 states in the eastern US we have documented. It was a quick jaunt from a parking area, we encountered other humans while setting out on the trail, we heard human sound while standing on the Spot, and at 1.1 miles from a road, the Mainland Remote Spot is the closest Remote Spot to a road.
That’s a wrap for our month-long journey of Project Remote Northeast…It turns out that THE remotest location in CT actually is on an island that we did not have access to at the time of our expedition. We have since obtained permission to visit the island that is not accessible to the public. Maine’s ultimate Remote Spot also is on an island, and there were logistical and access difficulties with that location as well. Looks like we may return one day to do those two spots…
–The Remote Spotters
Project Remote Fundraiser: After reading this website, you might be surprised at just how hard it is to get away from a road or a town nowadays–and instantly understand that we must now as a nation speak out to protect remaining public roadless areas from further roads development. Project Remote is now half-way done! Our goal is to raise funding simply to offset the cost of traveling frugally state by state, completing the documentary field work, and maintaining this website. This work depends on donations from people like you. If you like what we do, please make a donation to support Project Remote today. Thank you so very much for helping us to document and preserve Remote America…