About the Appalachian Trail in Connecticut
The AT in Connecticut is one of the shortest sections by state. (Only West Virginia at 4 miles and Maryland at 40.9 miles have fewer miles within their borders.) Yet, the 50-ish miles of the Nutmeg State make for quite a pleasurable jaunt.
Interestingly, the highest point in the state isn’t a summit. It’s the flank of Mount Frissell (the top of the mountain is in Massachusetts). The tallest mountain located entirely within Connecticut is Bear Mountain (2316′), two miles south of the Massachusetts border. The walk from here to New York is a pleasant mixture of ridge walking, woods walking and a five-mile stretch along the Housatonic River.
*Based on 2006-2011 data compiled by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Bear Mountain as seen from Race Mountain. I believe that the hiking here is the best in the state. The best approach is from Sages Ravine.
Best Section Hikes in Connecticut
Sages Ravine to Pawling, New York (N to S) - 51.6 miles
The easiest place to access the trail near the northern Connecticut border is via Sages Brook Campground. From there, it’s about a one-mile walk to junction with the AT. At the southern end of the trip, you’ll hike into New York state. This is a beautiful section of trail with occasional far-flung views from ridge tops. It’s also a great way to get one state under your belt on a single trip. For specific trail planning information, check out the AT Data Book.
Other great trails in Connecticut
The Nutmeg State has an extensive network of hiking trails that will probably surprise you. The New England National Scenic Trail (shown below) through the state is terrific and there are hundreds of miles of additional trails to explore. The best source of information is The Connecticut Walk Book, which includes detailed trail descriptions and maps covering their entire blue-blazed trail system.
Get Ready to Hike the AT
Interested in hiking the AT? You may find Appalachian Odyssey a useful resource. I section-hiked the AT over nearly three decades with a good friend and we learned a lot! Includes profile maps of all 28 section hikes, 80+ color photos and a great feel for what it’s like to hike the various sections.
Interested in the history of the AT? How the trail came into being is the subject of my book, Blazing Ahead.