USA - Talcott Mountain, CT

This post is part of the CT bucket list

Talcott Mountain State Park is a lovely park with gorgeous views year-round that overlook all the way to the Long Island Sound. The path that will lead you up to the Heublein Tower is 1.25 miles but you can certainly take a longer trail and extend this hike as the park is 565 acres of land to wander. It is quite steep but there are places you can stop along the way to catch your breath if you need, including benches on the large trail. If you want a bit more challenge, there is an outer/smaller path with even better views but it's a little more difficult to traverse.

The tower is actually the real gem of the hike- not only are the views spectacular but it was built as a home in 1914 and you can actually tour and see it. It is open after Labor day each year and stays open until September. Definitely worth checking out!

At the tower is a picnic area, a water spigot/fountain, bathrooms, and a gift shop inside the tower. During the winter months only the picnic area is available, and all bathrooms are closed.

Dogs are welcome in the park but of course are not allowed inside the tower, so if you bring fido make sure you have someone to hang on to them until you are done! As with most state parks, there are several signs stating dogs must be leashed. During the winter no one enforces this so be aware. Not one dog was leashed, and none of them listened to their owners.

Alternatively, I did allow Lexi to run off leash when there was a long break between people. Unlike any of the other dogs I ran into, she actually listens when I command her. I recommend not letting your dog off leash unless they actually listen. Strangers don't like wild dogs, don't be "that guy".

There is another trail that runs through the park, and is part of a larger trail. You can check out the map here, though the tower trail itself is very clear so you won't have to worry about getting lost. You can stick to the larger trail...

Or you can take the smaller trail that swings around the outside - it has better views off the side into the distance. I managed about 6.5 miles round trip on the outer loop to the tower, and took the inner loop back to the parking area. The smaller trail also had many spots that I would not have been able to access in the winter without my new ice spikes. It's extremely slippery in snow/ice without them.

The views are spectacular once you get near the top, regardless of what time of year you choose to go..

Talcott Mtn tips:

-Water spigots available at the tower (when park is open)
-free parking (not a lot of available spots during winter, as the ramp up is closed)
-bathrooms at tower and near parking area (when park is open)
-dogs allowed (leashed), except inside the tower
-no trash receptacles
-Tower and gift shop open after Labor day until September


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