Connecticut offers day hikes for everyone. Whether you like something along the coast, in the woods, very easy or something that will test every bit of skill you have you’ll find it in Connecticut. In fact there are more day hikes than you can shake a stick at. While the Appalachian Trail which winds it’s way through these borders is always popular and should be on everyone’s list of hikes in the state there are so many great hikes picking just a few as the best is no easy task. Keeping that in mind what follows is a brief overview of some of Connecticut’s best day hikes.
In Groton, home of our world renown submarine base lies one of the states best day hikes which is the Bluff Point Coastal Reserve Trail. Only about fifty years ago this was mostly all actively farmed land. That was before the area was protected and later designated as a coastal reserve in 1975. The history of this area extends all the way back to the 1690’s when Governor John Winthrop owned and farmed this area of the peninsula. While wandering the trails on this 778 acre slice of heaven you’ll see foot marks of history in the the stone walls and foundations which remain in whole or part to this day. There is plenty of nature and this is a great hike as you can easily stretch it out to occupy more time without ever feeling bored. This would be rated as an easy hike.
Wolf Rock in Mansfield Connecticut sure does give Bluff Point a run for it’s money, for me it’s hard to choose which is actually the best. This hike falls on the low end of the moderate scale so it is an option for pretty much anyone that wants a hike with great views and a ton of flexibility/ I say flexible because in a pinch you can make this a quick mile and a half loop that still gets you to Wolf Rock which is a huge glacial boulder perched on a 40 foot cliff. it is amazing to see personally and a favorite day hike of locals and visitors alike. The Nipmuck trail connects in and allows you plenty of options on the blue trail for added activity. The trails are clearly and prominently color marked so you can get by without a map.
The Bear Mountain/Mount Riga State Park Trail is easily the number three pick in the state for a great day hike experience. Actually it is argued this may be the state’s most popular hike. Sitting atop the Bear Mountain summit is a stone pyramid you just have to see to believe, and once you do reach it you’ll be treated to some of the best views around. This is what Kodak moments are made of! From here you can see three different states, valleys. lakes, mountains as far as the weather allows, it’s all here. Better yet the loop trail winds through ancient forests, something you don’t see in this area everyday anymore. Wildlife is plentiful and deer are and coyote can often be seen making their way around just as comfortably as you are.
Whatever your taste is in day hikes, Connecticut has an offering for you. Take the time to sample a bit of each, but if you have limited time or are just starting out these are the three to be sure you do. What makes them great is not only everything they have to offer but the fact they can be repeated and enjoyed over and over. Give yourself a treat and add these to your must hike list, they are worth traveling for so don’t worry about making the drive to reach them, you’ll be well rewarded for the effort.