Horse Guard State Park
105 acres in Avon, CT
Parking: Small lot near 245 W Avon Rd, Avon, CT
Trail Map Trails: Less than a mile Rating: ★★★☆☆
Horse Guard State Park is a small state park and one of Connecticut’s ‘scenic reserves‘ with less than a mile of trails that provides a simple walk to a great overlook.
From the recently improved parking area the trail heads up a gradual hill. In fact your heading gradually uphill the entire half mile to the overlook. My last visit was my speed run of the 2019 Sky’s the Limit Hiking Challenge. It was an early Monday morning and I was surprised to see two other vehicles which means this park may be finally getting the attention it deserves.
The trail is easy to follow until the hard right turn indicated on the trail map above at .46 miles. This section is the final ascent to the ridge line view over rocky skree. There is a definite blazed route carefully working its way up but there are also deceptive impressions of other trails among the rocks. All impressions will lead you to the overlook, but the blazes are certainly the best taking you past the twisted trunks of trees and over rock humps.
The overlook is a wide clearing next to a large pine with views west. The view is largely uninterrupted forest with all the houses masked by the trees. There is also a much smaller vantage looking east where you can pick up Heublein Tower at Talcott Mountain State Park. Small trails continue past these through a dense thicket of saplings to tiny rock outcrops though the views are any better.
There is also a flat unblazed connecting trail to Wyngate Drive that appears to get regular use.
Established as a state park in 1964.
CTMQ – Horse Guard State Park Scenic Reserve (2019)
Peter Marteka – A Visit To A Lonely Forgotten State Park With The Best Views In Avon (2016)