“A loop in Canaan State Park with an exciting descent.”
— Adam Linstedt
Middle Ridge Trail has a loop configuration that can be accessed from multiple points. A parking area near the main lodge of Canaan State Park is indicated as the starting point here. Recent work has improved the first section, which briefly descends to a wooden bridge section over mud bogs after which the trail branches left and right for the loop.
Staying to the left takes you up a steep narrow section that will probably have you hiking at some point. Before long it tops out and the trail reaches a junction with the Ridge Top Trail
which leads to Club Run Trail
. Stay to the right and continue climbing to the small ridge. The trail then goes along this ridge ultimately taking you on a fun, but rough, descent.
Expect some rocks, exposed roots and small ledges of at least moderate difficulty, but nothing extreme. Note that this section is all makeable in the upward direction, so for those that enjoy a challenging climb, it is well worth ascending it as well. Upon reaching the bottom, there is a signpost marking the junction with Allegheny Trail (Canaan Mountain to Canaan State Park)
Stay to the right to stay on Middle Ridge Trail noting the beautiful meadow and Blackwater River headwaters. The trail leaves the meadow and climbs a short steep, makeable section and then continues its way back down to the start/finish of the loop. To complete the trail, stay to the left and return across the bridge to the parking area.