The John F. Kennedy Hiking Trails at Bear
Mountain Reservation were dedicated on May 23, 1987 by James E. Dyer,
Mayor of Danbury. It is a cooperative project for outdoor
recreation by the Land & Water Conservation Fund. The
Reservation is looked after by the State of Connecticut, Department of
Interior, National Parks Service, and the Danbury Parks &
Once you have parked your car on the paved parking lot, proceed to the
gate and message board. On the message board you will find the
park rules, a topographical map of the reservations, and most
importantly a map for you to take on your quest. (I highly recommend
you take a copy of the map as there will be several places it may prove
Pass gate to the right of the message board. As you get onto
the trail, on your left you will pass the stone walls of an old barn
that was torn down several years ago. Continue down the trail
keeping the meadow to your right.
Soon you will come to several 6x6's that have been laid across
the trail. To your right you will come to a second meadow.
Continue on the Red Blazed Trail until you pass a stream and come to a
fork in the trail. You will notice both trails are marked with red
blazes. Continue on the Red Blazed Trail at a bearing of 165º.
As you follow the Red Blazed Trail, on your left you will come to a rock
wall with a birch tree that has six trunks. In front of you will
be the "Upper Meadow". Follow the trail heading east
taking you to the far right corner of this meadow. Notice all the
young white birch that border the meadow.
When you reach the back right corner of the meadow, you will be
faced with a choice of direction. To the right is the White Blazed
Trail. To the left is the Red & White Blazed Trail. You
want to head left on the Red & White Blazed Trail.
As you walk through the young white birch you will notice a
woodpecker's feast. Shortly after you will come to a tree that
marks the four way intersection of both the White and Red Blazed
Trails. Continue heading North on the White Blazed
You will leave the birch trees and head back into the meadow for
a short time before the trail bends back into the woods. Be
careful to stay on the White Blazed Trail. Cross over a rock wall
and then bear right over a second rock wall. You will be faced
with a fork in the trail. To the right is the White Blazed
Trail. To the left is the Violet Blazed Trail. Before making
this decision rest on the large flat rock that splits the trail.
Follow the Violet Blazed Trail up the side of the mountain. As you
near what looks like the summit the trail turns NNE. Shortly after
there is a split in the trail. Follow the Yellow Blazed Trail
keeping the mountain to your right.
When you reach "Bear Mountain Peak" take a moment to
enjoy the view through the trees. Find the largest of the boulders
(the one you can see under) and face due North. Take 34 steps to a
boulder with a fallen tree behind it. It is here that you will
find Bear Mountain State Park Letterbox #1 hidden under two slabs of
stone. Carefully stamp in and re-hide the letterbox before
continuing on your quest.
Continue on the Yellow Blazed Trail taking time to catch occasional
glimpses of Candlewood Lake. As you follow the Yellow Blazed Trail you
will come to a rock face with a large stone bearing the Violet Blazed
Trail marker. At this boulder, head South on the Purple Blazed
When you come to a "T" in the trail you have come to the end
of the Violet Blazed Trail. Follow the White Blazed Trail at
140º. At yet another split in the trail you have come to the end
of the White Blazed Trail and must follow the Red Blazed Trail at 210º.
Soon you will come across a stream that spills into Candlewood
Lake. Continue on the Red Blazed Trail past an intersection with
the Blue Blazed Trail. Shortly you will come to a wonderful view
of the Candlewood Lake with a rock face that is perfect for taking a
rest. When you have found your strength, continue on the Red
Eventually you will come to an intersection with the Green Blazed
Trail. Take a right and follow this trail a short ways.
Within moments you will come to and intersection with the Blue Blazed
Trail. Using your compass, look in the direction of 320º to a
dead tree stump up in the rock. It is here that you will find Bear
Mountain State Park Letterbox #2 in a cleft behind the tree stump.
Carefully stamp in and re-hide the letterbox before continuing on your
Retrace your steps on the Green Blazed Trail until you have returned to
the Red Blazed Trail. To your right, continue down the Red Blazed
Trail. You will come to an intersection with the Orange Blazed
Trail. Bear left staying on the Red Blazed Trail. A few
paces later you will come to a second intersection with the Orange
Blazed Trail. Bear right on the Red Blazed Trail.
You will see a huge boulder to your right as the
Red Blazed Trail bends to the North. As you head up the hill you
will come to an intersection where the Red Blazed Trail heads NW and an
unmarked trail to the NE. Continue on the Red Blazed Trail.
60 steps later you will find another intersection with an unmarked
trail. Go right on the Red Blazed Trail heading North. A
short distance later you will come to an intersection with the Yellow
Blazed Trail. Stay straight on the Red Blazed Trail. A few
paces after this intersection you will see a fallen oak tree with a
large boulder behind it.
Continue on the Red Blazed Trail. Pass a short rock wall on your
left. Pass through another rock wall. Pass a pile of rocks
on the right. Pass through another stone wall. Finally you
will have come to the intersection of the Red Blazed Trail and a small
trail from the "Upper Meadow". On the right you will see
milkweed. Look up to your right at 50º. You will see a
white birch. At its base you will find Bear Mountain State Park
Letterbox #3 under a slab of stone. Carefully stamp in and re-hide
the letterbox before returning to your car.
Continue on the Red Blazed Trail until you come to an intersection you
should recognize. Bear Left and head back to your car.
Return the map before leaving.
When you have completed the Bear Mountain Reservation Letterboxes
please email me about your letterboxing experience at … Letterboxer2002@yahoo.com