CFPA’s Tips and Tools for Finding #CTTrailsLessTraveled
If you’re trying to avoid crowds and find trails less traveled, here are a few tips from the CFPA staff on finding options:
- State Parks & Forests: Browse State Parks and Forests on the Department of Energy & Environmental Protection website, look for maps (consider alternate entry points that may not be the main entrance), check for COVID-19 updates, and follow @CTStateParks on Twitter to be informed of park closures when parking areas fill-up.
- CFPA Trails Map: If you come to a parking area for a Blue-Blazed Hiking Trail that is crowded, use the Interactive Blue-Blazed Hiking Trails Map to find alternate parking areas or trailheads.
- Trails Day Events: Look at the listing of over 200 CT Trails Day events to get ideas for places to go for a walk that may not have occurred to you.
- Facebook: CFPA’s Facebook page includes regular posts about places to go and things to do. There are also Facebook groups like Connecticut Hiking and Outdoor Adventures sharing info about outdoor hiking opportunities.
- Timing Counts: Think about going early, during off-times, during the week, or even on a cloudy day. According to the CT Trail Census at UConn, over 50% of trail use typically takes place between 12 and 4 on weekends (in good weather).
- Your Town: Look at the website for your town’s parks and recreation page to see what town lands may be open for recreation.
- Local Land Trust: Find your local land trust or water company online to see if they have lands available for public recreation.
- Be Creative: Think about land that may be open to the public and allows for social distancing, but is not necessarily a classic “trail” or “park” such as a cemetery.
- Basic Search: Enter ‘trail near me’ into your favorite search engine and see what pops up in your area (note: some websites use crowd-sourcing for trails data which may not be accurate or up-to-date, so check with the group that owns or manages the trail before you venture out).
- Be Considerate: Wherever you go, always use your best trail etiquette, be considerate of others, practice social distancing and other State/Federal COVID-19 requirements, leave no trace, respect landowners, and keep basic hiking safety tips in mind.