Trimountain or Tri-mountain, est. , is a traprock mountain located southeast of Meriden, Connecticut. It is part of the narrow, linear Metacomet Ridge that extends from Long Island Sound near New Haven, Connecticut, north through the Connecticut River Valley of Massachusetts to the Vermont border. Trimountain is known for its scenic cliff faces, unique microclimate ecosystems, and rare plant communities. The mountain is traversed by the Mattabesett Trail.
Trimountain is located in Durham
and Wallingford, Connecticut
. It takes its name from its overall triangular shape, its three southern pinnacles, and the three notches between the pinnacles. A prominent landscape feature that rises above the surrounding valleys, Trimountain is roughly long by wide, although the steepness of the terrain makes the actual square mileage much larger. Although Trimountain has been subject to intensive quarrying
, which has obliterated much of the northwestern face of the mountain, the Mattabesett Trail
still traverses the southern pinnacles and the wooded eastern side of the mountain.
The Metacomet Ridge continues north from Trimountain as Besek Mountain and south as Fowler Mountain. The east side of Trimountain drains into the Coginchaug River, thence to the Connecticut River and Long Island Sound; the west side drains into the Muddy River, thence into the Quinnipiac River and Long Island Sound.
Geology and ecology
Trimountain, like much of the Metacomet Ridge, is composed of basalt
, also called traprock, a volcanic
rock. The mountain formed near the end of the Triassic Period
with the rifting
apart of the North American
continent from Africa
welled up from the rift and solidified into sheets of strata hundreds of feet thick. Subsequent faulting
activity tilted the strata, creating the cliffs and ridgeline of Trimountain. Hot, dry upper slopes, cool, moist ravines, and mineral-rich ledges of basalt talus
produce a combination of microclimate
ecosystems on the mountain that support plant and animal species uncommon in greater Connecticut. Trimountain is also an important raptor
migration path. (See Metacomet Ridge
for more information on the geology and ecosystem of Trimountain).
Conservation and Recreation
Trimountain is used for hiking
, cross country skiing
, and snowshoeing
. The mountain is traversed by the Mattabesett Trail (maintained by the Connecticut Forest and Park Association
), which stretches from the northern end of Lamentation Mountain
, south to Totoket Mountain
and north again to the Connecticut River. Trimountain State Park, and undeveloped property, is located on the southeastern side of the mountain. A trailhead for the Mattabesett Trail on Trimountain is located at the junction of Connecticut Route 68
and Connecticut Route 157
in Reeds Gap between Trimountain and Besek Mountain, west of Durham center.
The ridgeline of Trimountain and its ecosystem is most threatened by quarrying and suburban development. The quarry on the western side of the mountain was approximately as of 2007.
In 2000, Trimountain was included in a study by the National Park Service for the designation of a new National Scenic Trail now tentatively called the New England National Scenic Trail, which would include the Metacomet-Monadnock Trail in Massachusetts and the Mattabesett Trail and Metacomet Trail trails in Connecticut.
The Wallingford Land Trust and the Middlesex Land Trust have been active in conserving the viewshed of Trimountain.
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