Take a hike: Best spots to hike and walk in Southwestern Connecticut
By Carol A. Mihelik
on May 18, 2016 11:01 AM
Lake Zoar Trail, Lower Paugussett Sate Forest, Newtown
whole blue-trail loop, 6.5 miles, may be too much for beginners but a
good option is to follow the trail from the parking lot on Great Quarter
Road to Prydden Falls, 1.6 miles. Even though the trail follows the
shoreline it does have ups and down, and some rocky bits. The Falls can
be found by taking a short but steep side trail down to the shore. It is
a perfect place to have lunch or snack. See the CT DEEP site for a
Mianus River Park, Greenwich and Stamford This 991-acre...photo-10556396.129749 - |ucfirst
The Ives Trail and Greenway including Tarrywile Park, Danbury
Ives Trail meanders 20 miles from Redding up through Bethel and Danbury
to Bennett’s Pond in Ridgefield. With so much to see hike along one of
the sections, no need to do it all in one hike. Just this spring I hiked
along Tarrywile’s wide and well-used trails and got an expansive view
of Danbury from the Mootry Peak Lookout. The yellow trail to the view
was steep and strenuous but there are easier hikes to be found with
walks through fields and gentler woodlands.
Photo: Jon Edford / Hearst Connecticut Media Group
The Ives Trail and Greenway including Tarrywile Park, Danbury...photo-9437847.129749 - |ucfirst
Connecticut Audubon Centers in Connecticut
For families and anyone who wants to learn more about birds and wildlife. The Roy and Margot Larsen Wildlife Sanctuary in Fairfield and Audubon Greenwich are just a few. Other locations to learn about nature and take short walks are the New Canaan Nature Center, Stamford Museum and Nature Center, and the Ansonia Nature Center & Recreation Center.
Devils Den Preserve, Weston and Redding This Nature...photo-3238881.129749 - |ucfirst
Kettletown Park, Oxford
Located on the north shore of Lake Zoar, Kettletown offers hikes for all abilities and various loop hikes in addition to swimming, fishing and camping. From the Crest and Miller trails there are impressive views overlooking Lake Zoar. Along both trails are also charcoal hearth sites. For more information and map visit the CT DEEP site. A short distance away is Southford Falls State Park.
Kettletown Park, Oxford Located on the north shore of Lake...photo-8571878.129749 - |ucfirst
Lillinonah Trail and Al’s Trail, Newtown
A portion of the Lillinonah loop trail in Upper Paugussett State Forest is part of the Al’s Trail Greenway in Newtown. I have hiked the loop trail and sections can be strenuous but the water views are worth the effort. For the blue-blazed Lillinonah loop, visit the CT DEEP site for a detailed map. Visit www.alstrail.org for Al’s trail history and trail maps for sections that go through Rocky Glen State Park and encircle McLaughlin Vineyards.
Lillinonah Trail and Al’s Trail, Newtown A portion of the...photo-8121052.129749 - |ucfirst
Paugussett Trail, Shelton and Monroe
This 13.5-mile blue trail has grown over the years and now reaches from Buddington Road, in Shelton to East Village Road in Monroe, passing through Shelton Lakes, and continuing through Indian Well State Park and onwards through Webb Mountain Park and beyond. There is some street walking but for the most part it is through the woods.
Paugussett Trail, Shelton and Monroe This 13.5-mile blue trail...photo-6727253.129749 - |ucfirst
Pequonnock River Valley, Trumbull
This Park is wedged between Rt. 25 and the Pequonnock River and continues up to Wolf and Old Mine parks. The trails can be confusing because of all the mountain bike trails but it’s easy to follow the blue trail that for the most part follows the river shore. See the old earthen dam and walk through the area that used to be covered by a reservoir. The walk along the river is cool, even in summer. For non-residents of Monroe or Trumbull, park at the commuter parking lot on Park Street, off of Daniels Farm Road, Exit 9, Route 25. Walk to the end of road to start the hike. There is a small stream crossing at the beginning of the hike.
On the other side of the river, and visible from the blue trail is the Pequonnock River Trail, which is a greenway, mutil-use trail that extends from Bridgeport to Newtown.
Pequonnock River Valley, Trumbull This Park is wedged between...photo-6771192.129749 - |ucfirst
Sleeping Giant State Park, Hamden
This very popular park offers views of New Haven and Long Island Sound. It also has many trails that crisscross the park, from the easier green trail to the difficult and rocky White Trail. Please have a map. The 1.5 mile-Tower Trail/Road takes you to a stone observation tower. www.sgpa.org