Since childhood, my love of the outdoors has always been a part of me. And as an adult, I hope to share that passion with my own children.
So, I offered this challenge to my family, to join me in exploring the hidden treasures and more popular gems Connecticut and the surrounding region have to offer. From hiking to biking to kayaking, I hope my window into the outside world inspires you to explore as well.
Parmelee Farm is a vision cut right out of an idyllic New England postcard. And its marked trails are just as vivid a reminder for visitors looking for that classic wooded hike.
Two main trails weave through this 132-acre homestead in Killingworth providing hikers of any ability a hands-on adventure.
The blue, Parmelee Trail is a simple one-mile trek perfect for beginners and the occasional walk with the dog. The red, Pavelka Trail has a bit of an edge to it and takes hikers on a rougher path for a little less than two miles.
I took my golden retriever, Murphy, on a mix of the two, and headed for the combination trailhead by the pond. The rocky Pavelka Trail is what drew my attention because of its varied landscape. But, it did make the hike more challenging - especially with the addition of slippery leaves and acorns on the ground.
The footpath also led me to other side trails – like the yellow - that promised scenic overlooks and points of interest. With the full onset of autumn in the works, every view is worthwhile. But, being short on time, I had to pick and choose my priorities.
Taking a detour through the rocky gorge was one of them. The gorge is impressive with its huge boulders popping up from the ground. I didn’t find any water running here, but can imagine the dramatic changes it undergoes when heavy rains sweep through.
From here, the path led back to the Pavelka again which I followed for a bit before cutting through to yet another yellow spur trail. It may sound confusing, but all the trails are easily identifiable both with markings and written signs when necessary.
This particular path led me to what’s known as Patric’s Overlook. The boulders creep out over a small ridge offering a nice perspective of the woods from a vantage point about 20 feet in the air. A bench is planted a few feet from the edge giving hikers a temporary resting spot to appreciate the view.
View or not, be careful where you step. I had the unfortunate luck to stumble and fall onto a boulder and came away with some scrapes and bruises. It served as a striking reminder of how important it is to be prepared. Something as simple as carrying a first-aid kit, a bottle of water, or a cell phone tucked in a backpack can make all the difference.
Like anything else, there are risks. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the outdoors and all it has to offer – in places like this picturesque Connecticut farm.
Directions: Take CT-9 S to exit 9 for CT-81 toward Killingworth/Clinton. Turn right onto CT-81 S. The farm will be on the left, just south of the Route 148/Route 81 intersection.
Trail Difficulty: Easy
Trail Length: 1.5 miles