Colonial Farms Offer Escape for Hikers, Families - WFSB 3 Connecticut

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Colonial Farms Offer Escape for Hikers, Families

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NORTH BRANFORD, CT (WFSB) -

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.     

North Farms

North Branford

North Farms in North Branford is one of those places that caters to both the avid hiker and those looking for a simple stroll through the woods. It’s not a large tract of land – only 77 acres in size. But, with its three trails of varying degrees and a river to boot, it’s a nice little park to explore.

With my dog Murphy as a companion, I set off from the lot and headed straight for the white trail. It straddles the Branford River running along the perimeter of the park.

I chose to head right on the trail, described as the most difficult of the three. I can guess why as I navigated the mounds of fallen leaves that cover the tangled roots I came across underfoot. The trail is a bit rough and has its own precarious ups and downs especially as it carried me closer to the river.

But, with every little obstacle came an opportunity. So, we took the time to explore the old dams on the river and the crumbling rock walls that are a throwback of the old farms here - still visible among the trees.

There is no way to cross the river from this point, so I backtracked to our starting point and tried my hand at another path. I found going north on the white trail soon connected me to the orange. This is a pretty easy trail to follow, crossing the river via a wooden bridge.

The trail cuts the park in half and, if followed, will lead you over a small ridge line to Valley Road. But, with time in short supply, I veered left on the yellow trail. This is considered a ‘safety trail’ to be used by all people regardless of their hiking skills.

And, true to its description, the trail is easy to follow and cuts a wide berth through the woods. There is little in terms of obstacles and the path offers views of both the river and the surrounding forest.

Murphy was drawn to the water so I followed along keeping this morning hike as low-key as possible. But, as close as you can get to the river, there is no way to cross to reconnect to the yellow on the other side. So, we double-backed the way we came. But, it turned out to be just right – allowing us to enjoy the last moments of our whimsical walk through the woods.

Directions: Take CT-17 S toward New Haven. Slight left onto CT-77 S/Guilford Rd. Turn right onto CT-80 W. Turn left onto CT-139. The park entrance will be on the left.

Trail Difficulty: Easy

Trail Distance: 1.5 miles