2023 Year In Exploration

Previous Years: 2018 | 2019 | 2020 | 2021 | 2022

Hikes by Month |expand|


  • Moss Tract – Quick return visit after discovering it’s hidden waterfall to check out the south section trails
  • Quinebaug Trail – Thru hiked the trail on a warm January day for about 17 miles round trip overlapping with heavy dirt bike presence
  • Hidden Valley Preserve – Revisited this great property hitting all the highlights from cave to river view to overlook
  • Steep Rock Preserve – The trail to overlook was closed on my last visit so I returned for it’s fantastic view before returning once more to the tunnel
  • Giuffrida Park – Hiked the Metacomet Ridge and returned along the reservoir in the standard rugged loop
  • Westfield Falls – Quick stop on a cold windy day to check in on the falls
  • Sleeping Giant State Park – Rehiked some of my favorite trails since I didn’t visit the Giant at all in 2022


  • Mount Higby – Hiked this section of the Mattabesett Trail on a rainy morning and made a movie of the views
  • Lewis Farm Bird Sanctuary – There are a fair number of trails tucked in this small property, I particularly enjoyed the curved bridge over the river here
  • Will Warren’s Den– The trail was a bit of a mud pit in the spring, but the views are always worth it
  • West Mountain Property – Caught Cathles Falls and the great overlook but didn’t have time to complete the full loop here
  • Mary Edwards Mountain Property – The first view is the best view, the trails are rugged, and I couldn’t have been more pleasantly surprised
  • Godard Preserve – Connected down to this preserve from Mary Edwards and the trails along the brooks provide peaceful hiking
  • Sunset Rock State Park – Hiked this to discover that you’re exploring Crescent Lake and its trails and the state park property is untrailed to the north, but a great overlook from the ridge line


  • Mansfield Hollow – Combining different loops here, still trying to discover new things at one of my most visited state parks
  • Pigeon Swamp – Rehiked this property after a couple years on a sunny spring afternoon, trails were exactly the same as I remembered
  • Dismal Brook Wildlife Preserve – Lulled by the initial trails I was drawn in by the history and love the deep woods cabin and pond view
  • Schoolhouse Brook Park – Rehiked sections on either side of the road to see that mountain bike trails have been developing over the years


  • Sherwood Island State Park – First visit to one of CT’s uber popular beach parks, fun to walk the beach without the crowds
  • Trout Brook Valley – I feel like I only got to explore a tiny portion of this large and varied park 
  • Kilkenny Rock – One of the few sections of the Metacomet I haven’t done before, fun hike that overlaps significantly with mountain bike trails
  • Mono Pond State Park – Stopped here for a quick hike on a breezy morning
  • Cotton Hollow Preserve – The ruins have been protected, but now the harder work of fundraising to preserve them begins
  • Holcomb Farm – Explored what I could here, but access to the majority of trails washed away with a bridge that has yet to be replaced unfortunately
  • Dewey-Granby Oak – First visit to this majestic old former champion tree
  • Katan Ensor and Old Messenger Road Preserves – This new preserve is a real gem connecting multiple parcels, but the views were all fogged in due to rainy weather
  • Shelter Falls – Last hike here was in 2018, this time I found an abandoned stretch of trail down to a small pond 
  • Sperry Falls – Got the timing just right to see these rare falls roaring after heavy rains
  • Mahoney Pond – Poking around these old woods roads to find a simple forest loop
  • Cedar Wood Preserve – Still a work in progress, but interesting trails that feel longer than their length
  • Barrett Preserve – This property felt tucked away despite being surrounded by private property, the streams and bridges were a nice surprise


  • Bush Hill Preserve – Did nearly a full loop of the property and stopped to explore the barn tag sale land trust fundraiser
  • Stony Brooke Park – Hiked the northern stretch of trails, some of which are pretty overgrown
  • Shafran Conservation Area – Last hike here was in 2018 and not much has changed, the cool clear streams here are perfect
  • Tower Hill Preserve – Caught this just a couple days after its grand opening to find a well crafted trail with a surprise hidden waterfall
  • Blackledge Falls – Quick hike up to the falls and then connected into the southern edge of Gay City before looping back
  • Bigelow Hollow – Hiked the western perimeter and then along the East Ridge Trail, the parking was packed but we didn’t seen another person
  • Pixie Falls – Backpacked out to see the well-crafted fairy house above the falls and did an overnight at the nearby backpacking site


  • Thru-hike of the Shenipsit Trail – Hiked all 50.2 miles over two days during peak mountain laurel bloom
  • Peterson Park – The start of the Mattatuck Trail here is perfect riverside trail
  • Allanach-Wolf Woodlands – Finally revisited one of my old favorites to find trails have been officially extended and connect to Wolf Den Land Trust property
  • Codfish Falls / Fenton Tract – Finally connected these two thanks to a fallen tree over the Fenton River to check out the rerouted Nipmuck Trail


Nichols Field


178 Falls Rd, Moodus, CT, USA

Nichols Field East Haddam Town Park 120 acres in East Haddam, CT Parking: Large lot near 178 Falls Rd, Moodus, CT Trail Map         Trails:…

Salem Community Park


89 Norwich Road, Salem, CT, USA

Salem Community Park / Salem Woods DGC / Volunteer Park Salem Town Park 95 acres in Salem, CT Parking: Field/Trails Access: Medium lot near 89 Norwich Rd,…

Ecker Hill


777 Hartford Turnpike, Vernon, CT, USA

Ecker Hill / Eckers Pond Vernon Town Park and Northern CT Land Trust 86 acres in Vernon, CT Parking: Medium lots up the hill near 777 Hartford…

Hockanum River Trail: Oakland Trail


49A Tolland Turnpike, Manchester, CT, USA

Hockanum River Trail: Oakland Trail Hockanum River Trail in Manchester, CT Parking: North End: Large lot near 49A Tolland Turnpike, Manchester, CT Mid Trail: At the back… Read more…

Dart Hill Park


680 Dart Hill Rd, Vernon, CT 06066, USA

Dart Hill Park / Pleasantview Marsh Trail Vernon Town Park and Hockanum River Trail 16 acres in Vernon, CT Parking: North End: Two medium lots near 680…

Hockanum River Trail: Dart Hill North


100 Windsorville Rd, Vernon, CT, USA

Hockanum River Trail: Dart Hill North Hockanum River Trail 15 acres in Vernon, CT Parking: North End: Small lot before the gate near 100 Windsorville Rd, Vernon,…

White Memorial Conservation Center


80 Whitehall Rd, Litchfield, CT 06759, USA

White Memorial Conservation Center White Memorial Foundation Property 4,000 acres in Morris and Litchfield, CT Parking: Main Parking: Medium sized lots near 80 Whitehall Rd, Litchfield, CT Little… Read more…

Woodtick Recreation Area


201 Nichols Rd, Wolcott, CT 06716, USA

Woodtick Recreation Area / Scovill Recreation Area / Mill Pond Way / Wolf Hill Trails Wolcott Town Park 475.63 acres in Wolcott, CT Parking: Large lots near…

Compounce Ridge Trail


2-128 Panthorn Trail, Southington, CT 06489, USA

Compounce Ridge Trail Southington Town Land and Lake Compounce Park Property 100 acres in Southington, CT Parking: Cul-de-sac parking near 2-128 Panthorn Trail, Southington, CT Trail Map … Read more…

Shenipsit Trail: Mid-Connectors


41.770463, -72.467760

Shenipsit Trail: Mid-Connectors Connecticut Blue Blaze Trail 716 acres in Manchester and Bolton, CT Parking: North Parking: Large lot at the Bolton Park & Ride South Parking:… Read more…