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.
MAPLES FARM PARK
A rural landscape comes to mind for those who come across the tiny town of Bozrah. It’s part of the Last Green Valley –a National Heritage Corridor that encompasses eastern Connecticut and parts of Massachusetts.
And among this quiet setting sits Maples Farm Park – home to a popular farmers’ market that is a proven summertime hot spot for locals. But, the push to explore further into the property has helped prompt a trail system that caters to those who enjoy the outdoors.
The system consists of four loops that interconnect and cover about three and half miles of terrain. With my dog Sampson in tow, I started off on the Shady Hollow Trail. Despite the lack of colored blazes, the path – like all the others- is well-defined. Wooden signs at key crossroads direct visitors to where they want to go – a bonus for those without access to a map on their smartphone.
Our trek took us steadily uphill and onto yet another trail – the Summit Loop – which promises a view. To get there, we made our way through a wooded landscape as the trail created a several switchbacks on its climb up.
It didn’t take long to reach the small clearing. It offers a distant view of some farmland and a focal point at the hills beyond. The view isn’t overly powerful, but is pleasant enough - even though it’s hard to escape the noise of traffic zooming by down below.
Heading downhill, we meandered onto yet another path – Bull Run. It has a bit of a different feel to it – with a design that appeals to mountain bikers and trail runners.
And that’s what I find unique about this system. It may not have all the bells and whistles of other well-developed trails or the drama of waterfalls or other natural wonders, but, it’s a place that offers visitors what I feel is sometimes lacking – choices.
And that is something you can find here. From jogging to horseback riding, these trails offer a little bit of everything – even for someone like me…just looking for a simple walk in the woods.
Trail Directions: Take CT-2 E toward Norwich. Take Exit 23 for CT-163 toward Bozrah/Montville. Continue on CT-163 S/Bozrah St. The parking lot is on the right.
Trail Distance: 1 mile
Trail Difficulty: Easy