Ragged Mountain Preserve Trail
From West Lane, access is to the Ragged Mountain Preserve Trail, which is marked by blue blazes with a red center dot. From the gate at the entrance, the trail follows a woods road and splits. Bear left at the fork, looking for the loop trail blazes. The trail ascends a hill and turns south through a wooded area. Soon you will be hiking along bare rock ledge and cliff areas with excellent views. Ragged Mountain is a large volcanic formation comprised of basalt rock, which is part of the Holyoke Range, a single rock that extends well into Massachusetts. Owl's Lair is one of the larger bare rock areas on the way to Ragged Mountain's primary destination, a large south-facing exposed rock and cliff (670 ft).
At the summit of Ragged Mountain (1.7 mi), the loop trail meets the main Metacomet Trail (now blue-blazed without the red dot) and heads north. You hike through wooded areas and reach the highest elevation of the hike, at 761' above sea level. Soon you walk along the west-facing cliffs overlooking Southington and Wesel Reservoirs. Be sure to turn right onto the Ragged Mountain Preserve Trail, again blue blazes with a red center dot (3.1 mi) if you are returning to your car at West Lane.
The north loop is mostly easier to hike, proceeding along a narrow foot trail. About 1.3 miles after leaving the Metacomet main trail (4.4 mi.), you will be at a junction of the loop trails. Be sure to follow the loop trail to the right, northerly down a woods road. The trail will soon turn to the south, passing the backgrounds of Shuffle Meadow golf course. The trail will soon make a right turn up a rugged, rocky ascent and then descend. After the trail joins another woods road, the West Lane entrance will soon appear ahead.