Tina’s Guide to a Great Hiking Spot

Connecticut has so many wonderful scenic hikes to offer, especially for those with dogs. I’ve personally enjoyed many throughout the state. If I had to pick just one favorite, Iit would have to be Steep Rock Preserve in Washington, CT.

There are actually multiple locations within the Steep Rock Association:

  1. Hidden Valley offers flatter trails. The hike begins with a suspension bridge and then has multiple trail options and distances. Many trails run along the Shepaug River for added scenery. There is also a quartz mine if you travel in far enough to find it.
  2. Steep Rock is a good climb and has multiple trail options. I like to start off climbing to the lookout, which is at about 800 feet of elevation. I then descend, cross the river and the entire walk back is along the river. If I decide to add a little bit of distance, this part of the preserve also has a tunnel to explore (pictured below). Steep Rock is my go-to hike when I am looking for some elevation as well as longer distance.
  3. Macricostas Preserve is another wonderful option for a variety of terrain, excellent views, and a good workout. The hike starts on flat land that can be marshy, and I am always on the lookout for interesting wildlife. Once you get a little ways in, you begin to climb towards Waramaug’s Rock, which boasts a beautiful view of Lake Waramaug. As you descend, there is a second lookout in the opposite direction. It is a great hike that gets the heart rate up, but isn’t overly difficult.

Fall in Litchfield county offers some great leaf-peeping too. When I don’t have an entire day to drive far to find a new mountain, one of these hikes is the perfect distance and difficulty level to get my heart pumping and legs working. I’m tired when we finish, but my dog Petey usually wants to keep going.