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Currently, the main map is only capable of displaying the 200 most recently added locations. If you want to see more of the hiking locations in your area try removing one of the categories from the sidebar. Or plug your town into the URL (i.e. exploreCT.org/mansfield). You can also use the search bar at the top of the page to narrow the search by activity (hiking, mountain biking), county (Windham, Tolland), or feature (waterfall, overlook)

Newest Additions

Yannatos Preserve

Yannatos Preserve

Avalonia Land Conservancy Property

14 acres in North Stonington, CT

Parking: Shoulder parking near 115 Clarks Falls Rd North Stonington, CT

Trail Map


This is a partial/incomplete page as I have not yet explored this property.

Hiking

There appears to be a short hiking trail that has a loop of sorts and views of Clarks Falls Pond.

History:

The site of the Clark’s Falls mill dating back to the late 1700s.


Links:

Avalonia Etrails Blog – Beth Sullivan – A little preserve with a lot going for it! (2015)

The information shown here is for general reference purposes only. exploreCT.org gives no warranty, expressed or implied, as to the accuracy or reliability of this data. Parking in all areas, whether designated here or not, is at your own risk. exploreCT.org is not responsible for any damage or loss to vehicles or contents.
Billings Lake

Billings Lake

Connecticut State Forest

190 acres in North Stonington, CT

Parking: Small lot near 102 2734>98>3618, North Stonington, CT

Trail Map


This is a partial/incomplete page as I have not yet explored this property

Hiking

There appears to be a short loop hiking trail that may connect to an unnamed forest road along Billings Brook in this southern parcel of the Pachaug State Forest.

Boating

The DEEP maintains a boat launch on 97.4 acre Billings Lake.  The lake has a mean depth of 14 feet and a maximum depth of 33 feet. There are several islands around the lake.

History:


Links:

The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station – Billings Lake 2013 Aquatic Plant Survey of Billings Lake

DEEP Boat Launch Info

The information shown here is for general reference purposes only. exploreCT.org gives no warranty, expressed or implied, as to the accuracy or reliability of this data. Parking in all areas, whether designated here or not, is at your own risk. exploreCT.org is not responsible for any damage or loss to vehicles or contents.
Barn Island

Barn Island Wildlife Management Area

Connecticut Wildlife Management Area

1,013 acres in Stonington, CT

Parking: Shoulder parking and boat launch near 249 Palmer Neck Rd, Pawcatuck, CT

and from the eastern side off Stewart Rd, Unnamed Road, Pawcatuck, CT

Trail Map


Barn Island has at least five miles of trails that pass through diverse ecosystems on the Connecticut coastline.  One of only two undeveloped sections along the CT coast (the other being Bluff Point) the trails here go from tidal marsh views to forest and field interspersed with cultural points throughout.

Boating

The boat launch was first established in 1957, expanded in 1976, and improved to its current state in 2004.  It has two 80-foot floating docks and a wide launch.  There is room for about 60 vehicles with trailers.

Hiking

Both times I’ve visited I started from the trailhead just north of the boat launch. I headed down the unimproved road passing the informational signboards to the causeway with views of Cook’s Cove.  The trail then reenters the woods passing the foundations of the old Headquarters Building.  The red loop trail begins here through Impoundment #2.  Points of interest include the Sarah Ann Martin stone marker and the Mosquito Farm Cottage.  Both are easy to miss and the cottage foundation is completely overgrown.  The best part of the hiking here are the sheer amount of birds in every direction and of different kinds.

I have not explored the northwest corner of the park from the Stewart Rd access point but I would like to on my next visit to see Venture Spring and the Minerva Stanton gravesite.

The main trails are all wide and easy to follow.  Unblazed trails are common and the couple that I took were unremarkable or impassable.  There are technical woodsy trails for mountain biking on “Jonny Smith single track” though I have not taken them.

History:

The initial 427.3 acres were acquired from 1944-46 with acquisition continuing heavily through the 1950s.  The area has remained a Wildlife Management Area, but has gotten developments such as the boat launch. According to Robert Hazard, owner of the parcel that would become the boat launch ramp, more bootleg liquor was landed at this location during Prohibition than any other place along the Connecticut shore.


Links:

DEEP – Management Assessment Report Barn Island Wildlife Management Area

Peter Marteka – A Visit To A Connecticut Rarity – The Unspoiled Shoreline Of Barn Island (2016)

Steve Grant – Ever Heard Of Barn Island? It’s Worth Exploring (2012)

Long Island Sound Resource Center – Barn Island Wildlife Management Area – Sentinel Monitoring

The information shown here is for general reference purposes only. exploreCT.org gives no warranty, expressed or implied, as to the accuracy or reliability of this data. Parking in all areas, whether designated here or not, is at your own risk. exploreCT.org is not responsible for any damage or loss to vehicles or contents.
Last updated November 26, 2019
Williams Park

J.B. Williams Park

Glastonbury Town Park

161.9 acres in Glastonbury, CT

Parking: Medium sized lot near 789 Neipsic Road Glastonbury, CT

Trail Map


JB Williams park is filled with easy hiking trails, a lower pond for fishing (and skating in the winter), a rentable pavilion, and campsites complete with lean-tos.

There was a jack and jill party happening at the pavilion on my most recent visit and the trails were bustling with hikers.  The lower pond even had a few father and son teams out fishing along its edge.  I hopped off the main park trail which is easy, wide, and gradual.  I took the outermost loop which passes through a couple campsites.  The town site makes no note of camping available here, but there are several sites including a few with robust lean-tos built by local Eagle Scouts.

Continuing past the sites, I found a trail that followed Hubbard Brook upstream.  It soon split ways and headed east until reaching the utility corridor on the park’s boundary.  This trail was unblazed and certainly more rugged than anything else in the park.  It eventually looped back to the ball field at the park’s entrance.

As I found with most of Glastonbury’s trail maps, they are outdated and incomplete.  There are a number of trails here that are much better outlined at the trailhead kiosk.

History:

The park gets its namesake from the JB Williams Soap Factory which was one of the largest producers of hygiene products in the nation in its time.  Glastonbury purchased the property sometime in the mid-1960s.


Links:

Lost Glastonbury – JB Williams Park Dam

The information shown here is for general reference purposes only. exploreCT.org gives no warranty, expressed or implied, as to the accuracy or reliability of this data. Parking in all areas, whether designated here or not, is at your own risk. exploreCT.org is not responsible for any damage or loss to vehicles or contents.
Last updated Sept. 1, 2019
Buckingham Park

Buckingham Park

Glastonbury Town Park

acres in Glastonbury, CT

Parking: Medium sized lot near 1285 Manchester Rd Glastonbury, CT

Trail Map


Buckingham Park is know for its ball fields, playground, and a ” an easy half-mile stroll”.  The ballfields and playground are definitely the main attraction but the trails seem to have expanded a bit.  Compare the rough trail map from Glastonbury’s town site with my GPS tracked hike above:

The trails which start from the corner of the parking lot (or the far end of the baseball field) now include a junction to the cul-de-sac on Heritage Dr and extend east for a good distance.  I didn’t even reach the end of the east spur trail, I just turned around when it crossed Myer’s Brook again.  The trails extend north of the parking lot.  There is a Y shape on the GPS track that indicates a complete loop through the woods there.  I followed each branch enough for it to show up, but didn’t attempt the loop to do time constraints.

The trails seem to be well used and easy to follow.  Dirt bikes are likely the main traffic on the extended trails based on the tire marks and ruts.  There isn’t much of a draw here for non-locals, but it was certainly a nice tromp in the woods.

History:

The ball fields were built in 1991/2.


Links:

The information shown here is for general reference purposes only. exploreCT.org gives no warranty, expressed or implied, as to the accuracy or reliability of this data. Parking in all areas, whether designated here or not, is at your own risk. exploreCT.org is not responsible for any damage or loss to vehicles or contents.
Last updated Sept. 1, 2019