Pets allowed
Allowed
Guided tours
No
Backcountry camping
No
Lodging
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The location of Talcott Mountain can be identified for miles by the 165-foot Heublein Tower standing above the horizon. Located just northwest of the city of Hartford, this 6-mile, 557-acre park is part of the Talcott Mountain Range that extends from Simsbury to Avon. With summits rising higher 1,000 feet, you can see as far as the Long Island Sound to the south, the Berkshires to the northwest, and New Hampshire’s Mount Monadnock 80 miles to the north.

A series of trails traverse the property, the most popular being the 1.25-mile Tower Trail. This wide dirt walking path begins near a parking area and kiosk on Summit Ridge Drive and follows a short, steep ascent to the top of the mountain. It continues along the ridge, offering grand vistas that overlook miles of farmland, marshes, and suburbs. Continuing south, you will reach the tower, built by Gilbert Heublein in 1914. It is open to visitors Thursday to Sunday from Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day.

Outside the tower there are grounds with picnic tables and grills. There are also bathrooms and a covered pavilion, which overlooks the landscape to the west. Nearby, across Hoe Pond, the Talcott Mountain Science Center, formerly a Cold War Nike missile site HA-85, provides educational resources for young students and adults. A Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection map provides a good display of the park’s layout and observation points.

The Metacomet Trail also runs north and south throughout the park and grants the adventurer exposure to the various microclimates and ecosystems that reside in this area. While the path from Highway 185 to the tower is about 2.5 miles, this is a small portion of the 62.7-mile New England Natural Scenic Trail that spans across central Connecticut from the Long Island Sound, through Massachusetts, and up to the Vermont Border. This entire Metacomet Ridge shares the same geological features of Talcott Mountain State Park with steep slopes and frequent viewpoints that often align with historical landmarks.

This ridge formed over 200 million years ago, and fractured volcanic basalt can be seen in octagonal and pentagonal columns along the trail. Over a period of 20 million years, lava flowed from hundreds of feet beneath the Earth and forced the separation of North America, Eurasia, and Africa. Millions of years of erosion created capped layers of sedimentary rock that continue to crumble and break away from the underlying basalt. Because its formation coincides with the Jurassic and Triassic periods, this area is well known for fossils and dinosaur tracks. 

Throughout the century this mountain has faced many threats of development along the ridge. However, the efforts of private citizens and state and federal agencies turned the mountain into a state park in 1965.  Many species of wildlife can be seen across these trails including fox, deer, rabbits, and squirrels. Bears have also been sighted, and if you see one, walk away slowly as you shout and wave your arms.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Vistas. A historic tower.

Cons

Very popular trails.

Features

ADA accessible
Historically significant
Flushing toilets
Potable water
Covered picnic areas
Horseback riding
Bird watching
Wildlife

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

Western Connecticut, Connecticut

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