Best Spots in the Hartford Area for Fall Foliage
If you live in New England, fall should just automatically be your favorite season. With the leaves changing colors every day, it’s a hard season not to love. PLUS, endless craft beers, apple picking, cider donuts… what could be better?
If you’re unsure of the best spots in the Hartford area to see fall foliage – check out our list below.
Castle Craig at Hubbard Park – Meriden
Castle Craig is located in Meriden and offers some of the most amazing views of Connecticut (and if you squint out into the distance you can even see the Long Island sound).
The Castle is open to the public so you can walk up to the top to get some full 360-views. You can either drive to the castle or hike up. If you choose to hike, there are several trails that start down at Hubbard Park, which has a beautiful pond and plenty of tables – a great spot to picnic before you go on your fall excursion.
- Top of the castle views and fall breezes you can’t get anywhere else
- The changes in scenery along the hiking trails – you never get bored of your surroundings
- 70% chance you’ll see a bald eagle at the top
Farmington River Trail – Collinsville (Canton)
The Farmington River Trail, located in downtown Collinsville (behind the Yoga Center of Collinsville) is the perfect place to walk when you just wanna enjoy a breezy fall day. The trail starts at the beautiful old bridge and goes on for over 18 miles. If you’re up for the challenge go for the full 18, but if you’re looking for a nice walk – just keep walking until you feel like turning around.
The whole path is lined with beautiful leaf-changing trees alongside the Farmington River.
Tip: Stop by Lasalle Market after your walk for a tasty sandwich and treat yourself to a local on-tap beer.
- The whole path is paved, making it a doable walk for anyone (toddlers, grandparents – you name it)
- You get to explore the adorable town of old Collinsville!
Naugatuck Valley Railroad – Thomaston
At the CT Railroad Museum, you can get on a short train ride (around 30 mins on the track) that brings you through the woods and showcases some of the best CT fall foliage.
The train brings you to a pumpkin patch where you get off for about 20-30 mins, pick a pumpkin and hop back on.
If you’re a little extra like us, this is the only way to go pumpkin picking.
Talcott Mountain – Simsbury
If you’re looking for an incredible view of the Farmington Valley – Talcott Mountain is a 2.6-mile long hike, that loops at the top of the mountain around Heublein Tower. The beginning of the hike might seem a bit steep but this only lasts for the first 15 mins or so. After that, it flattens out all the way up to the tower.
Take a rest and catch your breath at one of the lookouts over the valley, these are by far the best views.
And, while you’re in Simsbury, stop at Tulmeadow Farms for some amazing ice cream (the Red Raspberry Chocolate Chip is our personal favorite).
- Lots of pups – it may take you awhile to get up to the top because you’re going to want to stop and play with every single dog you pass
- The Heublein tower is open to the public every Thursday – Sunday from 10 AM – 5 PM (we highly recommend checking this out!)
- Tower Toot: On October 21-22, you can find tasty German food, drink and folk music at the top of the mountain
Gillette Castle – East Haddam
Gillette Castle is like Castle Craig on steroids. This stone mansion was actually designed and lived in by William Gillette, the man who played Sherlock Holmes in the early 1900’s. The inside of the castle is now open to the public Thursday – Sunday from 11AM-5PM, and the estate offers amazing views of Connecticut. Around it, you’ll find hiking trails and picnic areas.
To get to Gillette Castle you can take the Hadlyme ferry for about $5. From there, you can drive your car over to the castle or hike.
- You can see spectacular views of Glastonbury, all the way to the CT River Valley, and as far out to the Long Island
- Amazing spot to relax and eat some lunch or play some frisbee – bring your dogs if you have em!
- The interior of the castle is so cool and you learn a great deal of history about Gillette and his lifestyle – we highly recommend visiting during open hours
And once you’re done at Gillette Castle – make sure to stop at the Devil’s Hopyard State Park to see Chapman Falls.