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


Soapstone Mountain


41.961605, -72.408513

Soapstone Mountain Connecticut State Forest 1800 acres in Ellington, Somers, and Stafford, CT Parking: Medium sized lot near 399 Gulf Rd, Somers, CT Trail Map     …

Shenipsit: Dark Hollow Section


41.669598, -72.503706

Shenipsit : Dark Hollow Brook to Flat Brook Falls Blue Blaze Shenipsit Trail and Connecticut State Forest in Glastonbury, CT Parking: Dark Hollow: At the end the road near… Read more…

Creaser Park


41.778407, -72.358612

Creaser Park Coventry Town Park 57 acres in Coventry, CT Parking: Medium sized lot near 109 Case Rd Coventry, CT Trail Map            Trails:…

Freja Park


41.786520, -72.455719

Freja Park Bolton Town Park 21 acres in Bolton, CT Parking: Access from the Park & Ride off Rt. 44 or at Bolton Notch State Park Trail…

Giuffrida Park


41.562115, -72.762339

Giuffrida Park Meriden Town Park 598 acres in Meriden, CT Parking: Medium sized lot near 800 Westfield Rd, Meriden, CT Trail Map          Trails: 24.8 miles …

Dunhamtown Forest


41.786132, -72.256188

Dunhamtown Forest Mansfield Town Park 226 acres in Mansfield, CT Parking: Small lot near 109 Dunham Pond Rd Mansfield, CT Aerial Trail Map           …

Bigelow Hollow State Park


41.994655, -72.130835

Bigelow Hollow State Park Connecticut State Park / Nipmuck State Forest 516 acres in Union, CT Parking: Several large lots along the park’s road off CT-171. Trail… Read more…

Belding Wildlife Management Area


41.831035, -72.447298

Belding Wildlife Management Area Connecticut State WMA 282 acres in Vernon, CT Parking: Lots of shoulder parking near 3 Bread and Milk Rd Vernon, CT Shoulder parking…

Cotton Hollow


41.664113, -72.585052

Cotton Hollow Preserve Glastonbury Town Park 83 acres in Glastonbury, CT Parking: Main Area: Medium sized lot for near 501 Hopewell Road Glastonbury, CT Western Area: Small…

Sleeping Giant


200 Mt Carmel Ave, Hamden, CT, USA

Sleeping Giant State Park Connecticut State Park 1,465 acres in Hamden, CT Parking: Main Lot: Large lot at 200 Mt Carmel Ave, Hamden, CT   East End: Small…