May 13, 2013
May and June offer some of the most comfortable hiking conditions of the year, and the hiking opportunities in Connecticut for people of all ages – children through retirees – are abundant. Hundreds of guided hikes are scheduled in coming weeks.
My Hartford Courant column detailing hiking opportunities for various age groups can be viewed on-line at http://www.courant.com/features/outdoors/hc-hiking-clubs-20130514,0,6338673.story. It appears on the cover of the Courant’s features section tomorrow, May 14, with photos by Michael McAndrews.
WalkCT, a program of the Connecticut Forest & Park Association, the state’s oldest conservation organization, sponsors frequent hikes throughout the state, including Family Rambles ideal for parents and children.
“The point of the Family Rambles is really to get families out who may not have a lot of hiking experience,” said Leslie Lewis, WalkCt director. Hike leaders often bring backpacks with games and field guides intended to enhance the hiking experience for children.
An extensive list of hiking opportunities with information on difficulty, distance and suitability for different age groups is available at WalkCt.org.
Also offering a wide range of guided hiking opportunities is the venerable, Boston-based Appalachian Mountain Club. The AMC’s Connecticut chapter, www.ct-amc.org, sponsors hikes for groups of all ages.
In addition to family hikes of varying difficulty, the chapter sponsors hikes and other outdoor activities for hikers in their 20s and 30s.
Another opportunity for hikers is national Trails Day, which in Connecticut actually is a two-day event June 1 and June 2. Connecticut Forest & Park Association coordinates the event in Connecticut. This year it includes 259 outings in 152 of the state’s 169 towns, with hikes that are suitable for many different age groups and fitness levels.
View a detailed listing of Trails Day hikes on the association website, www.ctwoodlands.org. An explanation of the difficulty, distance and other information for each event is included. Free booklets detailing all the hikes also will be available soon at public libraries, outdoor retailers and Stop & Shop supermarkets throughout the state. All hikes are free.