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Connecticut Hiking Trail Finder
This site is designed to provide organized access to informative Connecticut hiking websites. Hiking enthusiasts like you have created excellent web pages on Connecticut hiking trails -- then posted those pages on free web servers -- only to be ignored by search engines. The purpose of this site is to provide a way to find these personal hiking pages, and make your research easier.
- Appalachian Trail Connecticut section info on a great "unofficial" AT site by Kathy Bilton, Shepherdstown, WV.
- Appalachian Trail webpages chronicles a 1987 thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. You'll have to dig to find the CT section; used to have a direct link but they move it around. Well-written, informative, slightly wacky site by HAE Natick, MA.
- Appalachian Trail Site by CT chapter of the AMC. Although this is listed as a "history" page, it is extremely informative for AT hikers.
- Appalachian Trail gearing up for a thru-hike commencing April 1, 2006, this is a log & photo type site by CT's own Carrie and Derrick Ellis. Also has some maps and photos and whatnot from their involvement with the Meshomasic Hiking Club. If you're planning an AT thru hike, you'll find some pretty good info on this site.
- Bluff Point (Groton) trip report of a winter dayhike to the well-known spot offering views of New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and of course the Sound. Enjoyable reading with photos on the AdventureMatters.com website.
- Farmington Valley Greenway and a spur route, the Farmington River Trail, are part of the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail covering 60 miles along the abandoned rail corridors from the Massachusetts border to New Haven. Official site.
- General Connecticut Forest and Park Association (CFPA) has 700 miles of Blue-Blazed Hiking Trails which were built by volunteers over the past 68 years. These trails are maintained by some 400 volunteers on a year-round basis. This particular page focuses on Trail Maintenance activities, but of course you can launch into other parts of the site from here. We just happen to think this stuff is important... trimming overgrowth, removing blowdowns and installing waterbars, steps and bridges, etc. Good group, nice site.
- General Rails to Trails page for Connecticut. Valuable links to trails, organizations, etc.
- General Links & info page by A1 Trails.com. Links to Trail descriptions, maps, etc.
- General Appalachian Mountain Club Connecticut chapter. Club with sponsored hikes, activities, AT maintenance.
- General -- CT Waterfalls celebrates the cascades of Connecticut with photos, directions, info; worth a look for the photos alone...not to mention the outstanding hiking destinations. Good site by David Ellis.
- General -- CT Explorer's Guide This is a state-wide hub of information for hikers, cyclers, climbers, paddlers and campers. Bryan McFarland and crew have been continuously updating and enhancing this site, adding new long distance trail maps and guides for the CT portion of the Appalachian Trail and the Metacomet trail. There are also dozens of new local hard to find trail map links under the Trail Networks page. Good detail on the Mattabesett Trail and other key hikes. Site has photos, state park stuff, oddball local places...quite in-depth. They've added an Adventure Forum as well, sort of a running discussion on CT outdoors. It has a good volume of info and registered users. Overall, this site has a lot of info happening; I'm now enthusiastically calling it a "must click."
- Hockanum Trails Bicycle-Free trail network along the Hockanum River in Manchester, CT. Comprised of a number of shorter loop trails, spur trails, etc. Good informative site; outstanding policy.
- Miller Pond State Park near Middletown. This is an interesting narrative of a walk along the pond. Not really any info here, just interesting reading. Leave the cel phone at home.
- Miller Pond Official State webpage, good info here, lots of photos, geology, facts & stuff. Good good good. Let's have more state websites like this one!
- New Haven Area in case you didn't know it, the city of New Haven has some wicked cool parks to hike in. East Rock and West Rock Parks are my two favorites. Anyway, click the page, the good city has plenty of info, photos, maps, etc. waiting for you on the individual park pages.
- Paugussett Trail Shelton and Monroe, Connecticut Excellent site with descriptions, photos, maps. by Teresa Gallagher. Excellent, must-see webpage for the CT hiker.
- Shelton Trails info on trails in the Shelton Lakes area. Excellent site by Teresa Gallagher.
- Shoreline Greenway Trail 25 mile multi-use trail that will connect Lighthouse Point in New Haven to Hammonasset State Park in Madison. Currently under construction a section at a time, in the four shoreline towns of East Haven, Branford, Guilford, and Madison, Connecticut. Plan is to connect parks, railroad stations, village centers, and other trails for non-motorized recreation and transit. I like this kind of stuff; imagine a day when a brisk 7/10 mile walk downtown for that gallon of milk is the rule, not the exception. In the meantime, all aboard the monster SUVs. Sorry, I digress. This is a good website and a noble project. Get involved -- if you live in any of those communities, and you're on this website, you really ought to help out some way. Check it out.
- Simsbury Area Hiking Guide This is an incredible site. It's a full-blown, professionally-produced e-book that is simply free for the taking...unbelievable...outstanding. If you live anywhere near Simsbury (west of Hartford) you positively must check out this link. Each segment features clear, professional maps, descriptions, and detailed info. "Chapters" include: The Western Highlands, Hedgehog Trail, The Cathles Trail, Mclean Game Refuge, Onion Mountain Park, Riverwalk Nature Trail, Nod Brook,
Sand Plain Forests, Great Pond State Forest, Stratton Brook State Park, Stillbrook Open Space, Bushy Hill and Stratton Brook, Ethel Walker School Trails, Belden Forest, The Terry's Pain Area, Simsbury Farms Family Fitness Trail, The Farmington Valley, Metacomet Trail, Penwood State Park, Talcott Mountain State Park...along with other area hiking information. If these folks realize what they have, they'll probably start charging for it...and it would be worth it. Just the idea that you can get this for free -- makes me think this whole internet thing may catch on.
- Webb Mt. Trail Monroe, CT. Excellent site with descriptions, photos, maps. by Teresa Gallagher. All-encompassing; what trail sites should be.
- West Rock Nature Center New Haven. Ravines, rocks, nature trails; popular educational complex adjacent to West Rock Tunnel. Site by City of New Haven.
No more malls, please...
Not many hikers promote construction of racetracks -- and I won't either, at least not the way they are built today. But there was a time when the Danbury Speedway was one of the great tracks of the northeast, and all the greats raced there...Foyt, Andretti, Petty, Donahue...Grass parking lots, unobtrusive grandstands, wide oval track. It was out in the middle of some old farm fields, on the fairgrounds, the way racetracks ought to be.
As a lover of the outdoors, you probably think I'm crazy...what could possibly be good about a racetrack!? Well, see if you can guess what it was replaced by. (A hideous steel and glass shopping mall).
But I digress. I was originally going to jot down a few ideas about the outstanding hiking opportunities afforded by a relatively small, densely populated state. I started thinking about all the changes I've seen over the years...so many people, so much construction, too many malls. But despite these pressures, the good people of Connecticut have managed to maintain and even increase the number of hiking trails.
In addition to the Simsbury e-book listed above, I recommend
50 Hikes in Connecticut: From the Berkshires to the Coast by David Hardy, Gerry Hardy & Sue Hardy. Like most of the 50 hikes books, it won't win any awards for graphics or layout, but it will keep you on the right trail...and some pretty outstanding trails to boot. This link will save you a couple of bucks on Amazon...grab a used copy to save even more.
Another book I recommend is Best Hikes With Children in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, by Cynthia and Thomas Lewis. You'll be doing well if you can simply keep up with your children on these hikes. Seriously, we underestimate what kids can do, so we take them on dopey 1/4 mile nature loops and wonder why they don't get excited about hiking. This book will set you straight.
You have to applaud the citizenry for knocking down the toll booths on I-95. It used to seem like there was a toll plaza every ten miles, so here's three cheers for the Nutmeg State.
While I'm on my soapbox, Connecticut has a few unusual sites that modern society is rather unfamiliar with. These are, among other things, colonial root cellars, ice cellars, stones to render lye soap, stone quarry works, farm field piles, frost upheavals, and other natural or man-made phenomena. These are NOT evidence of mystics, Atlantis, ancient astronomers, or Druids. Sorry.
-- Rick Bolger
Please click here for the Slackpacker web site
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