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If you enjoy hiking and want to experience the vast range of scenery in New England, hiking in Connecticut is for you. During the spring, summer, and fall months, Connecticut hiking is a great way to observe wildlife and get some exercise as you breathe in the fresh air. From dense forested woodlands to coastal maritime towns, there is a diverse range of Connecticut hiking trails to choose from.
There is a range of trail offerings in Connecticut, ranging from beginning level to expert level. Most trails in Connecticut fall somewhere in the middle. Some of the best Connecticut hiking trails are a part of the 700-mile Blue-Blazed Trail System which is managed by the Connecticut Forest and Park Association.
Appalachian National Scenic Trail
The Appalachian National Scenic Trail is a great trail for intermediate hikers. Although the terrain is varied and crosses through crumbling rocks and rivers in some areas, the path is clearly marked by signage and the numerous benches along the way make it easy to sit down and take a break. This national scenic trail is over 2,000 miles long and extends all the way from Georgia to Maine. The Connecticut portion of the trail goes from Kent to St. John Ledges and will provide a rigorous Connecticut hike complete with a non-intimidating cliff at the end of the hike.
Bear Mountain in Mount Riga State Park
One of the best parts about hiking in Connecticut is the chance to see unparalleled views of New England’s most beautiful scenery including wild flowers and forested valleys. The Bear Mountain in Mount Riga Park is one of the most popular places to hike in Connecticut and is also the most challenging. Prepare for the unexpected- falling trees may obstruct your path and stubborn boulders may be a challenge to get around. Since a day long Connecticut hike at the park isn’t enough, consider camping overnight and making your journey last for several days. Keep in mind that having the proper gear and the right shoes is necessary.
Cathedral Pines and Mohawk Mountain
Hiking in Connecticut and skiing during the same vacation is a great reason to visit Cathedral Pines and Mohawk Mountain. This beginner’s level trail is a little over three and a half miles long and will give you the chance to venture through forests as you take the Connecticut hike of a lifetime. You can even see the destruction path of a tornado. There is an abundance of accommodations such as hotels and bed and breakfasts in the area as well, so consider hiking at Cathedral Pines for multiple days.
Farmington Canal Linear State Park Trail
Sometimes, people want an easy Connecticut hiking trail where they don’t have to worry about tripping over rocks or hopping over streams. This popular 6 mile trail in New Haven County focuses more on the scenery of the area and less on challenging hikers with topography. Visitors can look forward to gentle asphalt, grass, and gravel terrain, and plenty of benches along the way. Wide solid bridges make this Connecticut hiking destination accessible to people with disabilities.
The Northern Nipmuck Trail
The Northern Nipmuck Trail, near Hartford, is suitable for all ability levels because of its flat and unchallenging terrain. The looped dirt trail is 5 miles long and features mostly wooded landscapes that nature lovers will enjoy. Hikers will venture through a section of the Yale Forest and will eventually end up back at their starting point.
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