The state of my birth, where I spent the first eight years of my life, Connecticut is rife with trails, green spots and wonderful parks and forests. Hard to imagine uh?- Especially when you consider that the Nutmeg State is one of the most densely populated. But if you go beyond Hartford and Bridgeport and New Haven-head to the state's northeast and northwest corners, you'll find some of the prettiest rural countryside anywhere in America. Especially the state's northwest corner. Here the Appalachian Trail winds along the Litchfield Hills and Taconic Range (some of the oldest mountains in North America) and darts in and out of charming villages sporting church spires, inviting commons and inns and some of the most beautiful colonial homes in the country. The peaks aren't high, but the hiking experience is top notch. I recently spent some time hiking with my brother Jeff on the AT and in the Peoples Forest where the Wild and Scenic Farmington River makes a deep cut across rolling verdant hills. Jeff is completing work on his second book, Classic Hikes of New England (Mountaineers Books: spring 2009). You'll find some great Connecticut hikes in that book as well as great hikes in the other New England states, all among my favorite hiking haunts.
(Jeff overlooking Farmington River in Peoples Forest State Park-May 2008)