Mattabesett Trail (New England National Scenic Trail)
Berlin to Middletown, 50 miles
Began: May 2008
Completed: November 2008
Post-2009 is an exciting time to hike the Mattabesett Trail! Why? Because our Federal government finally stopped worrying about trivial matters such as war, terrorism, and the economy and started doing important things like designating National Scenic Trails! The Mattabesett (along with the Metacomet and Menunkatuck Trails) now form a good chunk of the 233-mile long New England National Scenic Trail!
And don’t think for one second that this 50-mile trail is somehow not worth hiking because of its location in the center of the state. It is… it totally is. From it’s western terminus on the Berlin Turnpike (The Metacomet’s southern terminus), the Mattabesett immediately ascends to one of Central Connecticut’s traprock ridges and takes in stunning views (above). The number and quality of viewpoints along the U-shaped trail does not diminish at any point.
The bottom of the U is in Guilford, near Bluff Head (and the Menunkatuck’s northern terminus) and the Eastern end is along the Connecticut River in Middletown. There is much history along the way as well as other cool little curiosities.
Again, as with the Metacomet and other trails in the middle of the state, I’m continually amazed at the remote-feeling vistas one can obtain very, very quickly. So many people live so near this (and other) trails and yet, hiking here is still often a solitary pursuit.
Notes: These hikes were done a long time ago and therefore the pictures, when viewing on a desktop, are often tiny and bad. Hikes are numbered beginning from the Berlin Turnpike in Berlin to the terminus near the Connecticut River in Middletown.
Section 1: Berlin Tpke to Country Club Rd, Berlin, Meriden, Middletown
Section 2: Country Club Road to Route 66, Middletown & Middlefield
Section 3: Rtes 66/147 to Rtes 68/157, Middlefield, Meriden, Wallingford, Durham
Section 4: Routes 157/68 to Stage Coach Road, Durham & Wallingford
Section 5: Stagecoach Rd to Lone Pine Trail, Durham, N. Branford, Guilford, Madison
Bonus: Lone Pine Trail, Madison & Guilford
Section 6: Lone Pine Trailhead to Harvey Rd, Guilford, Madison, Durham
Section 7: Harvey Road to Seven Falls (Route 154), Durham & Haddam
Section 8: Seven Falls to Brooks Road, Haddam & Middletown
Bonus: 3 Middletown Mattabessett Loop Trails, Middletown
Section 9: Bear Hill Road to River Road, Middletown
Mattabesett Trail Afterward
CFPA Trails Map
CTMQ’s CFPA Blue Trails Challenge
CTMQ’s Hikes, Bikes, and Paddles
Mike saysJanuary 18, 2010 at 3:07 pm
I was curious about the Mattabesett Trail In North Guilford. I own an ATV. I was curious about taking it there and riding it for the day as part of my recreation sport. Is it allowed? Or Can i use the trail for this purpose? Can you please email me back with a response. thank you very much.
Steve Silva saysFebruary 23, 2010 at 11:58 am
I recently completed the Mattabesset and it really is beautiful. The rock formations and vistas are well worth the hike. I completed it during the winter months and I assume there are some resticted views during the spring through fall season. Nice job with the documentation of your journeys!
Ralph saysMarch 20, 2010 at 2:44 pm
Sure you can take your ATV there! Why not? I would suggest starting at the top of Bluff Head and then head dead east really fast. Have a great ride and tell me how it works out.
Patricia saysJuly 11, 2011 at 9:44 am
I would like to hike the Mattabesett Trail, but I don’t know how to get there exactly. I went this weekend and I couldn’t find the park where it starts… any suggestions?
thomas pullman saysJuly 12, 2011 at 8:17 pm
I completed the Mattabessett Trail this weekend!!It took me a few years but I was on vacation and didnt have any real obligations so I did it and I am glad i did it!!
Angela saysFebruary 21, 2012 at 10:02 am
I did 12 miles yesterday, my first time! WOW! Now I want to do the rest of the trial! Are there organized groups of people who lead hikes? Can you share information, please?
Mary saysAugust 20, 2013 at 10:43 pm
ATV use is not allowed anywhere on the Mattabesett trail. This is a hiking trail.
Chelsea saysMay 20, 2016 at 4:24 pm
Where is the official Trail Head/Trail End? If you wanted to hike in it’s entirety, where do you recommend staying, since I’ve been reading that camping is not allowed.