Mount Tom State Park
Parking: Large lot near 27 Mt Tom Rd, New Preston, CT
Trail Map Trails: 1 mile Rating: ★★★☆☆
Mount Tom State Park has two main draws, the beach and one of Connecticut’s stone lookout towers. The park’s short hike leads to impressive views of western CT.
Trails here are about 1 mile of blazed trails and likely another mile of unblazed and forest roads. This makes for a short hike to 360 degree views. From the upper parking lot a yellow blazed loop trail is easy to follow up to the summit. During my November visit a large wet area masks the split where the loop meets to head up to the tower. While the other section of the loop is less traveled it does pass an old cellar hole and chimney combination. The summit which is 1,325 feet above sea level has been recently cleared to improve the view to the north.
This park was featured in the 2019 Sky’s the Limit Hiking Challenge.
Nearly 100 years old, the tower is 34 feet tall (two feet taller than the Castle Craig) and offers 360° views. Wooden stairs climb four flights to a narrow opening to the observation platform.
There is a small beach and swimming area. Be sure to check the beach status to make sure the area is open.
Mount Tom Pond was stocked with Atlantic Salmon by the DEEP, but the main reports here of bass and trout.
Established as a state park in 1915. There was a wooden tower at the same spot as early as 1888 and was replaced by the stone tower in 1921. Like the Haystack Mountain tower, Mt Tom’s was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1993.
Peter Marteka – Checking Another One Of Connecticut’s Stone Observation Towers (2017)
CTMQ – Mt. Tom State Park
Depth Chart of Mount Tom Pond