Where to Start

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

Cohen Woodlands

Ruby and Elizabeth Cohen Woodlands

Colchester Town Park

206.21 acres in Colchester, CT

Parking: Medium lot near 96 McDonald Rd, Colchester, CT

Trail Map


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

History:

Preserved in 2001. From the town’s website,

Over the years, local Boy Scout Eagle projects have created 3 hiking trails on different areas of the property including a park/trail map, as well as a 6-panel educational board near the gazebo. Cohen Woodlands is certified as a wildlife habitat through the National Wildlife Federation. Additionally, Colchester earned the NWF Community Wildlife Habitat certification in 2010 being the first such community in Colchester and the 36th in the United States.


Links:

Peter Marteka – Preserve Named for Family

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 Apr. 8, 2019
Whitehall Park and Forest

Whitehall Park and Forest

Ledyard Town Park

in Ledyard, CT

Parking: Small lot near 991 Shewville Rd Ledyard, CT

Trail Map


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

History:

The Whitehall Preserve was designated a National Wildlife Fund Certified Wildlife Habitat.


Links:

Peter Marteka – A Forest Where All Can Sit on a Throne

Ledyard Garden Club – Whitehall Preserve Conservation Project

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 Apr. 8, 2019
Bartlett Brook

Bartlett Brook WMA

Connecticut Wildlife Management Area

687 acres in Lebanon, CT

Parking: Medium sized lot near 773 Goshen Hill Rd Lebanon, CT

Hunting Map


A narrow tree-lined driveway provides the entrance to this massive Wildlife Management Area.  Bartlett Pond is one of Connecticut’s 105 WMAs and is mainly used as a game refuge and hunting area.

There is an easy two-mile loop here starting from the main gate down the driveway continuation.  The straight shot trail passes between two large fields and continues for another half mile between occasional stone walls.  Rocky outcrops sit just off the trail and a couple less used side trails head off at various points.  At the back side of this loop, I entered another field which soon dipped back into the woods.  Each field seems to have a mowed border around the edge and random paths through.  I stuck to the main path and didn’t explore anything else.

At around a mile’s distance, I finally hit water although this one was Exeter Brook.  The conventional trails don’t get within view of the namesake Bartlett Brook so I settled for the winding Exeter.  Just upstream from where the trail deadends there was evidence of stone foundations that might indicate some history of water power here though that’s purely speculative.  The previous weekend had been deep freeze temperatures and it had already swung back to 60 degrees in February so a lip of ice lined the water and small bergs were melting away.

The sun was setting and the trail passed through more golden-lit fields.  Bird boxes are set just off the trail but they sat empty at this time of year.  While I did startle a few birds high in a tree and spotted a woodpecker near the parking area I bet this spot is alive with birds in the warmer months.

History:


Links:

Peter Marteka – Summer Sounds Fill the Air Bartlett Brook

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 Feb. 5, 2019
Day Pond

Day Pond State Park

Connecticut State Park

180 acres in Colchester, CT

Parking: Turn left at 28 Peck Ln Colchester, CT and follow the road to a couple medium sized lots (depending on the season)

Trail Map


Though the Day Pond park property itself is technically small it is so closely linked with this section of the Salmon River State Forest that I’ll consider them the same.  Together they offer over 8 miles of trails including the Salmon River Trail that connects to the Comstock Bridge, one of CT’s covered bridges.  From Day Pond starting out on the south loop will head off into the woods and past a very large erratic.  A trail junction sign sits on the hill just past a utility corridor heading downhill for 2 miles towards the Salmon River or towards Day Pond Falls.

The Day Pond Brook Spur Trail was created in 2010 by a local Eagle Scout and leads to a waterfall which is one of Peter Marteka’s favorites.  I visited them for the first time on a trail run with a friend in 2018.  Near the upper falls is a fire ring surrounded by log seating that would be a fantastic camping spot if it were allowed.  There are three main plunges that total for a drop of about 40 feet.  They were great even in the dry summer.

The Salmon River trail has a few hundred feet of elevation change between Day Pond and the Comstock Bridge, but its a very scenic hike.  The sections along the Salmon River are beautiful and peaceful.  On busy summer days, you’ll often see families set up on the banks or fly fisherman casting by the bridge.

In addition to hiking the park offers swimming and a beach at Day Pond with direct access (open gates) from the third Saturday in April until Columbus Day.  There is also a pavilion and several picnic areas.  Fishing is possible at Day Pond, though far more popular along the Salmon River.

I haven’t explored the North Loop section of the Salmon River Trail.

History: 

Established as a park in 1949, the site is a former sawmill and man-made pond by the Day family.


Links:

The Geology of Day Pond State Park

Waterfalls of New England – Day Pond Brook Falls

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 July 17, 2018
Chatfield Hollow

Chatfield Hollow State Park

Connecticut State Park

412 acres in Killingworth, CT

Parking: Two small lots near 370 N Branford Road Killingworth, CT

Trail Map


Chatfield Hollow is a large property that offers opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, and swimming.  For hiking there are a number of trails adding to a few miles and connects to the Cockaponset State Forest for an additional set of trails.  It is also across the road from Forster Pond State Park for further exploration.  Some of the state’s most technical mountain biking can be found on the Pond Trail or Lookout Trail.  Swimming is available at a narrow beach on Schreeder Pond.

History:

Designated as a state park in 1949.


Links:

Peter Marteka – Chatfield Trail In Killingworth: Where Your Hike Becomes An Adventure

Mountain Biking at Chatfield Hollow

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.