Connecticut Region Descriptions

Click a region on the map to jump to that region's description. Click on a region's header to see a listing of hikes in that region (when available).

CT - Northwest   

Northwestern Connecticut is bounded by New York state to the west, Massachusetts to the north, and the Connecticut River to the east. It has a rural feel to it and includes 52 miles of the Appalachian Trail which traverses the hills above the beautiful Housatonic River valley. The 51-mile Metacomet Trail travels south to north through this region up to the Massachusetts border.

The Appalachian Trail runs across the 1,738-foot Lion's Head as well as the state's highest peak: Bear Mountain at 2,316 feet. Both summits offer wonderful views of hills, forests, small towns, and pastures.

The Metacomet Trail meanders across steep but short traprock cliffs including Talcott Mountain and Tariffville Gorge, both of which have good views of the countryside.

Peoples State Forest offers 10 miles of hiking trails leading to scenic outlooks. Its 3,000 acres consist of upland evergreen and hardwood forests with wetlands and streams that support diverse wildlife populations and plant communities. The Jessie Girard Trail is a favorite in this park offering breathtaking views of the Farmington River Valley.

Boundaries:   North of Rt. 6. West of I-91.

CT - Northeast   

The Northeast region is bounded by the Connecticut River to the west, Massachusetts to the north, and Rhode Island to the east. It consists of mostly flat, wooded terrain and uncrowded trails.

Nipmuck State Forest and the adjoining Bigelow Hollow State Park offer over 9,000 acres of woodlands and ponds and includes an extensive trail system. Within it is the 1.5-mile long Breakneck Pond which has a pretty hike looping around its undeveloped shores through quiet woods.

Mostly wooded hikes in other areas of this region include Case Mountain and Mashamoquet Brook State Park.

Boundaries:   North of Rt. 6. East of I-91.

Map of Connecticut regions and highways (map by Webmaster) CT - Northwest region CT - Northeast region CT - Southwest region CT - Southeast region CT - Southwest   

Southwestern Connecticut is bordered by New York state to the west and Long Island Sound to the south. The 51-mile Metacomet Trail starts near Meriden and heads north through this region and continues through the Northwest region before arriving at the Massachusetts border.

Some easy ridge walks along the Metacomet Trail include Rattlesnake Mountain and Compounce Ridge, from which there are good views. Or climb along the Metacomet Trail to Castle Crag. At the summit tackle the steps of a castle-like stone tower to be rewarded with 360-degree views.

Short rugged trails climb up traprock cliffs to Lamentation Mountain and Ragged Mountain and offer long views of the environs.

Boundaries:   South of Rt. 6. West of I-91.

Castle ruins at Tarrywile Park (photo by Sunshyn)

CT - Southeast   

Southeastern Connecticut is bordered by Long Island Sound to the south and Rhode Island to the east.

A highlight of this area is the 28,500-acre Pachaug State Forest. This area includes woodlands, fields, wetlands, sandy soils, rocky outcrops, oak, mountain laurel, and white pine forest. One of its famous "attractions" is a rare and impressive colony of native giant rhododendrons within an Atlantic White Cedar swamp. Throughout this varied terrain are abundant hiking and walking trails.

The "blue" trails that run through (and in several cases beyond) Pachaug State Forest include the Nehantic, Pachaug, Narragansett and Quinebaug Trails and the Nehantic/Pachaug Crossover. Between the footpaths and the forest roads, there are endless options for excursions of all lengths.

Another popular place in the Southeast region is Devil's Hopyard State Park which is known for its 40-foot Chapman Falls as well as pleasant wooded walks.

And from the summit of Bluff Head are views of forest, low hills, Long Island Sound and the Hartford skyline.

Boundaries:   South of Rt. 6. East of I-91.

Pitch pines arcing over Misery Hill's slabs (photo by Webmaster)


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