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


Mary Edwards Mountain Property


200 Mountain Rd, North Granby, CT 06060, USA

Mary Edwards Mountain Property Granby Land Trust 200 acres in Granby, CT Parking: Small pull-off near 200 Mountain Rd, North Granby, CT Trail Map       …

Will Warren’s Den


200 Colt Highway, Farmington, CT, USA

Metacomet: Will Warren’s Den Metacomet Blue Blaze Trail acres in Farmington and Plainville, CT Parking: Main parking north end: Medium pull-off 200 Colt Highway (Route 6), Farmington,… Read more…

West Mountain


60 Westledge Road, West Simsbury, CT, USA

West Mountain / Cathles Falls Simsbury Land Trust 70 acres in Simsbury, CT Parking: South trailhead: Small lot near 60 Westledge Rd, West Simsbury, CT North trail:…

Lewis Farm Bird Sanctuary


1015 Hill Street, Suffield, CT

Lewis Farm Bird Sanctuary Audubon Property 89 acres in Suffield, CT Parking: Small lot near 1015 Hill Street, Suffield, CT Trail Map         Trails: 3…

Windsor Center River Trail


34 CT-159, Windsor, CT 06095, USA

Windsor Center River Trail Windsor Town Park 49 acres in Windsor, CT Parking: Medium sized lot near 34 CT-159, Windsor, CT Trail Map       Trails: 1.2…

Mount Higby


41.539191, -72.744306

Mount Higby / Tynan Park Blue Blaze Trail and The Nature Conservancy in Middlefield and Middletown, CT Parking: North End: Small lot near 644 Country Club Rd,…

Phillip’s Pond


J49G+VM, Voluntown, CT 06384

Phillips Pond Pachuag State Forest in Voluntown, CT Parking: Small lot near Trail 1 Rd, Voluntown, CT Trail Map       Trails: 3.7 miles       Rating:…

Moss Tract


41.846329, -72.247674

Moss Tract and North Property UCONN Forest 416 acres in Willington, CT Parking: Small lot near 139-1 Old Turnpike Road, Storrs, CT Trail Map     Trails: 3.5…

Metcalf Nature Preserve


10 Cedarwood Dr, Ellington, CT 06029, USA

Metcalf Nature Preserve Ellington Town Park 15.46 acres in Ellington, CT Parking: Shoulder parking near 10 Cedarwood Dr, Ellington, CT Trail Map         Trails: 1…

Cedar Wood Preserve


183 North Wawecus Hill Road, Norwich, CT, USA

Cedar Wood Preserve Avalonia Land Conservancy 47.27 acres in Norwich, CT Parking: Small lot across from 183 N Wawecus Hill Rd, Norwich, CT Trail Map     …