Fall in Connecticut Means Reds, Yellows and Greens
By Samantha Fournier
While the lazy beach days of summer are long gone it doesn’t mean it’s time to bundle up under a blanket and camp out on the couch. As the air becomes cooler and you see brightly colored leaves fall from the trees around campus you should make the most of New England’s fall foliage and explore some area hiking hot spots known for their spectacular views.
West Hartford Reservoir
Located off of Farmington Avenue in West Hartford is the West Hartford Reservoir, a local favorite of bikers, hikers, runners, and walkers alike. The reservoir features a 3.36 mile paved loop (the red loop) for those looking for an easy and at times hilly scenic walk. If you are feeling a bit more adventurous, you can climb to the top peaks and enjoy views of Hartford, Farmington and other surrounding towns. A trail map can be obtained at the West Hartford Reservoir Administration Building from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.
Talcott Mountain State Park
Talcott Mountain in Bloomfield, another Connecticut favorite, boasts a high point of almost 1,000 feet and access to the Heublein Tower and Metacomet Trail. It is a 1.25-mile hike up to the Heublein Tower, which was built in 1914 by Gilbert Heublein and had guests Dwight D. Eisenhower and Ronald Regan visit. Tower and landscape tours are available Thursday through Sunday at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m., or by special request. If you prefer to picnic, tables, grills, and bathrooms are available for use.
Sleeping Giant State Park
A notable feature in Southern Connecticut’s skyline is Sleeping Giant State Park. This park also boasts an observation tower where the Long Island Sound and the surrounding area of New Haven can be seen. While there are parking fees on weekends through the end of October, the sights from the top of the observation tower are more than worth the small parking fee.
Union Pond Trail
The hilly Union Pond Trail is 2.4 miles long and loops around Manchester’s 60-acre pond. On the trail you will pass wildflowers, a historic paper mill, a waterfall, a new footbridge, and several types of water birds that have made a home for themselves at the pond. If you don’t get a chance to enjoy this scenic hiking spot in the fall, Union Pond Park boasts a skating pond during the winter months.