400+ acres in Tolland, CT
Parking: Several medium-sized lots near 80 Cider Mill Rd, Tolland, CT
Trail Map Trails: 5 miles Rating: ★★★☆☆
Crandall Park has well over 5 miles of trails. The town site for the park used to claim 3.8 miles so the trails must have expanded in recent years. The trails consist of three blazed loops, paved ADA path, and a maze of unblazed mountain bike trails. The shortest is the yellow loop around the edges of the main park facilities. Then there is the medium length blue loop that can be used to reach the boardwalk trail. The town designates both these trails as “moderate”.
The longest trail and the one I hiked on my recent visit was the 3.15 mile red loop around the edges of the park’s property. I started off hiking north on the paved path to the sounds of the noisy summer pond activity. An abrupt turn off the pavement soon leads to a crossing over Paulk Hill Brook. The trail is wide and well used as it climbs steeply and continuously for a good long while finally cresting to a plateau. The second half of this loop is criss crossed by mountain bike trails taking more interesting routes through the woods. The noise from I-84 starts to grow and you descend back down the last third of the trail. There is a small seasonal overlook farther down and a dedication plaque to Ronald E. Blake who served for 26 years as a town planner and volunteer. The loop is completed by passing the Lodge and the boardwalk back to the main parking area.
I have not explored the mountain bike trails here, but they seem to well known and well used.
Other facilities include :
Swimming and boating at Crandall Pond. A three acre pond with a sandy beach, raft, diving board and swim lanes. Swimming is available 1PM-4PM daily from mid-June to August. There are also three tennis courts, a basketball court, rentable lodge, and rentable pavilion.
There are also kids play areas and several fields for baseball/softball and soccer.
The original 37 acres were purchased in 1969 from the Crandall family and the road is named for the cider mill that operated off the pond. From the town’s site, “Cider Mill Road got its name from the Cider Mill they operated where the diving board area on the beach is located now. The Park contains a mix of active and passive areas with approximately 20 acres developed, and the remaining 380 acres undeveloped. 140 acres of open space was purchased in 2000.”
Peter Marteka – Miles Of Hiking Trails At Tolland’s Crandall Park (2010)
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Last updated July 22nd, 2019
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