If you live in Connecticut and are frequently searching on the web for ‘best hiking trails near me.’ You will find thousands of miles of hikes in Connecticut.
From the sedate Macedonia Brook State Park on the Connecticut, New York state line, right up to Bigelow Hollow State Park just below the Massachusetts state line. You can find Brook State Park and others are on the outer reaches, but you can find plenty of state forest parks closer to home.
The state may be one of the smallest around, yet there is lots of diversity for hiking in Connecticut.
If you are stuck where to go, here are five of the best hiking trails in Connecticut, you can visit without travelling too far out of your way.
5 Best Hiking Trails in Connecticut
1.Talcott Mountain State Park
The Talcott Mountain State Park sits not too far from the side of the Farmington River. The river valley has the Heublein Tower as its most famous landmark.
Hikers can access this, and the trail to get there is 1.25 miles long. While short, it offers fantastic views, and you can see into New Hampshire, weather permitting.
Talcott Mountain has no fee in the parking lot so that you can take your time. The tower gives all-around views, so there is no limit to what you can view. Talcott Mountain State Park doesn’t take too long to complete, but once you reach the top, you can make use of the picnic area.
The state park offers a few other good hiking trails for beginners and is a great place to spend half the day without being overtaxing.
2. West Rock Ridge Loop
You may not know, but the West Rock Ridge Loop sits less than five miles outside of downtown New Haven.
You can find quiet hiking trails or the more rugged for experienced hikers. There are other outdoor activities, so there is plenty for all the family. You can absorb the scenic views from the South Overlook, and across the shore of Lake Wintergreen.
If you are taking the loop trail, it starts on the Regicides Trail where there is the rougher terrain in the park. You can take a detour and visit the Judges Cave, which makes an ideal place for kids to climb while you rest out of the sun.
Along the Purple Trail will take you to the Red Trail and the hardest part is toward the end where you encounter a steep climb, so you will need the best hiking pants to give you freedom. Once you reach this point, you are on the side of a ridge where you can stop for your picnic.
If you head back, or you are after more information, the Nature center across from the main entrance has all you need to know.
3. Sleeping Giant State Park
The Sleeping Giant Park is home to Mount Carmel, which at its highest point is 739 feet. The high mountain reserve park can be seen for miles, and when you climb to the top, you can see a great deal into the distance.
It is possible to get a view of the Long Island Sound, but if you want a better look, you have a much better view from Bluff Point State Park.
The name comes from the resemblance of a sleeping figure, and this you can see from the south or the north.
The park offers over 30 miles of trails, which comes with 5 miles of the Quinnipiac Trail. With over 22 to choose from, there is no shortage of the best hiking trails; you can visit for new hikers.
There are more than enough rocks to scramble over, so it is for the more experienced in places.
4. The Devils Hopyard
If you want to split your day, you can take in a half-day to the Devils Hopyard. This isn’t too far away in East Haddam and comes with some great CT. Hiking trails.
Being smaller, the Hopyard allows for many outdoor activities and is more of a recreation than a state park. Nevertheless, there is still some of the best Connecticut scenery; you can admire in the 1,000-acre park.
One of the main features is the Chapman falls, which drops over 60 feet. This drop covers a series of steps, which form a Scotland schist formation.
You can also make your way to vista point cliff, which rises 175 feet above Eightmile River. There are seven trails in total, and these comprise river trails, forest trails and others.
It caters for a variety of skill levels and has four moderate trails that rise to over 462 feet above sea level.
5. Bear Mountain
Bear Mountain sits close to the point where Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York meet. Its claim to fame is it is the highest peak Connecticut has to offer. One thing to note is that it may have a peak, which is the highest, yet it doesn’t reach the tallest point. That glory falls on Mount Frissell.
You begin where you park in the entrance to Mount Riga State Park. The first section is the Under Mountain Trail. This takes you over a 1,000 incline in less than 2-miles. The high mountain reserve has you crossing several streams, and then you turn onto the Appalachian Trail.
It is here the more advanced hikers can also feel it challenging. The Connecticut hiking trails climb steeply and cross the ridgeline with some rock scrambling thrown in for fun. Be sure you have one of the best hiking watches because you don’t want to find you break it.
You know when you are at the highest level of the Bear Mountain hike as you end up on a large flat rock. You can see all around and spot the Housatonic River in the distance that sits on the edge of the Falls State Park.
Making your way down is easier on the legs, yet you do need to watch for the rocks. You are treated to the Blue Blazes trail, and further on you can find the wild blueberry bushes on the Paradise Lane trail.
You may not find this in a hiking guide for beginners, yet it is one of the most rewarding when you have a bit more experience and more stamina.