In the Nutmeg State, we are lucky to have so many state parks, land preserves, state forests, and other access to nature. These 12 Connecticut hiking towns stand out for their remarkable trails that lead through and to some amazing places of beauty.
Middlefield offers a magnificent hiking option that is one of the most scenic in Connecticut. The Mattabesett and Mount Higby Trail is an 8.9-mile trail (out and back) that runs along cliffs allowing for panoramic vistas along the way.
974 acres await you at the Steep Rock Preserve in Washington. Multiple trails cross the property making it easy to discover something different each time you hike. The abandoned train tunnel is hauntingly beautiful and the Shepaug River offers several scenic spots in this incredible land preserve.
Bigelow Hollow State Park is located within the Nipmuck State Forest. Explore many of the well-marked trails around the park. Avid hikers will love the seven-mile loop from the park entrance around the pond that features water views and many interesting rock formations.
Devil's Den Preserve is the largest preserve in Fairfield County and has enough hiking trails to keep you moving all day. Explore 20 miles worth of trails that pass tiny waterfalls, babbling streams, rusting relics, stone walls, and more. Don't forget your camera for this outing.
Barkhamsted offers the majestic beauty of the Tunxis trail. This 9-mile trail (out and back) meanders through Enders State Forest. Enjoy your forest walk as you make your way to the big payoff of Indian Council Caves.
The Talcott Mountain trail is only 2.5 miles, but this short hike has some captivating views. The endpoint is the awe-inspiring Heublein Tower that stretches upwards in majestic fashion. Spectacular scenery for miles awaits you along the ridge-line and atop the tower.
With over 35 miles of gorgeous hiking trails at White Memorial Conservation Center, Litchfield wins a spot on our list of great Connecticut hiking towns. Enjoy the popular boardwalk trail that traverses stunning wetlands or choose an interpretive nature trail for your walk. For more information about the conservation center, read this
Mine Hill Preserve allows you to journey through an abandoned mining town while enjoying a four-mile hike. Sights include abandoned mine shafts, granite quarry, blast furnaces, and more. Plan to spend some time here and learn while you explore. Find out more about the history of this site in this
In Wolcott's Peterson Park you will find the beginning of the Mattatuck Trail. The forested trail offers views of the Mad River, plenty of greenery in the form of ferns, moss-covered boulders, and tree canopy. Follow the trail for the entire 5.7 miles (crossing some roads at times) and you will land at Buttermilk Falls, a cascading natural wonder hidden in the forest.
10. East Haddam
Several choices of hiking trails from easy to moderate are available at Devil's Hopyard State Park. The wooded park is expansive, so you will never see everything in just one visit. The main attraction is the falls which are breathtaking any time of the year.
Southbury offers up Larkin Bridle Path a 10.5-mile trail from end to end. Cutting through rock and shrouded by tall trees at some points, the trail feels almost otherworldly. In the spring, wildflowers add to the enchantment of this trail.
12. East Haven
Although East Haven right on the shoreline might seem an unlikely choice for a noteworthy Connecticut hiking town, we think otherwise. Farm River State Park is a hidden gem that is well worth exploring. Although small in size at only 62-acres, the rocky coast and tidal marshes provide a superb backdrop for all the local wildlife you can encounter on the trails.
Which of these Connecticut hiking towns are your favorites? Did we miss any that you love and think should be added to our list? Let us know in the comments section below.
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