There is no portending evil in the title of this short walk. Dark Entry Ravine is quite the contrary of its inauspicious name. It is a pleasant and delightful natural feature that emits an atmosphere of blithesome well-being.
Dark Entry Ravine is on the Appalachian Trail in the town of Cornwall, Litchfield County. The ravine is the course of Bonney Brook as it cascades toward the west between Coltsfoot Mountain to the north and Bald Mountain on the south.
The beginning of the trail leading to Dark Entry Ravine is reached by following road map routes to the juncture of Rts.4 and U.S.7, at Cornwall Bridge. From this junction follow Rt.U.S.7 south 500 feet to the Appalachian Trail crossing. The trail is marked on the east shoulder of the highway by a blue oval sign lettered in white with the trail name. The trail is also indicated by painted white-blazes on trees and rocks.
Leave car parked well off the traveled portion of the highway. Take trail toward the east entering mature woods and ascending lower contours of Coltsfoot Mountain, then descending into Dark Entry Ravine. The blazed trail follows Bonney Brook upstream through a heavily forested notch with attractive waterfalls and pools.
Along this section of trail is to be found a typical Appalachian Trail lean-to shelter with fireplace. On the shelter is a sign, placed there by members of the Appalachian Mountain Club,with this warning in part--"This trail and area is patrolled at regular intervals....Anyone guilty of destroying or defacing property or cutting down living trees..will be prosecuted...."
What a sad commentary on human nature it is that a sign of this type is necessary to warn up against destroying and befouling those things which gave us pleasure and sustenance.Are we instinctively urged by our preying past to still consider all things as booty to be plundered? The reason for this sign is the only dark spot in all of Dark Entry Ravine.
Leaving the lean-to the trail continues along the north bank, clinging to it just above the stream. In places the path across the tumbled boulders is rugged but not dangerous.
About two-thirds of the way up the stream the trail crosses to the south bank and follows an old woods road for a short distance. Near the top of the stream the trail crosses again to the north bank; leaving the brook it starts to ascend the east slope of Coltsfoot Mountain.
For a short comfortable walk it is wise not to press on too far. It would be advisable to return to your car after reaching the point where the trail leaves Bonney Brook.
One may spend many hours exploring this intriguing brook with its waterfalls,pools,cascades,and many other interesting features.