Although it wasn’t a summer filled with hazy, hot and humid days, autumn is a welcome change toward cool, crisp days for those who like to step outside and explore the outdoors while working toward their fitness goals. With forecasts of spectacular foliage this fall, here are a few overlooks and peaks hikers can visit from late September to mid-October, with the steps and mileage added for good measure.
Penwood State Park, Talcott Mountain
Otherwise known as a hike to Heublein Tower, Talcott Mountain State Park and Penwood State Park are inseparable.
The pair of parks are connected and separated only by a busy Route 185, but both offer a good workout and spectacular views of autumn foliage. At Talcott, most take the mile-long Tower Trail from the parking lot to the top of the 1,040-foot basalt peak and the 165-foot Heublein Tower. There are plenty of side trails to explore adding on to the mileage. It is said that on a clear day, those with sharp vision can see an area of 1,200 square miles, which means they may see Mount Monadnock in New Hampshire to the north, or the Berkshires ablaze to the west.
If you like hills, Penwood State Park offers several overlooks including Cedar Ridge. Penwood Park is vast — 800 acres on the Bloomfield/Simsbury line. But visitors can make their own hikes of 3 to 4 miles from the parking area along the western ridges of the park and its tremendous views. Those who want to explore the interior foliage can hike the Metacomet Trail. Both parks are located along Route 185 on the Bloomfield/Simsbury line.
Distance: 1 to 4 miles, 2,000 to 8,000 steps. Talcott Mountain is easy to moderate. Penwood is…
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