Chilly Day at Round Valley

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We were looking to get in a somewhat long workout hike with hills but no more than an hour away – and this fits the bill.

Here it is April yet I needed to wear a knit hat, gloves, and a buff AND didn’t need to remove a layer all day.

Any time now, Spring, any time.

** Detailed hike guide on our main Round Valley Recreation Area page. **

We’re actually not huge fans of the Cushetunk Trail.


Granted, the reservoir is beautiful, there’s a lot of trail, and a lot going on here (boating, swimming, scuba diving – seriously) … but we’ve always found the hiking here to be just ok.

Something about the surface, limited views, that the trail doesn’t circle the reservoir… something.

We only saw a few other hikers but in the last couple miles we passed several large groups of bikers coming in (trail is multi-use).

Cranked out 10.2 hilly miles in a little over 4 hours and then made a beeline for steaming hot vanilla lattes with an extra shot.

View of Round Valley Reservoir from the beach on Cushetunk Trail
Round Valley gravel beach

Random: Near the picnic pavilion I spotted something rarely seen and very seldom in the wild…. a pay phone.

Pay phone at the Round Valley pavillion

So I wandered over joking “hey Tom do you have 2 dimes so I can call my mom to pick us up from the mall???”

(Those who also grew up in the dark, dark days before cell phones recall making sure to have dimes so you could call for a ride)…

I was shocked it actually had a dial tone and tempted to call someone just to go “guess what I am calling from!” 

4 thoughts on “Chilly Day at Round Valley”

  1. I agree, the Cushetunk Trail isn’t one of my favorites either, especially since it’s mostly out and back on the same trail. But you can make a loop around the reservoir if you don’t mind 3 miles of road walking – take Cushetunk Trail, connect to the trails at Cushetunk Mtn Preserve county park, exit at the parking lot on Old Mountain Rd, follow Old Mtn Rd (a pleasant walk) to rt 629 (a little busier but still safe), re-enter the park at the north boat launch area and take Pine Tree Trail or Water Trail back to your start at Cushetunk Trail. But you have to do it off season between Labor Day and Memorial day – otherwise the gate by the boat launch area is locked and you can’t get to to the Pine Tree Trail section.

  2. Joe – Thanks for the info. Then I guess a variation of that would be to do a shuttle hike for those using 2 cars, leaving one car at Cushetunk Mtn Preserve, then you don’t have to backtrack.

  3. Hi Joe – I always want to do the loop around the reservoir but I have not seen any trail markers. I usually start from Pickel Park. I do not mind the road walk as long as I can add more miles. Can you please provide me a little more detailed steps that is easy to follow? Thanks

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