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The Best Connecticut Foliage Lookouts
The state tourism office recommends these lookouts for some of the best foliage views in New England:
Macedonia Brook State Park, Kent: The overlook from white-blazed Cobble Mountain Trail has views across the Harlem Valley to the Taconic and Catskill Mountains. From Kent Center, take Route 341 west for approximately 2 miles. Take first right onto Macedonia Brook Road, which takes you into the park. (Bear left at the fork.) Office and parking lot are located 1 mile inside the park. Trail maps are available.
Mohawk State Forest, Cornwall: Scenic vistas from a lookout tower to the north and west include the Catskill, Taconic and Berkshire ranges. Both the Mattatuck and Mohawk trails (blue-blazed) cross the site. Take Route 4 west from Torrington, 14 miles to the forest entrance at Toumey Road, on left. Take road to 'T' intersection and turn right onto Mohawk Mountain Road. The lookout tower is at the end.
Pachaug State Forest, Voluntown: This forest contains the Mt. Misery Overlook and miles of roads and hiking trails. From Voluntown take Route 49 north for six miles to the forest entrance on the left. Go west for two miles and bear left at forks to parking area. Take woods access road on left to overlook.
Peoples State Forest, Barkhamsted: There are two lookouts along the yellow-blazed Jesse Gerard Trail. From the junction of routes 318 and 181 in the Pleasant Valley section of Barkhamsted, go east over bridge then take first left onto East River Road. The Jesse Gerard trailhead is 2.4 miles on the right. A recreation area is opposite the trailhead.
Shenipsit State Forest, Somers: The blue-blazed Shenipsit Trail runs by an observation tower on Soapstone Mountain that provides wonderful views of landscapes near and far. From Somers, take Route 190 east to a blinking yellow light and turn right onto Gulf Road. Follow it for 2.25 miles to the next right after Mountain View Road, which is Soapstone Mountain Road. Take the road to the tower parking lot.
Sleeping Giant State Park, Hamden: From the stone tower in the park you get a 360-degree panorama south to Long Island and north past Hartford. The park has an extensive trail system for all levels of hiking ability. To reach the tower from Hamden, take Route 10 north to Mount Carmel Avenue and turn right. The main entrance to the park will be about a quarter-mile on the left. From the parking lot, take a gravel path 1.5 miles to the stone tower.
Talcott Mountain State Park, Simsbury: The Heublein Tower offers striking views over the Farmington River Valley. From Bloomfield. Take Route 185 west from Bloomfield to the entrance sign on the left after the mountain's crest. Park along the trailhead and follow the trail to the top of the ridge, then left to the tower. For a nearby alternative, visit Penwood State Park - its entrance is 500 feet east on the Talcott Mountain entrance - and hike from the parking lot up the gated road to an escarpment overlook.
Mt. Tom State Park, Litchfield: A stone tower 1, 325 feet above sea level can be reached by hiking a one-mile trail off Route 202. From the south, follow Route 118 into Litchfield, then pick up Route 202. When you see a lake on the left, look for park signs.
Dennis Hill State Park, Norfolk: A summit pavilion located 1, 627 feet above sea level provides views of New Hampshire, Vermont's Green Mountains, and more. The drive to the summit is open weekends only from October 4 through October 26. Located off Route 272.
Goodwin Conservation Center, Hampton: View autumn colors reflected in the water of Pine Acres Pond from the center's wildlife-watching platform. The Center is located on Route 6 in Hampton, 3.0 miles east of the intersection with Route 198 and 1.4 miles west of the intersection with Route 97.
Source: Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection.