9. Chocomount Trail
The Chocomount Trail is a composite of four different walking areas. The trailhead with greatest ease of parking and access is located on the road to the Chocomount Beach parking lot. The entrance is on the west side of the road approximately 0.1 miles north of the parking lot.
This trail is wooded with moderate elevation changes. You’ll pass under a canopy of Black Cherry, Oak, and Red Maple. A great number of resident birds, including Cedar Waxwings and Gray Catbirds, are usually visible in the treetops. Patience is required to catch sight of the other residents, as the forest understory is very thick. Along this section of trail there is an overlook into a large freshwater marsh. Covered in Water-willow, this is the largest of a series of kettle hole wetlands occurring in the hollow to the south of the trail. In the spring, the trills of Spring Peepers, the tiny tree frogs often seen on the trail, fill the air. There is a nice mixture of attractive ground cover including Canada Mayflower, Star-flowered False Solomon’s Seal, and Clubmoss. This section of the trail emerges on a private road opposite the eastern entrance to the Treasure Pond Trail.
The trail continues south along the road, where an impressive planting of New York Ferns flourishes on one side and, in August, extensive beds of Jewelweed with their edible seeds abound on the opposite side. The dirt road segment of the trail continues onto a short wooded path down to Chocomount Beach. Note the profusion of False Solomon’s Seal at the beginning of the path. Depending on the tide and time of day, you may see a number of plovers at the water’s edge, including the endangered Piping Plover. The brackish pond above the beach is frequented by a variety of egrets and herons. The rock formation that juts out from the beach marks the final resting place of the Thelma Phoebe, a rumrunner that wrecked in 1923. Above the wrack line amongst the rocks are Beach Pea, Sea Rocket, and other hardy beach flora. At the east end of the beach is a path that returns to the parking lot.
2021 UPDATE: Visitors will notice a new spur that leads to and from the trail directly opposite the Chocomount Cove trailhead. This facilitates walking directly between the two trails and crossing the main road at an intersection, so it’s safer.
Along the Chocomount Trail work has been done to expose an impressive boulder that had been previously obscured and covered by bullbriers. There are three large glacial erratic rocks in close proximity and nearly aligned with each other, indicative of their deposition by glacier. Although Bull Rock [on the main road] is the most exposed above ground, the other two may be largely underground and unseen, like icebergs.
An effort has also been made to eliminate invasive plants, particularly porcelain berry. Dumped logs, stumps, rocks and white-faced hornets’ nests have also been removed.