The paths less traveled: Connecticut’s trails

Hike CT trails

Connecticut is home to hundreds of miles of trails. No matter where you live or work, you’re probably just minutes away from a trail system that can take you away from the hustle and bustle of life.

The trails include the:

  • Rails to trails systems, like the Airline State Park Trail (50 miles), Farmington Canal Heritage Trail (58 miles) and Hop River State Park Trail (20 miles);
  • Blue-blazed hiking trail system, with 825 miles of foot paths that run deep in the state’s forests and woodlands;
  • Fifty-one miles of the historic Appalachian Trail (AT) that jogs along the northwest section of the state. The AT is the longest hiking-only trail in the world. It spans about 2,200 miles from Georgia to Maine; and
  • Other recreational foot paths in state, city and town parks.

On the trails, you can hike, bike, walk, run or simply explore nature. And that’s good for your health. Check out the five benefits of being active in the outdoors.

Are you a regular Connecticut trails traveler? Look at these images and try to figure out where the photos were taken. We’ll give you some hints, and answers are at the end of this post.

1. This stairway can be spotted on Macedonia Road in Kent. Climb the stairs and follow the path up 1,160 feet high to Caleb’s Peak. What’s the name of this trail? Appalachian Trail

2. It may be a small trail system, but it offers expansive and breath-taking waterfront views. According to the state, this trail system is tucked inside “the last remaining significant piece of undeveloped land along the Connecticut coastline.” Where is this trail located?Bluff point fishers island

3. You can literally take a city bus to this trail system. There you can climb 365 feet to visit the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument. Or, avoid the elevation and just follow the trail along the Mill River. In what city is this trail system?East Rock New Haven

4. Anyone driving along I-91 can spot this tower in the distance. It’s one of the best places for leaf peeping in the fall. You can get to the tower through various trails. Take a well-travelled, but steep uphill path from Simsbury. Or follow a leaf-covered narrow trail from West Hartford that’s filled with rocks and roots. What’s the name of this tower?Tower

5. Park along Route 66 in Middlefield and follow the blue trail for views of busy I-91 and the Connecticut Police Academy below. Name that mountain.Mount Higby

6. This trail system is appropriately named. It’s rocky, tough and rough, but views from the top of this mountain preserve in Berlin and Southington are worth the trip. What’s the name of this mountain preserve?Ragged Mountain

7. You can start this trail by going through one of Connecticut’s covered bridges. Along the way, you can see the frame of an abandoned car deep inside the woods. It’s a familiar landmark to travelers of this trail. What’s the name of this trail?Salmon River Trail

8. Run or hike the trails here, and you will navigate through body parts, like the right and left legs, right and left hips, right foot, chest and head. Some of the foot paths are easy to travel with built-in stairs. Other trails require you to clamber over rocks and ledges. Where are these trails located?Sleeping Giant Tower

9. High above the Wilbur Cross Highway is a trail system not visible to the motoring public below. It runs from New Haven to the quiet neighborhoods of Hamden. Name this trail system.

1. Appalachian Trail | 2. Bluff Point State Park in Groton |  3. East Rock Park in New Haven | 4. Heublein Tower in Simsbury | 5. Higby Mountain | 6. Ragged Mountain | 7. Salmon River Trail | 8. Sleeping Giant State Park | 9. West Rock Ridge State Park