View Full Version : Looking for CT hikes

Tom Rankin
02-08-2008, 02:02 PM
The NJ thread was so successful, I figured why not try it again!

I'm looking for nice hikes in Connecticut. They can be as short as 1 mile, or up to 8. Ideally, these hikes will be to interesting places, and also near one of the brew pubs in CT. This link (http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?f=l&hl=en&geocode=&time=&date=&ttype=&ie=UTF8&t=h&om=1&msa=0&msid=109956227476517109602.000443b876643c3fb5bee&ll=41.943149,-72.520752&spn=2.337082,3.949585&z=8) will show you where they are. As you can see, there are several along the coast and several in urban areas. So feel free to suggest a hike along the beach, or a walking trail in a city park. Elevation gain is not required. Fun is! If you can supply a web link for your hike, I would appreciate it very much! :D

Speaking of urban and water, one of our most memorable VNBs 'hikes' was across the Brooklyn Bridge. The architecture of the bridge, and the scenery along the Promenade in Brooklyn was fabulous. The trip report is here, including the VFTT Human logo! (http://www.vftt.org/forums/showthread.php?t=7359) :D

02-08-2008, 03:31 PM
I have regularly "hiked" from my house to SBC in Stamford - not a particular scenic hike, but it gets me there :D

Some suggestions "in the area" (SBC is in Downtown, so not too many trails around):

-Stamford Cove Island park (http://www.lisrc.uconn.edu/coastalaccess/site.asp?siteid=571) - nice small park with a ~1mi paved loop that goes around the perimeter of the island with folks walking, running, blading, etc... Right next to the water and a small beach - ice rink is also right there in the same lot. During the summer season (memorial -> labor day) it's $20/car to park.

-Mianus River park (http://greenwichct.virtualtownhall.net/public_documents/FOV1-00010F03/facilities/prFA_MianusRiverPark.pdf) - Mellow park in the trees bordering northern Stamford/Greenwhich. I do a lot of mtn biking and trail running there. Probably at least 5 miles of trail networks with interesting NE features like rock barriers. People regularly fish in the river and there is some interesting swamps and bogs around - fun terrain all in all. ~25min from downtown

-Greenwich Audubon Center (http://greenwich.audubon.org/) - The first National Audubon education center!

If I come up with more I'll come back ;)

Tom Rankin
02-08-2008, 04:53 PM
Thanks Doug!

One down, 11 to go.

Hey Chip, I know you sent me some info a while back, but I can't seem to find it! :o

02-08-2008, 08:49 PM
I know, I know. I apologize for not picking up the CT Views and Brews ball. I need help. There aren't brew puds (edit: HA ! I said puds) PUBS near the AT. Puck knows the middle of the state. For South Norwalk, Jay H and me decided it was going to have to be a paddle, and I'm not sure you want that.

02-11-2008, 01:27 PM
There's a couple of trails in the area of Willimantic and the Willimantic Brewing Co. you may be interested in.
The Nipmuck Trail starts in Mansfield Center, winds it's way through the UConn area and the Yale Forest (http://www.yale.edu/schoolforest/), before ending up in the Bigelow Hollow State Park (http://www.ct.gov/dep/cwp/view.asp?a=2716&q=325174&depNav_GID=1650)
The Natchaug Trail starts in the Goodwin State Forest then travels through the Natchaug State Forest (http://www.ct.gov/dep/cwp/view.asp?a=2716&q=325062) before joining the Nipmuck in the town of Westford.
To get a good handle on these trails, consult the Connecticut Walk Book,East (http://www.ctwoodlands.org/bookstore/pubs.html)

Now that I've thought about it, Gay City State Park (http://www.ct.gov/dep/cwp/view.asp?a=2716&q=325202&depNav_GID=1650#map) on the Hebron, Bolton town line might be more what you're looking for. Gay City is an abandoned mill town...a ghost town if you please, with plenty of walking trails

02-11-2008, 02:37 PM
The Narragansett Trail starts near Lantern Hill in Ledyard, not far from Foxwoods where you can reach your own conclusions about Native American ideas of good land use. Lantern Hill has great views which extend to Long Island and Fishers Island. The trail meanders into Rhode Island.

The Pachaug Trail includes Mt. Misery and a large rhododendrum preserve in Pachaug State Forest in Voluntown and Griswold.

I expect you're familiar with the AT in NW Connecticut; I haven't hiked that stretch but have hiked nearby in the Berkshires. It's on my to-do list.

02-11-2008, 02:51 PM
Check out the Quinnipiac trail. If you are Northbound the trail head ends near a mexican place. If you are southbound and pick up the Regicides Trail you will end up in the Westville section of New Haven..500 Blake Street has nice brews.

If you continue on the Quinippiac trail you will pass within a quarter mile of my house. It has been years since I last brewed but I could pick up some cold ones for ya.

Let me check out some of the other hikes that cross through Meriden etc.

Chip what about some places of the Mohawk or AT?

02-11-2008, 03:42 PM
"Bar" in New Haven suggestions:

-Sleeping Giant (http://www.sgpa.org/) - The obvious recommendation - not too far of a drive away in Hamden you have the famous Sleeping Giant trail system. A big network of hiking trails of varying difficulties on the "giant" including a stone tower with views - I'm sure everyone will have their recommended trails to take - I recommend at least taking the scramble to the right of the quarry area - blue? white? green? yellow? You decide ;)

-West Rock Ridge State Park (http://www.ct.gov/dep/cwp/view.asp?A=2716&Q=325276) - also here (http://www.nochildleftinside.org/parks/westrockridge.php) - very cool closed road that now only allows foot and bike traffic ending in a cul-de-sac area overlooking New Haven and the Long Island Sound. If you look at the google maps view of it you can see where the easiest entrance is, near the intersection with rt 15. (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=new+haven,ct&ie=UTF8&ll=41.343502,-72.967758&spn=0.028224,0.058365&t=p&z=14&om=0) If you want you can also follow the ridge all the way north on Baldwin Dr. and then go back the same way. There are some trails that parallel the road on the West side that are closer to the edge of the ridge and afford more views and trail hiking.

-The Yale campus - you're downtown and Yale is right there. Stroll around and see the cool historic stone architecture and imagine yourself with Dubia years ago sharing a fattie on the way to the exam.

-Ikea (http://www.ikea.com/us/en/) - Swedish meatballs... Unboring :D

Don't forget to also get your share of pizza in New Haven - tons of famous pizza, all of them claiming to be the first or the only ones to really do it like they do it in Italia! :) :cool:

02-11-2008, 04:06 PM
Willimantic suggestions:

-I second the Nipmuck - best info found will be in the CT blue blazed hiking book. Tons of hiking to do there, not too many loops though as the Nipmuck is just a straight up trail that you can follow from Willimantic all the way to the MA border.

-Mansfield Hollow State Park (http://www.ct.gov/dep/cwp/view.asp?A=2716&Q=325236#map) Right up the road from Willimantic on rt 195 in Mansfield going towards UConn. Trails around the reservoir and area under the dam are very nice - if you like exploring you can hop across the river coming out the dam and find some really nice hidden rocky streams. A good trail system with many loops possible.

Also, if you are a fan of old time sodas, make sure to visit Hosmer Mountain Soda (http://www.hosmersoda.com/) in Willimantic and take your cream soda or your Moxie and your honey to the Mansfield Drive In Theatre (http://www.mansfieldmarketplace.com/), right down the street from the brewery.

02-11-2008, 04:09 PM
Tom looking at your list- "Bar" is down town New Haven. Big hang out for Yale Grad students.

Theree is a new SBC in Hamden that is not on your list. It is at the intersection of RT15 and Dixwell Ave. It is a few side streets away from West Rock.

Of course the most famous drinking establsihment is "Morey's" on York st. They make drinks in trophy cups.

02-11-2008, 04:37 PM
The list of hikes Tom's compiling need to be near listed BrewPubs for the "Views and Brews" site. BrewPub defined as "it serves beer that was brewed on premises, in a pub setting. In other words, a brewery with a tasting room, and only pretzels, is CLOSE, but NO CIGAR!" Beer and Pretzels yes, inclusion in Views and Brews, no. Since the BrewPubs tend to be in cities, the hike may need to be more creative, like a local historic site, bridge crossing or something.

02-11-2008, 04:43 PM
Hops @ Newington suggestion:

-Ragged Mountain (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ragged_Mountain_(Connecticut)) - popular rock climbing area with nice views. A nice loop using part of the Metacomet Trail - If you start at the West Lane road trailhead in Berlin,CT and keep left and you'll end up on top of the Ragged Mountain cliffs (or you can see them from below if you wish). Keep going on top of the cliffs and following the ridge with views of the reservoirs on the left. When you pass next to Shuttle Meadow Reservoir you can start keeping to the right to complete the loop back to the trailhead - you'll pass near a golf course on your left.

-East Peak (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_Peak) - A short drive down from Ragged is East Peak. Haven't been up there but its another gorgeous piece of CT trap rock with views into Meriden and the Sound. It is located in Hubbard Park (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubbard_Park) - map (http://www.scrcog.org/Trails_files/TrailMapHubbardPark.pdf)

02-11-2008, 05:19 PM
Of course the most famous drinking establishment is "Morey's" on York st. They make drinks in trophy cups.

Red and Green are the Cups I remember - groggily. The trophies had no bottom, at least back in the day. That was so you couldn't put them down - just pass them around until they're empty. Repeat until oblivious. You have to be a member, or with one, to get in. (I know one. ;)) First line of The Whiffenpoof's Song ("We are poor little lambs who have lost are way - Baaah, Baaah, Baaah"):

"From the tables down at Morey's...."

Quinnipiac Trail over Sleeping Giant (White Trail along the highest spine, passing the stone tower and skirting the quarry), then Regicides Trail all the way to West Rock and down the Red Trail to downtown New Haven, not far from the park that includes Yale Bowl, would be a great day-hike.

02-12-2008, 09:01 AM
The list of hikes Tom's compiling need to be near listed BrewPubs for the "Views and Brews" site. BrewPub defined as "it serves beer that was brewed on premises, in a pub setting. In other words, a brewery with a tasting room, and only pretzels, is CLOSE, but NO CIGAR!" Beer and Pretzels yes, inclusion in Views and Brews, no. Since the BrewPubs tend to be in cities, the hike may need to be more creative, like a local historic site, bridge crossing or something.

Well then, another consideration is...Park your car on Whitney Ave inHamden at the Whiteny center. It is a museum dedicated to Eli Whitney. It is on the site of his gun factory, wome original buildings are still there. This is also an enterance into East Rock park. http://www.cityofnewhaven.com/Parks/ParksInformation/eastrockpark.asp#map The park has a series of peaks (300') the tallest has the monument that you can see from I 95 and I91. From this vantage point you can see Long Island, and the small peaks in the Connecticut Rift valley. The peak that is the farthest east ends with some small cliffs that were the site of a brewery that went under during prohabition. Hike back to Orange Street along the Mill River. An early American artist George Henry Durrie painted this area.

From Orange St-College Woods area there are a number of street to walk toward downtown to see the Yale campus and Downtown New Haven. I suggest prospect. From this highpoint you can ee over to West Rock. You will passs the Yale Divinity School, the science buildings of Yale as well as Ingalls Rink. You will cross over the Farmington Canal. This is a paved park that was built over an old railroad bed. It extends fromNew Haven up to Chshire. Originaly it was a canal. The Amistaed prisoners were brouggt to court on this canal.

At the bottom of Prospect Street is Grove Street cemetary. It has the graves of Roger Sherman, a bunch of old Yalies and J.W.Gibbs. Continue on College St. You will be in the heart of the Yale campusthen onto New Haven Green. The three churches there are very famous. Cener church has a cript. Actually the church was built over a section of a grave yard. The most famous grave is Benedict Arnold's first wife. Opposite these churches is Phelps gate which is the enterance to Old Campus. Worth a look.

Continue on College St. to Crown St. The brew pub is called Bar. They make thier own beer. So you can get views, historical sites and a good brew.

Tom Rankin
02-12-2008, 02:46 PM
Great stuff folks, keep it coming!

I've tried to incorporate everyone's suggestions into the page. http://viewsandbrews.com/ct/CTList.html Comments welcome!

Also, if you see anything wrong with the Google Map, (http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?f=l&hl=en&geocode=&time=&date=&ttype=&ie=UTF8&t=h&om=1&msa=0&msid=109956227476517109602.000443b876643c3fb5bee&ll=42.030934,-72.718506&spn=1.450492,2.293396&z=9). let me know.

02-12-2008, 03:17 PM
For anyone who may want to combine Sleeping Giant with West Rock as a route to the New Haven brewpub, this West Rock Ridge State Park trail map (http://www.ct.gov/dep/lib/dep/stateparks/maps/westrock.pdf) should come in handy. The beginning of the Blue Trail, in the upper right corner, is a signed junction off the Quinnipiac Trail, a mile or two west of where it leaves Sleeping Giant State Park. I would recommend following the Blue Trail all the way, making sure to stop and explore picturesque Judges Cave (slab caves where the Regicides - Whalley and Goffe - hid out from the agents of King Charles II), where there a few picnic tables.

At the south end, a red-blazed trail, not shown by this map, leads you down the east edge of West Rock to high school playing fields, on the verge of downtown New Haven.