Hiking, Multi-Use, & Water Trails
If there’s one main section of CTMQ that I don’t think I’ll ever complete everything listed, it’s this one. Although it may be my favorite part of the whole website (and the most read), so that keeps pushing me onward – and often upward. Up our verdant Connecticut hills and mountains! Here you’ll find every single trail in the state… and my attempt to hike, bike, and kayak them all. No time to waste; let’s get to it!
Jump to Multi-Use/Cycling & Canoe/Kayak Water Trails
For my list of suggestions on how to hike smart and safe, go here.
Let’s hike the Connecticut Forest & Parks Association’s Blue Trails Challenge!
To me, this list is clearly the hiking list in Connecticut. With two National Scenic Trails (the AT is included here) and some of the oldest trails in the state, this amazing (mostly) volunteer organization is just fantastic. I love the CFPA, so let’s take on their Blue Trails Challenge!
State Parks, Forests, Preserves, Reserves, NAPs, & WMAs
I see differing numbers on how many state parks, forests, and other stuff we have in Connecticut, but I do my best to get to them all – and there are a lot. So let’s get going and and hike every state property!
Land Trust Trails
There are around 100 land trusts (and land trust-like entities) in Connecticut and almost all of them have trailed properties. I’d love to hike them all, but let’s be realistic. I’ve been quite surprised by how nice most of my land trust hiking has been. Go here for Lots and lots of Land Trust hikes!
Town Land Trails and Such
Ok, now I’m getting silly, right? No, not really. I’ve enjoyed a lot of excellent hikes on what I call “town owned land,” which includes most non-Audubon nature centers and private property as well. Some towns publish awesome trail guides and everything. Let’s start the long walk: 169 Towns, a billion trails.
Audubon, Nature Conservancy, South Central CT Regional Water Authority, & US Army Corps of Engineers Trails
This is where I’ve combined the trails for all of these entities that you likely never think about, but they also maintain some of the absolute best trails in the state. Don’t believe me? Well, then, go here for CT’s mish-mash trails!
Highpointing & Peakbagging
I put together a list of The 10 highest peaks in Connecticut and while most aren’t exactly hiker friendly, here they are. While we’re at it, here are my ascents of Connecticut County highpoints. And for other non-Connecticut lists, you can go straight to my Highpointing & Peakbagging page.
CT Hikes with Rewards
This has been difficult to stay on top of, and they all seem to change fairly frequently, but I still enjoy the idea of them. These include things like The Sky’s the Limit Challenge, The Giant Master, The CFPA Blue Trails Challenge, etc. If you like these to, go here.
I can’t really say, but it seems like these mostly started as the Rails-to-Trails trails and have been increasing in number ever since. I didn’t decide to ride them until fairly late in the CTMQ game, which is a bit of a bummer since here are an insane number of these things.
I haven’t even really decided if I’m going to make this part of the CTMQ canon. But I have a kayak. So we’ll just have to see. Here are the canoe and kayak water trails in Connecticut.
Beth saysJuly 21, 2008 at 9:31 pm
Have you looked into the Airline Rail Trail…… still being developed, but beautiful area- hey I have to brag a little- we don’t have much east of the river!
Jen saysSeptember 26, 2008 at 10:22 am
When I first read Rochambeau Trail I thought R0-cham-bo trail? Someone’s developed a nature trail based on the principles of Rock-Paper-Scissors? Awesome! But alas, it is some French general or other.
matthew saysDecember 17, 2008 at 7:42 am
I saw Airline Trail and assumed you meant the Shoreline Trail. I learn new things everyday.
Ryan saysApril 14, 2009 at 3:55 pm
This is really cool. I too am trying to complete the 50 trails that make up the CT 400 Club. I only have 14 trails complete but several trails are nearing completion such as the Mattabesette Trail, AT, and Quinnipiac. All of the trails I’ve completed have been solo hikes. Unfortunately it’s taking me a long time to complete these trails. Once you walk 10 miles you must walk 10 miles back to your car. I wish I could hike 20 miles in one direction and complete the trail in one shot.
Ryan saysMay 6, 2009 at 3:21 pm
I haven’t heard from you in a while so I doubt my gmail account isn’t sending mail out try my new comcast e-mail address.
I may be able to help you on a few of your hikes without actually hiking with you. I work M-F at Connecticut College and get out at 2:30. I could pick you up at trail heads and bring you back to your car on some of these trails. Mainly the trails located in Southeastern CT.
Let me know…
Robin saysJune 22, 2009 at 12:16 pm
crust saysOctober 15, 2009 at 1:44 pm
two nice trails in Masamoquet Park Pomfret,with cool stops, the actual wolf den where Isreal Putman killed the last wolf in Ct. and nice rock formations, one known as Indian Chair.
Close to the Airline Rail Trail.
Ty saysFebruary 9, 2010 at 10:33 am
I would think I am the only visitor that looks at your site and reads your hikes to try and find new undeveloped boulders and cliffs to climb. In CT most of the cliffs have been dicovered for climbing, but there are a lot of boulders that have remained under the radar which are right on or next to hiking trails. I have looked at every picture to try and find boulders in the backround that look good for climbing. Like the pictures on the Tunxis trail helped me find a few new climbs.
I figured I should ask if anyone has seen other cool rock formations on public trails around Bristol? The Mile of ledges has some good rocks tucked back in the woods but I want MORE!
Nathan saysMarch 29, 2010 at 4:48 pm
I recently heard about the CT 400 Club and am very interested in it. Does anyone know where I could find more information on it like: rules, required trails to hike, logging hike report, etc. A website or museum where I could find this info would be ideal. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Steve saysMarch 29, 2010 at 5:45 pm
Go find and buy the CFPA Walk Books, look at the maps, realize it’s over 800 miles rather than 400, devise a plan… and go walk every inch of every trail described in those two books.
Mike saysApril 8, 2010 at 9:18 am
re the CT 400: Get the info from the CT Walkbook & send SASE to Daryl Borst for the form & further info(address in Walkbook). It is necessary to hike All of the CT Blue Trails & All of the side loops as listed in the current editions of the Walkbook.
For solo hikers join the AMC or GMC & find a hiking partner or two. It makes the point to point hikes much easier with a car spot.
Steve saysApril 8, 2010 at 9:48 am
Of course, I’m available with sufficient advance planning to hike end to end sections… esp as I’m getting closer to doing every loop option possible.
Then again, I sometimes do like hiking sections twice (backtracking to car), because they are THAT good.
Russ Cohen saysMay 7, 2010 at 11:27 am
FYI in case this might interest you and/or others you know:
Foraging Hike at Fisher Meadows, Avon, CT
Regards – Russ Cohen
Art Byram saysDecember 8, 2010 at 10:46 pm
If you are into trail running, check out the facebook page of Shenipsit Striders. They have a few folks doing end to end runs on the blue blazes.
APRIL PRETE saysFebruary 26, 2011 at 9:35 am
Are there any actual clubs? I am a beginner and would like to join.
My aunt and uncle have both received 400 mile certificate and in their honor . I would like to attempt the same.
Steve saysFebruary 26, 2011 at 9:40 am
There’s not an actual CT 400 Club per se, but the CFPA organizes a TON of group hikes to get you going. Not to mention the other hiking clubs around. Always look out for National Trails Day in June too.
APRIL PRETE saysFebruary 26, 2011 at 9:46 am
Thank you. I will check it out.Is there any particular hiking equiptment I should purchase to get ready? I am sorry to bother you but this will truely be a new experience.
Eva saysMarch 5, 2012 at 8:58 am
I know you’re talented, but time travel probably isn’t among your skills. (Proofreading is one of mine.) See your completion time frame above for Shenipsit Trail, 5/3/2009 – 5/16/2001.
Thanks for this info — my family enjoys hiking in CT.
SDIZZY saysJuly 10, 2012 at 3:52 pm
Ever think about RI’s North South Trail?
Aubri saysJuly 15, 2013 at 11:55 am
@ Steve – According to e-mail correspondence with Daryll C. Borst of Quinnipiac University (who I directed to by the Connecticut Forest and Park Association):
“The Connecticut 400 award was established by the Connecticut Chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club in 1976 as recognition of those whose enjoyment of hiking has led them to hike all of the Connecticut Blue-blazed Trail System…To quality, an individual must hike all of the following Connecticut Blue-blazed Trails and any side loops as listed in the current edition of the Connecticut Walk Book, published by the Connecticut Forest and Park Association…These trails may be hiked in any order, in any number of trips necessary, in as many years as necessary. A log listing the trails and dates hiked should be kept. Upon acceptance of your application by the Connecticut 400 Club Committee, you will be awarded a certificate and patch suitable for sleeve or pack.”
Just as an example of the number of miles listed in the CT Walk book VS. reality: I just finished hiking the Mattabesett Trail. While the book lists it as approximately 56 miles, according to my GPS tracker I ended up hiking 88 miles; many of the listed trail lengths are inaccurate. My guess is that all the Blue trails in CT add up to more than 800 miles in actuality…
Glenn Ellett saysMarch 5, 2014 at 10:59 am
finished the 792 miles listed in the edition at the time about nine years ago with my friends and hiking buddies john and kelly on my fiftieth birthday. never got around to registering though.
Steve Link saysApril 26, 2015 at 7:17 am
Just love your bloggin! [raised in Haddam, 2 UConn degrees, miss CT]
Kathleen Woodruff saysAugust 9, 2015 at 7:56 am
I love this blog and use it often for hike ideas! I love to read your detailed posts before setting out on a new trail we haven’t been on before. One feature that would be amazingly helpful is an interactive map. For example, today we are looking for a hike in Glastonbury to meet up with friends that live in nearby Manchester. Having a map to jump to all your hikes from that area would really be helpful!
Lauren saysNovember 13, 2016 at 7:07 pm
Anyone interested in hiking goals? I just got approved for a meet up to hike all the 140 state parks in CT! Looking for interested hikers. Check out this Meetup with State Parks of CT http://meetu.ps/e/CcdCW/xGLMH/d
Big ol' Fan saysDecember 4, 2020 at 1:29 am
Hey, you’re website is literally my dream. I was thinking about making a site like this because I love all these types of “catch em all” outdoor adventures, and it turns out you’ve done the work, so, thanks so much! Words can’t express my happiness.