Barn Island Wildlife Management Area
Phone - None
Website - www.lisrc.uconn.edu/coastalaccess/site.asp
Admission Fee – None
Directions – Stonington; Take Exit 91 from I-95 to Route 234/Pequot Trail. Turn left onto North Main Street and continue to Route 1/Stonington-Westerly Road. Turn left onto and right onto Greenhaven Road after crossing Wequetequock Cove. Make an immediate right onto Palmer Neck Road for 1.4 miles to a parking area on the right before boat launch area. The trail is across the road.
In the 1930s the Barn Island Marshes, like most of the wetlands in New England, were ditched for mosquito control. In the late 1940s, the Connecticut Board of Fisheries and Game began constructing a series of impoundments across the valley marshes to offset the loss of waterfowl habitat caused by the mosquito ditching. Low earthen dikes converted the wetlands into non-tidal, shallow water habitat that indeed attracted more waterfowl but by the 1970s the impoundments were dominated by Narrow-leaved Cattail and expanding colonies of Phragmites. Restoration of tidal flushing was accomplished by reconfiguring the culverts.Today the actively managed 1,013-acre Barn Island Marshes are the State’s single largest coastal property.
Four impoundments have created islands of woodlands typical of upstate Connecticut along the shores of Wequetequock Cove. Four miles of trails wander across the dikes and down old farm roads, alternating between open salt-water marsh hiking and more familiar woods walking. As you go, look for remnants of the farming heritage of the site - stone walls that once lined cropland are now in the marsh, evidence of the rise in sea level over the centuries. This is easy trotting for your dog with only gentle elevation changes across Barn Island. Expect some of the trails to be overgrown in summer, however. Barn Island is an active hunting area after September 1 so dress yourself and your dog in blaze orange until March.
Where The Paw Meets The Earth: Barn Island is popular with birders in the cooler months but the trails are seldom crowded
Workout For Your Dog – More than an hour of easy-going trotting on tap here
Swimming - There is open water for a doggie dip at the boat launch which is a short walk from the parking area
Restrictions On Dogs - Dogs are welcome to hike here
As you reach deeper into the impoundments you will stumble upon a small graveyard that is inexorably being reclaimed by woodlands. Poke around and you’ll find headstones dating back to the 1700s.
Phone - None
Website - None
Admission Fee - None
Directions - Salisbury; head north on Route 41 from the intersection with Route 44 in town. Go 3.5 miles to a large parking lot on the left for the Undermountain Trail (it is signed).
Through much of the 19th century reference books stated confidently that no part of Connecticut was higher than 1,000 feet. No one living in the remote Litchfield Hills probably paid much mind but Robbins Battell of the prominent musical family of Norfolk wanted to set the record straight.He identified Bear Mountain as the highest point in the state, negotiated a long-term lease on the property and had it surveyed to make it official. But having set out in his quest for accuracy, Battell actually muddied the waters more. Long after the expert flutist, state senator and philanthropist died in 1894 modern surveying techniques identified the side of Mount Frissell, four miles away, as the highest point in Connecticut. Bear Mountain, however, is the state’s highest summit.
Every Nutmeg state dog should get a chance to stand on the state’s highest summit. The most popular route is via the blue-blazed Undermountain Trail to the Appalachian Trail, tagging the peak in just under three miles. Bear Mountain is an honest mountain - there is scarcely a downhill step on the ascent to the top - no depressing drops into saddles and ravines that set tails to drooping when you know you should be headed up. You are gaining over 1,500 feet in elevation on this canine hike but the serious panting does not begin until the final half-mile. Across Bear Mountain you’ll find view-blocking stretches of blueberry and huckleberry struggling with pitch pines and oaks in the stingy mountaintop soils. The views come soon enough, first to the west, then to the south and finally in all directions. You can continue across the summit and return on the 2.1-mile Paradise Lane Trail that crosses upland forests with small ups and downs. The drop down the north slope is steep, quick and rocky and will challenge the most cautious of dogs so take your time here. The full loop with a backtrack on the Undermountain Trail will cover about 6.6 miles.
Where The Paw Meets The Earth: Foot traffic only and you can expect to see other hikers any time of the year. Some weekends it can seem like a parade.
Workout For Your Dog – After climbing the state's highest peak your dog will earn a rest
Swimming - Seasonal streams and a vernal pond are the best you can hope for
Restrictions On Dogs - Dogs are welcome on these mountain trails
Robbins Battell hired local mason Owen Travis to erect a tower on the roof of Connecticut in 1885. Without the aid of any roads, Travis spent the next three years hauling 350 tons of stone to the summit. He built a pyramid 20 feet sqaure and 22.5 feet high in the rural tradition of New England stone fences with no mortar. A lightning rod extended another 17 feet above the surrounding countryside. Over the years the tower has crumbled but you and your dog can still scramble up ten feet of stabilized rubble and think about what it took to bring all these stones to the top of the state.
Bluff Point Coastal Reserve
Phone - (860) 444-7591
Website - www.ct.gov/dep/cwp/view.asp?a=2716&q=325178
Admission Fee - None
Directions – Groton; Take Exit 88 from I-95 onto Route 117 South to Route 1 South. Turn right and make a left at the first light onto Depot Road. Follow to the end, bearing right under the railroad underpass into the large parking lot.
Bluff Point is the last remaining undeveloped public land of any size along the Connecticut coastline. That is an irony since it was one of the first to be developed. Connecticut Governor John Winthrop (1698-1707), grandson of the founding governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, made his home on the peninsula and subsequent generations farmed the land for more than a century. Over the years more than 100 vacation homes were built around the headlands of Bluff Point. Each and every cottage was destroyed during the Hurricane of 1938 and none was rebuilt. The State had eyed the bluff as a possible recreation site since before World War I but the first land here was not acquired until 1963. In 1975 Bluff Point was designated a “Coastal Reserve” to preserve its unique ecological integrity.
Most of your dog’s trotting around Bluff Point will take place on a wide, level cart road that serviced the long-gone agricultural fields. The trip from the parking lot to Bluff Point in the Long Island Sound is 1.6 miles through alternating maritime forest and open shore land. Easy grades take you up to your ultimate destination atop the pink granite rocks of the bluff. A short detour leads to a one-mile wide sand spit that connects to the small Bushy Point Beach. Your dog will salivate at the chance to romp across the open sand but it is closed to dogs during the plover nesting season from April 15 to September 15. The loop back travels along a forested ridge. The highlight on this trail segment are stone ruins of the 300-year old Winthrop homestead. There are more nooks and crannies to explore on Bluff Point, including a cut-off to the full 3.6-mile loop. A side trail wanders along the Providence & Worcester Railroad from the parking lot to Mumford Cove. This trail reaches Haley Farm State Park in about one mile but dogs are not allowed in that park.
Where The Paw Meets The Earth: Regular trail users take advantage of this seaside hike, including bikes and the occasional horse but nothing keeps a beach crowd down like a one-mile walk to the surf. No motor vehicles are allowed.
Workout For Your Dog – More than one hour of easy going
Swimming - There is plenty of easy access to superior dog paddling in the Poquonnock River
Restrictions On Dogs - Dogs are allowed everywhere except Bushy Point Beach 4/15 to 9/15
The mile-long Bushy Point Beach shelters the Poquonnock River that has developed into an estuary rich in shellfish and the shorebirds that feast on them. The windswept salt waters attract human shell fishermen as well. A permit is requied to ply the waters with your clam rake and one can be obtained in the Groton town offices located on the corner of Route 1 and Depot Road where you turned into the park. Don’t be surprised if your dog wades in to help out with the clamming.
Burr Pond State Park
Phone - (860) 482-1817
Website - www.ct.gov/dep/cwp/view.asp?A=2716&Q=325180
Admission Fee - None except seasonally on the weekends and holidays
Directions – Torrington; from Route 8 take Exit 46 and go west on Pinewoods Road. At the end turn left onto Winsted Road. Turn right at the blinking light to the park uphill on the left.
In 1851, Milo Burr built a rock dam at the meeting of several mountain streams to create a lake whose water powered local industries. Every tree of any size was eventually chopped down to feed a tannery and three sawmills. Now, 150 years later, Burr Pond looks like a natural mountain lake rimmed with boulders and speckled with small islands. The trees are back, too.
The canine hike around Burr Pond is the best circumnavigation of a lake in Connecticut. The footpath, actually built by Philip Buttrick during the Great Depression for the Civilian Conservation Corps, is almost universally wide, often flat and traverses airy hemlocks and yellow birches. Toss in the occasional brook crossing, impressive rock outcropping, tiny coves and nearly constant glimpses of the water and you have the recipe for a quality day for your dog. On the opposite shore gentle, rocky inclines begin to intrude which gives you a feel for what awaits on the intersecting Muir Trail through the adjoining Paugnut State Forest. Your goal here is 1,326-foot Walnut Mountain, which you will tag and return, adding a couple of hours to your dog’s day in the woods.
Where The Paw Meets The Earth: Foot traffic only; if you catch a rare day when it is crowded on the loop around Burr Pond you can find solitude on the Muir Trail
Workout For Your Dog – More than an hour and more of trail time
Swimming - Every water-loving dog deserves a swim in the clear waters of Burr Pond; access comes at regular intervals on the trail around the pond
Restrictions On Dogs - Dogs are not allowed on the beach but can hike the trails and party in the picnic area.
Gail Borden was born in New York state in 1801 and worked his way to Texas as a surveyor, school teacher, farmer and customs collector. In Texas he penned the famous headline “Remember The Alamo!”, battled yellow fever with ether, invented the Lazy Susan, and devised an amphibious vehicle. He developed a meat biscuit that was all but inedible. It was a commercial failure but was hailed as a scientific breakthrough and Borden sailed to England to accept an award. On the journey back he watched horrified as children died from drinking contaminated milk. Borden began experiments with condensing milk and was granted a patent. Gail Borden was 55 years old. He had a patent but he had no market, no money, no credit. His company failed. So did another. His third factory was a small mill built here on land leased from Milo Burr in 1857. The nation was finally fed up with dangerous, unclean milk. Condensed milk now caught on quickly. Eventually Borden would bring milk into more homes than any other firm in the world. When he died his epitaph read: “I tried and failed, I tried again and again, and succeeded.”
Phone - 860) 424-3200
Website - www.ct.gov/dep/cwp/view.asp?A=2716&Q=325182
Admission Fee - None except seasonally on the weekends and holidays
Directions - Killingworth; From I-95 take Exit 63 and follow Route 81 north to Route 80 west. The park entrance is on the right.
In 1639 three brothers, Francis, Thomas and George Chatfield emigrated from Pagham in the south of England to the wilds of Connecticut. The Chatfields settled in Guilford and their descendants are believed to have worked a gristmill on the Chatfield Hollow brook, that drops to the Long Island Sound through a pair of parallel ridges here. In 1934, Franklin Roosevelt’s “Tree Army,” the Civilian Conservation Corps, came to the hollow and built a stone and earth dam across the stream. Schreeder Pond then became the centerpiece of the recreational facilities in the state park.
Chatfield Hollow is a good place to bring an adventurous dog with sporty hiking to be had on the both the east and west crests of the park. In fact, there is so much hard, light-colored granitic-type rock called Monson Gneiss scattered about the grounds that some trail sections aren’t suitable for dogs. The Indian Caves on the green-blazed Chimney Trail require climbs and jumps that most dogs can’t make. Similarly, the going is tough for dogs on the West Crest Trail, less so across the light woods and thin soils of the connecting Lookout Trail and Ridge Trail on the East Crest. Even the flat going on the Covered Bridge Trail can be a challenge with its abundance of rocks and exposed tree roots. But the trail segments are short and the entrance road can be used to close loops so if your dog isn’t enjoying the hiking you can cut short your explorations. Many dog walkers simply use the 1.1-mile serpentine entrance road for their dog’s outing at Chatfield Hollow.
Where The Paw Meets The Earth: This is a popular park but only the hardy get deep into the trails
Workout For Your Dog – If your dog is just getting warmed up on these short, rugged jaunts, however, you can head east and follow the Chatfield Trail into the Cockaponset State Forest. Here you can experience more of the handiwork of glaciers that scraped and pushed the rocks around 10,000 years ago.
Swimming - Dogs are not allowed in the swimming ponds; Chatfield Hollow Brook is a rocky stream with a few, but not many, pools
Restrictions On Dogs - Dogs are allowed on the trails and there are plenty of poop bags available along the entrance road
Connecticut has scores of covered bridges but only a handful date to the 1800s and were built for vehicular traffic. Many covered foot bridges can be found in the state’s parks. The 30-foot span here across Chatfield Hollow Brook was built in 1966. Upstream is a restored undershot wooden waterwheel.
Collis P. Huntington State Park
Phone - (860) 242-1158
Website - www.ct.gov/dep/cwp/view.asp?a=2716&q=325222&depNav_GID=1650
Admission Fee - None
Directions - Redding; on Sunset Hill Road off Route 58, 10 miles north of Route 15, the Merritt Parkway and 4.6 miles south of Route 302. The first entrance on the right is the larger parking lot next to the town’s Couch Hill Preserve. Year-round trailhead parking is down the way at Dodgingtown Road.
Much of this hilltop property was developed in the early 1900s by Walter Lutgen, a business associate of August Belmont. Lutgen built lakes and miles of Victorian carriage roads to emulate the woodland estates of his native Germany. After going broke during the Great Depression Lutgen lost his estate and it was purchased by Archer Huntington, scion to the empire built by Transcontinental Railroad pioneer Collis P. Huntington, for whom the park was named. Archer Huntington was a scholar with wide-ranging interests. He was the nation’s leading authority on all things Spanish and helped found nearly 20 museums and wildlife preserves around the country. Huntington called his estate Stanerigg, for the Scottish word for “stony ridge,” and it was his last home. The state park opened after his wife’s death in 1973.
Your dog is in for several distinct canine hiking experiences at the old Huntington place. Most of your trail time will cover the wide, old carriage roads across the wooded bumps and hogbacks. These country lane rambles with your dog can cover miles. The white-blazed trip above Lake Hopewell that twists vigorously through rock formations was designed by mountain bikers but is great fun for your dog as he slaloms along. It is a fast-paced one-mile journey that is remarkablypaw-friendly in between the rocks and roots. South of the lake your dog can enjoy the relatively rare Connecticut experience of beautiful open fields and athletic dogs can also access the long-distance Aspetuck Valley Trail in Huntington State Park.
Where The Paw Meets The Earth: Bikes are allowed but this is not a busy park - there is nothing to do but use the trails
Workout For Your Dog – Gently rolling terrain for an outing of about an hour
Swimming - Although much of the shoreline is mucky there are a couple of good access points in Lake Hopewell - the earthen dam for one. There is good dog paddling in the surrounding lagoons as well
Restrictions On Dogs - Dogs are welcome to hike in the park
Anna Vaughn Hyatt was already one of the masters of naturalistic animal sculpture when she married Archer Huntington in 1923 at the age of 47. She would continue to work almost to her death fifty years later, much of her pieces forming America’s first sculpture garden, Brookgreen Gardens, that she started in South Carolina. Anna’s families of wolves and bears grace the entrance to the park and down the road is her heroic sculpture of Israel Putnam. The animal-loving Huntingtons, by the way, raised some of the world’s finest Scottish Deerhounds in their Stanerigg kennels.
Devil’s HopyardState Park
Phone - (860) 873-8566
Website – www.ct.gov/dep/cwp/view.asp?a=2716&q=325188
Admission Fee – None
Directions - East Haddam; off of Route 82, east of the Connecticut River. Follow signs to the park along Hopyard Road.
No one knows the definitive origin of this park’s colorful name. Several eerie tales involve the supernatural but the real story may just be that a farmer named Dibble once grew hops for brewing beer in a field here. The centerpiece of the park is Chapman Falls that spills in cascades down layers of erosion-resistant schist. The falls powered mills during the 1800s and logging continued in the area until 1919 when Miss A.G. Willard of Colchester convinced the State Park and Forest Commission to purchase 860 acres through the Eight Mile River valley and stop the logging.
Devil’s Hopyard is one of the best places to take your dog hiking in central Connecticut. You’ll find 15 miles of trails with the star being the 2.5-mile, orange-blazed Vista Trail. Starting across a covered bridge the route alternates between a pick-your-way trail through the rocks and a wide and inviting path under an open hemlock forest. After skirting the cold-water Eight Mile River the trail climbs briskly up the hillside to an overlook of the valley. The loop crosses the higher elevations of the park before finishing at Chapman Falls. One of the highlights of the park is the Devils Oven, a rock formation that can be explored via a short trail that is nearly vertical. Your dog’s four-wheel drive will be an asset on this path but it is heavily littered with glass so unless you are a major fan of glacial rock carvings, just observe from below.
Where The Paw Meets The Earth: Natural rock-studded paths
Workout For Your Dog – As much as your dog desires
Swimming - There is easy access to Eight Mile River along the Vista Trail, including a small, pebbly beach just downstream from Chapman Falls
Restrictions On Dogs - Dogs are allowed on trails and picnic areas but not in the campground
In the plunge basin at Chapman Falls are some of the finest examples of pothole stone formations in Connecticut. Potholes form when small stones are trapped in whirling waters that grind out the smooth depressions. That’s the scientific explanation. Others believed that when the Devil passed the falls in his travels he got his tail wet and became so infuriated he burned holes in the stone with his hooves as he fumed away.
Housatonic Meadows State Park
Phone - (860) 927-3238
Website - www.ct.gov/dep/cwp/view.asp?a=2716&q=325220
Admission Fee - None
Directions – Sharon; on Route 7, two miles north of Route 4. For trail users there is a parking lot on the west side of Route 7 at the southern end of the park.
Industry came early to the Sharon Valley along the Housatonic River. The area prospered as one of America’s most important early mining and refining centers, at one point earning the moniker of “Mousetrap Capital of the World.” Iron production ended in 1925 and a few years later the Civilian Conservation Corps established a camp here to develop this park and other nearby recreation facilities.
Housatonic Meadows is cherished today for its piney campground and excellent flyfishing in the chilly waters of the river. Hiking? Not so much. But Housatonic Meadows may be the best single-trail park in the state. That trail is the Pine Knob Loop, a sporty exploration that tops two small peaks through exceedingly pleasing woodland. The loop is actually a melding of three trails, including the Appalachian Trail. This attractive trail that covers about 2.5 miles is lure enough to bring your dog but Pine Knob also serves up memorable overlooks of the Housatonic River below. For some reason, if the loop seems too daunting for your dog, you could park at the campground, cross Route 7 and scamper up to an overlook and return.
Where The Paw Meets The Earth: This is an easy access point for the Appalachian Trail so Pine Knob loopers will mingle with the long-distance trekkers
Workout For Your Dog – Between one and two hours of trail time
Swimming - Hatch Brook is a noisy companion along the Red Trail where your dog will love splashing in the cascades. With a little determination you can get your water-loving dog into the Housatonic Rver but be careful parking along and crossing Route 7 and its blind curves. Don’t disturb the fly fishermen though.
Restrictions On Dogs - Dogs are not allowed in the popular riverside campground but can hike the Pine Knob Trail across the road
Connecticut’s first long-span covered bridge crossed the Housatonic River at Sharon-Cornwall in 1806. That historic bridge went out with ice breakup in 1936. The longest (172 feet) and most celebrated is the West Cornwall Bridge over the Housatonic on Route 128. The bridge dates to 1864 with its center pier probably reused from an earlier structure that was washed away in an 1837 flood.The red spruce timbers are secured with wooden pegs slotted and wedged to hold them in place. Bull’s Bridge, south of the park, takes its name from Isaac and Jacob Bull. They operated an ironworks before the American Revolution and built the first of at least five wooden bridges that have crossed the Housatonic. The present span is believed to date from 1842. Both bridges have been renovated with neatly camoflauged steel decks for modern use and both are on the National Register of Historic Places.
Phone - (203) 630-4259
Website - www.cityofmeriden.org/CMS/default.asp?CMS_PageID=426
Admission Fee - None
Directions - Meriden; for the Metacomet Trail take Exit 5 off I-691 Eastbound and go north on Route 71 to pull-offs past Kensington Avenue. The main entrance to the park is further north at Park Drive off Butler Street.
When volcanoes stopped rumbling and spewing lava about 200 million years ago the entire region cooled, fractured and tilted to the west leaving the East Peak/West Peak that is reportedly the highest mountain within 25 miles of the coastline from Cadillac Mountain in Maine to Florida. Walter Hubbard, whose ancestors landed on these shores in 1633, lived a classic 19th century American success story: grow up on a farm, start work early as a store clerk, save and dream, open your own store at age 30, see an opportunity with the discovery of kerosene, start a company that becomes the world leader in lamps, evolve into civic leader. At the age of 76 Hubbard, drawing on his many trips to Europe, imported Italian stonemasons to build a 32-foot cylindrical medieval tower on land he owned atop East Peak overlooking Meriden. The 32-foot high Castle Craig was dedicated with much fanfare on October 29, 1900. Hubbard then donated land for a surrounding park, consulting on its design with the Olmsted Brothers, sons of Frederick Law Olmsted of Central Park fame.
The Hanging Hills are full of steep hiking trails and beautiful, scenic views for your dog. The prime destination for most visitors will be Castle Craig, reached by the Metacomet Trail. The climb to the traprock tower above Merimere Reservoir is more challenging for the rock scrambling under paw than for the taxing climb so take your time and enjoy the views as you go. This is an out-and-back canine hike so you will return the way you came. There is much else for your dog to do in the 1,800-acre park as well. Dozens of unmarked wooded trails in the Hanging Hills and grassy fields begging for a game of fetch in the developed section of the Hubbard Park, for instance.
Where The Paw Meets The Earth: Blue blazes will lead you to Castle Craig; the adventure begins if you take your dog off the main route
Workout For Your Dog – Panting aplenty in store
Swimming – The Elmere Reservoir and Merimere Reservoir are off-limits and Mirror Lake is more for admiring fountains than swimming dogs
Restrictions On Dogs - Dogs are allowed to hike these trails
Long before Castle Craig was built the West Peak of the Hanging Hills was said to be haunted by “a short haired black dog of moderate size.” The saying among locals eerily goes: “And if a man shall meet the Black Dog once, it shall be for joy; and if twice, it shall be for sorrow; and the third time, he shall die.” The dog is said to bark but no sound is heard and after it leaves unwary hikers no pawprints are left behind in “the dust of summer or the snow of winter.” On the first encounter the friendly black dog will sometimes happily join your pack on West Peak. A select few who see the dog a second time have reported misfortune on their travels and, of course, no one has ever heard tell of a third meeting.
Lower Paugussett State Forest
Phone - None
Website - None
Admission Fee - None
Directions – Stevenson; take Exit 11 off I-84 to Route 34. Go east (right) for 4.9 miles and make a left on Great Quarter Road to parking area at end.
Since the earliest colonial times, the Housatonic River has been used as a source of power. The first dams were built to operate gristmills and sawmills, and later to turn turbines. In 1870 the first dam for the generation of electric power was constructed across the river between Derby and Shelton. Other hydroelectric power dams were built in Great Barrington, Falls Village, and Kent. Planning for the Stevenson Dam began before 1900 and ground was broken in 1917. When the 122-foot high dam was completed two years later the resulting Lake Zoar became the fifth largest freshwater body in the state, flooding deserted dairy farms and remnants of villages with Housatonic water for over ten miles.
Setting out on the blue-blazed Lake Zoar Trail the destination for most canine hikers is the cascading Prydden Falls, a few tail wags past 1.5 miles away. To get there your dog won’t trot on a more agreeable trail in all of Connecticut. Traversing an open hemlock forest, the footpath/woods road bounces over of bounces and rolls along the hillside. The path is smooth enough that you won’t take a tumble if you get distracted by the spectacular views of Lake Zoar. When you reach Prydden Brook a small, unmarked trail leads to the falls on the right (look for a sign posted on a tree for confirmation). It is a seasonal falls so in late summer there may not be enough water for your dog to refresh in the sluices and pools as the water makes it way 100 feet down to the lake. This will be as far as it goes for most canine hikers and you will retrace your pawprints back to the trailhead. But you can venture further up the lakeshore before turning back (heed the trail detour from April 15 to August 15 for nesting birds) or even head up into the hills for a six-mile loop. This is a much rougher hike than the opening stretch to the falls and you will need to take your dog a half-mile down a narrow, albeit lightly used, residential road to return to the your vehicle.
Where The Paw Meets The Earth: You may encounter other trail users early in the hike but solitude is your likely reward for taking your dog deeper into the forest
Workout For Your Dog - From two to four hours
Swimming - Absolutely - in Lake Zoar
Restrictions On Dogs - Dogs are allowed to hike in the state forest
Lake Zoar is in almost constant view and tantalizingly close during this canine hike but access to the water for your dog is problematic at best due to high banks. But about one mile into this journey, out of nowhere, you drop down to a small sandy beach where your dog can glide into the cool waters for one of the best secluded swims in Connecticut.
Macedonia Brook State Park
Phone - (860) 927-3238
Website - www.ct.gov/dep/cwp/view.asp?a=2716&q=325234&depNav_GID=1650
Admission Fee - None
Directions – Kent; from Route 7 in the center of town take Route 341 west to Macedonia Brook Road. Turn right and stay left to the park.
The Scatacook Indians were the first to settle in the hills around the confluence of the Housatonic and Ten Mile rivers. Not much changed when the British founded Kent in 1738. In fact, when the American Revolution broke out in 1775, Scatacook volunteers operated a signal system up on the ridgetops. The valley around Macedonia evolved into an important early American iron center. Every tree for miles around was cut to fee the hungry forges of the Kent Iron Company. By 1848 there were none left. Not that it mattered since more productive iron mines were putting eastern forges out of business. Kent survived to the end of the Civil War before its forge went cold. The core lands for the state park came to Connecticut in 1918 from siblings Alain and May White, dispersing a family fortune made when Danbury was the fur hat capital of the world. Federal Conservation Corps workers during the Great Depression of the 1930s reforested and built the park.
Any level of canine hiker will delight in Macedonia Brook State Park. Dogs looking for a ramble down a shady country lane can set out on dirt roads and grassy paths that run along and across Macedonia Brook. You can spend over an hour hiking in the valley and past the campground. The prize for adventurous dogs is Cobble Mountain with its splendid vews to the west across the Hudson River to the Catskill Mountains. From the center of the park a short, rugged boulder scramble - maybe the state’s harshest - leads to the Cobble Mountain summit. If your dog can’t make it or you can’t lift him, retreat and access the blue-blazed Macedonia Ridge Trail that circles the park. This spirited route covers more than six miles and crosses four hilltops in a very rewarding circuit but can be shortened with connector trails if you notice your dog flagging.
Where The Paw Meets The Earth: Up on the peaks surrounding the valley the trail will likely be yours; you can expect a mountain biker or two
Workout For Your Dog – Very much so
Swimming – Don’t bother the fly fishermen and your dog can cool off in Macedonia Brook
Restrictions On Dogs – Dogs are allowed to hike the park trails and snack in the sreamside picnic areas but can not stay in the campground
Just north of the town of Kent on Route 7 is Kent Falls, a series of water cascades tumbling 250 feet over a quarter-mile. The tallest single drop is 70 feet, just ten feet from being the state’s highest. A short trail leads up and over the falls. Make it a stop-off on your trip to Macedonia Brook; there are multiple plunge pools where your dog can play.
Mile of Ledges
Phone - None
Website - None
Admission Fee - None
Directions – Burlington; take Route 72 north from Route 6 for 1.7 miles to Preston Road. Go to end at East Plymouth Road and turn left. Parking is at the trailhead along the road in a half-mile.
This stretch of the blue-blazed Tunxis Trail follows lands and around reservoirs owned by the Bristol Water Department. It is the terminus of the northern section of the trail coming down from Massachusetts.
The Mile of Ledges is not the fabrication of some publicist. The trail crawls up and down over boulders, fissures and overhangs for that mile. The rugged, challenging route is one of Connecticut’s most celebrated hikes, but chances are your dog wasn’t polled. An athletic dog can make the journey and may even revel in the jumping and challenge in finding a passable route. But this is not the place for an inexperienced tail dog. Many dogs will find the drop-offs and tight passages intimidating. In certain spots - Bear’s Den comes to mind - only a Houdini-dog will find his way out. Take your time, look for alternate routes and plan on plenty of cajoling and lifting on this canine hike. After passing through the Mile of Ledges you won’t want to turn around and retrace your steps and luckily you can make a loop by walking a half-mile on lightly traveled Greer Road and return on the Yellow-Dot Trail. The toughest part of this northerly route comes at the beginning but your dog will welcome the chance to hike on dirt instead of rock. The full loop, completely under trees, will cover over four miles.
Where The Paw Meets The Earth: The trails are well-marked through the boulders. Finding the trailhead for the Yellow-Dot Trail on Greer Road is your biggst obstacle to wayfinding. It is tucked in the woods on the left when the road becomes a driveway.
Workout For Your Dog – Allow at least two hours to complete this loop
Swimming - A pond mercilessly appears at the end of the Mile of Ledges. There is too much vegetation for a good swim but your dog will appreciate splashing in the cool waters. Also a small stream is on the stem trail leading to the loop.
Restrictions On Dogs - None
Shortly after marrying during the American Revolution Stephen Graves, who lived in a cabin near the ledges, was drafted to serve the Colonial Army. He hired a substitute, and while his substitute was still in the service at Grave’s expense, he was again drafted. When he protested this injustice, Graves was pursued and arrested as a deserter. He escaped and when he returned home he threw in with many of his neighbors, who were British sympathizers known as Tories. For protection the men worked the area farms together and from time to time took refuge from Colonial troops under the large slabs of granite that came to be known as the Tory Den. Nineteen year-old Mrs. Graves would come at night through “the dark and pathless woods, over rocky ledges” to carry them food. Many efforts were made to find this hiding place, but its location was never known to any but the Tories until after the close of the war.
Phone - (413) 528-0330
Website - www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/western/wnds.htm
Admission Fee - None
Directions – Salisbury; take Mt. Riga Road that becomes Mount Washington Road. Go north into Massachusetts and continue as it becomes East Street. The parking area for the Forest Headquarters is on the left.
It did not take long for members of the Massachusetts Bay Colony to start migrating inland and by 1642 so many settlers had come to the Connecticut River at Springfield and Hartford that Massachusetts hired surveyors to create a boundary based on its charter: “all the lands to the Pacific Ocean from a point three miles south of the most southernly branch of the Charles River.” That border line would be in dispute for the next 164 years and when it was finalized the summit of Mount Frissell wound up jusssssst that far on the Massachusetts side of the line, leaving the highest point in Connecticut on the side of the mountain. And so the Nutmeg State is the only one of the 50 states whose highpoint is not a summit.
There are several options for your dog to stand at the highest point in Connecticut. The most direct is from the trailhead on East Street that takes you up and over Round Mountain and onto Mount Frissell in a little over a mile. The climbs are steady but won’t overwhelm a healthy trail dog. A little ways past the roof of Connecticut and 80 feet higher is the open, grassy summit that has been heretofore obscured by the thick trees. If your goal is simply to tag the highest point in the state, turn around and head back. but as long as you’re up here... The marquee canine hike in Mount Washington State Forest is the trek to 2240-foot Alander Mountain and its expansive 270-degree views that may be the best in western Massachusetts. After passing the Tri-State Marker you can head north on the lightly traveled Ashley Hill Trail through lush forests and head back up to Alander Mountain. Until the campground about halfway back to the summit the going is on a wide jeep road and there will be plenty of unbridged stream crossings that your dog will happily bound through. When your dog gets his fill of mountaintop views of the Hudson Valley and the Catskills continue across to the South Taconic Trail to close your loop. If you plan to make the big loop you can also start your day in the forest headquarters and just take a jog down the Mount Frissell Trail, rather than cross Round Mountain. The loop over Alander Mountain will cover about eleven miles.
Where The Paw Meets The Earth: All these trails are well-blazed but get a map
Workout For Your Dog – About two hours to reach the Connecticut highpoint and return; a full day to include Alander Mountain
Swimming - There are plenty of streams in Washington State Forest, mostly of the splashing variety
Restrictions On Dogs - Dogs are allowed to tag these summits
As long as you are flirting with the Massachusetts-Connecticut line you may as well visit Campbell Falls, where the Whiting River tumbles nearly 100 feet in a dramatic farewell to the Bay State. There isn’t a great deal of canine hiking at Campbell Falls - but what’s here is some of the most serene and paw-friendly in the Berkshires. Start your canine hike along Route 272 and in less than a mile you will pass the stone pillar marking the boundary with the falls straight ahead.
Pachaug State Forest
Phone - (860) 376-4075
Website - www.ct.gov/dep/cwp/view.asp?a=2716&q=325068&depNav_GID=1650
Admission Fee - None except seasonally on
the weekends and holidays
Directions – Voluntown; take I-395 south, Exit 85 onto Route 138 East. Follow for 9 miles and take a left onto Route 49 north to the entrance on the left. For the Green Falls Area take Route 138 east for 8.3 miles to the forest entrance.
Indians of the Narragansett, Pequot, and Mohegan tribes hunted along the Pachaug River (the name “Pachaug” means “bend in the river”) for centuries. In the late 1700s British colonists, with the help of the Mohegans, began skirmishing with the local Indians. When the Narragansetts and Pequots were defeated a six mile square tract was granted to the Indian War Veterans. Eventually, the central portion of this land grant became “Volunteer’s Town,” incorporated as Voluntown in 1721. The first land for the Pachaug State Forest was purchased in 1928. On June 6, 1933 Camp Lonergan, one of the first Civilian Conservation Corps work camps, was established here to develop recreational facilites. Today Pachaug covers about 24,000 acres in six towns, and is the largest state forest in Connecticut.
A quartet of long-distance hiking trails traverse this vast public recreation mecca in southeastern Connecticut. Access is from two developed areas, Chapman and Green Falls. At Chapman your dog can indulge in a botanical walk and a little mountain climbing. The trek to the top of 441-foot Mt. Misery, named by settlers dispirited by the abundance of rocks in the soil, can be slick for your dog on exposed rock. The view from the highest point in the vicinity is one-directional but the flat rocks make a fine resting spot with your dog. One of the most unique canine hikes in Connecticut is the easy stroll through blankets of ferns, Eastern hemlock and Atlantic white cedar in the Rhododendron Sanctuary. A crushed gravel and boardwalk path leads into swampland where you are immersed in magnificent thickets of native rosebay rhododendrons over ten feet tall. Come to the 26-acre sanctuary off the main Chapman parking lot in late spring and early summer to see the plants in full bloom. For a longer canine hiking day at Chapman, head north along the network of dirt roads or the Pachaug Trail to Philips Pond and, further on, to Hell Hollow, a low-lying swampy pond. This is fairly easy going for your dog, completely in forest through interspersed rocky passages. At Green Falls there are two distinct hikes of interest for your dog. If you come in spring you will certainly want to spin around the 3-mile Laurel Loop and lose yourself in the delicate white blossoms of mountain laurel. In the other direction, the Nehantic Trail leads to the clear waters of Green Falls Pond, which you can circle with good access for your dog. You will see plenty of stone souvenirs in the form of cellar holes, mill ruins and fences around the pond.
Where The Paw Meets The Earth: Natural surface paths and dirt roads
Workout For Your Dog – Many hours to a full weekend
Swimming - Several brooks provide a refreshing splash for your dog and you can reach swimming ponds on the trails
Restrictions On Dogs - Dogs are allowed to hike the trails but not stay in the campground
The Connecticut Valley’s Siberian Husky Club stages races in Pachaug State Forest during the fall and winter. More than 100 dogs will typically compete. If there is insufficient snow, wheels are attached to the rigs. Spectators can watch the races from various points along the course. If you aren’t versed in dog sled speak, when the mushers yell “Gee” they want the dogs to turn right and when they want the team to move left they yell “Haw.”
Ragged Mountain Preserve
Phone - None
Website - None
Admission Fee - None
Directions – Berlin; south of town via Route 71A. Turn west on Wigwam Road and park on the right where it ends at West Lane.
Hikers have been making their way to the top of the exposed cliffs on Ragged Mountain for as long as there have been people in Connecticut. Although closely flanked by residential neighborhoods, today the mountain has been laced with conservation easements that should keep it open for years to come.
When you study a map before tackling Ragged Mountain you notice that you will be hiking about two miles to reach the 761-foot summit. Taking into account your trailhead elevation of 230 feet and doing some quick ciphering, it can be easy to conclude an easy day on the mountain waits. But soon your dog is bounding into and out of numerous ravines and you realize that you are indeed in for a workout on Ragged Mountain. The 50+ mile Metacomet Trail is the most celebrated of the many footpaths and old roads you can find in the preserve and most canine hikers will combine that blue-blazed route with the Ragged Mountain Preserve Trail to fashion a hiking loop of just under seven miles. Take care with your dog when you reach the exposed cliffs - there is plenty of room to maneuver but it is not the place for a rambunctious dog. The trail trips along the cliff edges for a good distance, ducking into the woods every now and then. On the mountain are plenty of rocky pawfalls but the open woodland offers wiggle room for your dog as you move along.
Where The Paw Meets The Earth: Expect some rocky going under paw here
Workout For Your Dog – Expect three to four hours to complete the circuit to the summit and back
Swimming - No swimming on Ragged Mountain, although a seasonal stream may be flowing
Restrictions On Dogs - None
The Ragged Mountain Foundation (RMF) was created to enhance and administer what is widely considered the best rock climbing cliffs in Connecticut.They became the first rock-climbing organization to actually own its rock climbing area when they gained control of a 56-acre piece of Ragged Mountain.Some 200 routes have been mapped on the exposed cliff faces. The RMF allows access to their preserve to hikers and climbers so you can admire their expertise on the mountainside.
Sleeping Giant State Park
Phone - (203) 789-7498
Website - www.ct.gov/dep/cwp/view.asp?a=2716&q=325264&depNav_GID=1650#map
Admission Fee - None except seasonally on the weekends and holidays
Directions – Hamden; across from Quinnipiac University on Mt. Carmel Avenue. From I-91 take Exit 10 to Route 40 to Route 10 North and turn right on Mt. Carmel. From I-84 take Route 70 South to Route 10 South and left on Mt. Carmel.
Most of the basaltic ridges in Connecticut run predictably from north to south but one rogue two-mile band of hills runs east-west. The ridge is easily recognized, especially from the original settlements on the southern coast, even more so because the ridge resembles a giant man resting on his back. American Indians shied away from the ridge, considering it an evil spirit. Early settlers did some milling here but its history has been mostly for recreation. Summer cottages were common on the ridgetops beginning in the mid 1800s. One of those cottages belonged to Willis Cook, who had started work in a Mt. Carmel axle shop at the age of 10 and in forty years of time came to own the business. He was appointed postmaster and a Hamden judge. He owned the ridge that formed the Giant’s head. Dismayed by vandalism, he leased his land for quarrying the mountain’s traprock. As blasting began to transform the Giant’s silhouette, horrified residents began laying the foundation for the Sleeping Giant Park Association.
Just about any kind of canine hiking fare is on the menu in this cherished park. There are more than 30 miles of trails running from the feet to the head of the Giant, the first trails in Connecticut to be designated a National Recreation Trail. Most are rocky and tricky but even the novice trail dog can tackle the gently ascending road that makes up the 1.6-mile Tower Path. Your destination on top of the 739-foot Mount Carmel summit is a hulking four-story stone observation tower that would not be out of place in King Arthur’s time.Experienced dogs can reach the tower, located near the hip of the Giant, via the difficult Blue Trail. The wooded ridges obscure the rocky nature of the ground. Many of the ascents are pick-your-way passages. At some spots around cobbles of jumbled boulders like Hezekiah’s Knob the trail narrows enough to demand care with your dog. Even the Nature Trail involves some rough going a ways into it. This detailed, one-hour exploration is a stand-out of its kind, offering an excellent background to your visit to the Giant.
Where The Paw Meets The Earth: There is quite a tangle of trails visiting every body part of the Giant. Pick a destination, plot a course from the trailhead kiosks and set out.
Workout For Your Dog – Plan to spend the day with your dog enjoying these trails
Swimming - Water is not the attraction here; the small ponds tend to be swampy
Restrictions On Dogs - Dogs are allowed throughout the state park and forest
Without question, the greatest tree in America prior to 1900 was the chestnut. Rot resistant with fine-grained wood, the chestnut tree supported both vibrant wildlife populations and entire rural economies. It was estimated that one in every four trees in the eastern forests was a chestnut tree - some as old as 600 years. But in 1904 an Asian fungus was discovered in the Bronx Zoo and the blight soon decimated the chestnut population. By 1950 millions of acres of woodlands were left with dead, standing trees. The chestnut blight remains 100% fatal - young chestnuts may reach 20 or 30 feet but are doomed to succumb to the disease. In 1949, Dr. Arthur Graves sold 8.3 acres of his land for The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station for tree breeding. The Chestnut Plantation at Sleeping Giant, east of the park, hosts specimens of all of the species of chestnut and is one of the finest in the world.
Steep Rock Reservation
Phone - (860) 868-9131
Website - www.steeprockassoc.org
Admission Fee - None
Directions – Washington Depot; from Route 47 in town, turn down River Road on the west side of the Shepaug River. In a mile, when the road turns right, bear left onto the wide dirt Tunnel Road. Parking is on both sides of the river.
More than any other architect, Ehrick Rossiter, working in the late 19th century, gave Washington its distinctive look. He designed over 20 buildings in the town, many in a rambling Colonial Revival style. In 1889, just as he was about to break ground on his own country house he discovered that the wooded hillsides that would be his view were slated for clear cutting. Instead of building the house he bought the threatened land from the timber company. Rossiter caressed his 100 acres for 36 years, building carriage roads and small river crossings. In 1925 he donated the land, which included the Steep Rock overlook, to a carefully chosen group of trustees, thus ensuring its preservation. Over the years additional landowner donations have swelled the Steep Rock Association’s holdings to 4,500+ acres.
Attractive woodlands, a sporty trail, a one-of-a-kind view, a long riverside ramble - Steep Rock Reservation has it all for your dog. The Steep Rock Loop leaves from the west side of the Shepaug River on a wide, switchbacking path into the hills. When the hemlocks give way to hardwoods the path gets rockier but is still easy on the paw. The destination is the overlook of the Clam Shell, where the river loops back on itself. Your dog can stay well back of the fence and soak in the dramatic view from a rock outcropping. Heading back down the wooded slopes, you’ll be using carriage roads, passing through a striking series of multi-trunked hemlocks. At the river your dog will cross on the Hauser Footbridge, a cable-and-wood suspension bridge in the fashion of the Brooklyn Bridge. The last half of this 4.2-mile loop follows the old rail bed along the Shepaug River. There is plenty of opportunity for your dog to slip in for a swim on this easy stretch. There are more trails that hug the tranquil river and elsewhere in the hills to extend your dog’s hiking day in this magical place.
Where The Paw Meets The Earth: The mapboard is on the west side of the river even though the main parking lot is on the east side. The main trails are blazed but be careful at the intersections.
Workout For Your Dog – Less than an hour for an easy walk along the river to several hours in the Steep Rock hills
Swimming - The beautiful Shepaug River is just deep enough for joyful dog paddling
Restrictions On Dogs - Dogs are allowed to hike around the Steep Rock Reservation
The Shepaug Valley Railroad began operation in 1872, bringing vacationers up from New York City. The Holiday House was a rambling hotel built in 1893 as a retreat for young working women. To reach the resort the trunk line required a tunnel to be blasted 238 feet through solid rock, barely wider than the tracks themselves. The Steep Rock trails use the railbed which ceased operation in 1948, including a walk through the craggy tunnel.
Trout Brook Valley Preserve
Phone - None
Website - http://www.aspetucklandtrust.org/
Admission Fee - None
Directions – Weston; take Exit 44 off the Merritt Parkway, Route 15. Head north on Route 58 and turn left on Route 136. Take the second right onto Old Redding Road. Turn right at the end onto Bradley Lane to the trailhead. You can also park at the end of Elm Drive by going 1.6 miles past Route 136 and turn left onto Freeborn Road. Turn right in .7 of a mile on Elm Drive.
Of the 50 states, only Rhode Island has less public land in open space than Connecticut. With the 20th century drawing to a close, the legislature passed a law setting a state goal of holding at least 10 percent of state land area as open space. The first target for acquisition was the Trout Brook Valley, owned by the Bridgeport Hydraulic Company and slated for conversion into a golf course and housing development. Actor and activist Paul Newman threw his considerable presence and a half-million dollars into saving the valley, spearheading one of the biggest conservation victories Connecticut has seen. The Aspetuck Land Trust, founded in 1966, has also preserved two adjoining parcels - Crow Hill and Jump Hill - to create a 1000-acre oasis in the middle of one of the most developed areas of New England.
Any level of canine hiker will be thrilled as he sets out on the trail descending into the dark hemlock-laced woodlands of Trout Brook Valley. More than 20 miles of well-defined trails lie ahead. As the narrowish footpaths and occasional fire road criss-cross frequently there is ample opportunity to improvise your dog’s day and stay out shorter - or longer - in the Preserve. Experienced canine hikers will want to craft a north-south loop around the property that will last several hours. Your dog will bound into and out of countless ravines and even pick-up a workout up steep ridges. The sportiest hiking with your dog comes down the Red Trail along the Saugatuck Reservoir. Despite the rocky stretches the going is usually paw-friendly, even squishy in spots. And what dog doesn’t love muddy paws?
Where The Paw Meets The Earth: There are trails designated for bike and equestrian use but trail traffic is typically not a concern in the Preserve. Motorized vehicles are not permitted but hunting is allowed.
Workout For Your Dog – Hours of sporty canine hiking on tap
Swimming - No swimming allowed in Saugatuck Rservoir; the streams are best for splashing
Restrictions On Dogs - Dogs are allowed to enjoy Trout Brook Valley
The orchard at the top of an expansive hill yields not only inspiring views but tasty fruit as well. You can hike with your dog between the deer fences and pluck an apple or two (stay out of the path of the farm machinery). And in the blueberry patch to the south you are welcome to pick the native fruit when they ripen in summer.
Phone - None
Website - www.westwoodstrails.org/index.html
Admission Fee - None
Directions – Guilford; several entrances west of town, off Route 1.Take Exit 57 off I-95 and follow Route 1 East (to the left).
The first land stewarded by the Guilford Land Conservation Trust was a two-acre slice of salt marsh donated in November, 1965. Other small land gifts followed but in the 1970s the Westwoods, a cherished tract of State and Town woodland came under threat of development and the small band of local conservationalists really kicked it into gear. Today, it is the largest town land trust in Connecticut with over 2,500 acres in holdings.
The centerpiece of the Guilford Trust properties is the elaborate trail system through the 1,200-acre Westwoods. Almost 40 miles of marked trails criss-cross the property so you can carve out a hiking loop of an hour or a full day of canine hiking. Your dog can find himself trotting across almost anything under the heavily wooded canopy - cobbles, packed dirt, smooth rock, boardwalk. The longest Westwoods trail is a only a little over three miles (the White Square that trips along Lost Lake, a shallow pond separated from Long Island Sound by the railroad) so you can sample several routes in a day. Much of the original trail system created in 1966 can be hiked on the Green Triangle Nature Trail that can be accessed on Dunk Rock Road. The dominant features of Westwoods are the islands of massive rock formations, each one seemingly larger than the one you just passed. Some of the trails (yellow-blazed usually) lead up and across these hulking blocks of granite and require more thought and care while traversing.
Where The Paw Meets The Earth: Your dog will enjoy exploring the massive granite rock formations found along the many trails of Westwoods
Workout For Your Dog – Many hours of hiking possible
Swimming - Swimming is not a prominent feature of hiking for your dog here away from Lost Lake
Restrictions On Dogs - Dogs are welcome in the Westwoods
Taking your dog to Westwoods is sadly like hiking through a hemlock graveyard. The hemlock woolly adelgid, an invasive insect, was introduced from Asia into the Pacific Northwest in 1924. It probably reached into the northeastern states in the 1950s and has been damaging majestic Eastern hemlock ever since. Hemlock woolly adelgid sucks fluid from the base of hemlock needles, accelerating needle drop and branch dieback. Although some trees die within four years, trees often persist in a weakened state for many years. Afflicted hemlocks often have a grayish-green appearance (hemlocks naturally have a shiny, dark green color). While individual trees can be treated, hemlock forests are doomed. Natural predators to the woolly adelgid - such as a tiny ladybug - have been sought but we face the very real possibility of losing all Connecticut hemlock forests.
White Memorial Conservation Center
Phone - (860) 567-0857
Website - www.whitememorialcc.org/
Admission Fee - None
Directions - Noyack; on Deerfield Road, one mile south of Noyac Road (Route 38). From the Montauk Highway (Route 27) turn north on Deerfield Road in Water Mill. Park along the east side of the road..
Alain White and his sister May, heirs to a fur hat fortune, became ardent conservationists at an early age, quietly buying up abandoned farms and logged out mountains in the early 20th century. In 1913, to mark the 50th anniversary of their family coming to Litchfield, they formed a non-profit foundation in their parents’ memory. Much of the land the Whites donated became Connecticut state parks and forests. Around their ancestral home of Whitehall evolved the 4,000 acres of the White Memorial Conservation Center. Knowing the towns could not afford to lose the taxes on the land, the White Memorial Foundation became and still is a voluntary taxpayer.
Whatever your dog likes in an outing on the trail can be found here on the Center’s cornucopia of footpaths. Enjoy long, easy walks through mixed woodlands? Follow the Pine Island Trail across Bissell Road or the Interpretive Trail under big trees out of the museum parking lot. Does your dog look forward to the open spaces and sensory salad of wetlands? Boardwalks bring access to Duck Pond and Little Pond. Want traditional northwest Connecticut canine hiking through boulder-studded hills? There is plenty of that here as well. There are 25 named trails, most less than one mile, and probably as many unnamed trails across White Memorial. Study the detailed property map in the parking lot pavilion to plan your day with your dog. The trails are dissected by active roads so expect to walk your dog into potential traffic at some point. Out on the trails she will be trotting along anything from soft grass to gravel roads.
Where The Paw Meets The Earth: Accessing the trailheads will be your biggest challenge. Everything is well-marked but there are so many side trails that it is easy to wander down an unexpected path.
Workout For Your Dog – An hour to a full day
Swimming - Bantam Lake, the largest natural lake in Connecticut, can be accessed at several points near the campground around Folly’s Point
Restrictions On Dogs - Dogs are allowed throughout the reserve and in the campground
Alain White was one of the earliest and greatest American chess authors. Every Christmas from 1905 until 1936, at his own expense, he sent out as gifts one problem book, sometimes two, to his various chess friends. His own chess library numbered some 2000 volumes on problems and the history of the game. After his death in 1951 the collection fragmented with the greatest portion winding up in South Africa. White also wrote books on local history and his work on cacti and succulents earned him the “Fellow” Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Cactus and Succulent Society of America.