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Old 05-26-2010, 07:16 PM
 
12 posts, read 25,266 times
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Hi everyone, I'm moving to Hartford, CT for a job placement. Although I'm excited to do this job, I'm very unfamiliar with the location - I'm moving from Oregon (forest land). The main thing I'm worried about is Nature - living in Hartford, how tough is it to get out into nature on the weekends?

That's really all I care about: my wife and I love to hike, climb and explore nature! If I'm trapped in a city 24/7 I'm going to go crazy.

Can anyone comment? I've done some googling for forests and trails in CT but that can't substitute for knowledge from someone who actually has experienced it.

Thank you so much, I really look forward to living in CT!
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Old 05-26-2010, 07:35 PM
 
Location: In a house
13,258 posts, read 34,669,759 times
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Oof..yeah living -in- Hartford is going to drive you insane anyway...but fortunately you're around 10 minutes from some of the prettiest woodland and natural scenery in New England. In just about every direction you go, you're not far from a park, or a stream, or hillside, or farm. Compared to Oregon, there isn't what you would consider a "mountain." However, the northern part of the Appalachian Mountain Range cuts through most of the western half of the state. Connecticut is pretty small compared to Oregon, taking perhaps five hours to get from the westernmost point to the easternmost, and not even two hours from north to south. Hartford is north-central, which makes pretty much the entire state within a couple of hours' drive, at the absolute most.
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Old 05-26-2010, 07:40 PM
 
Location: W Hartford, CT
1,787 posts, read 3,446,954 times
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Well, the city itself has a few nice parks but not nature trails. But on the outskirts there are many of these. Pennwood State Park in Bloomfield and Talcott Mountain park in neighboring Simsbury are perfect for anyone looking to spend time outdoors. I don't think you can camp out or grill here, but they're both worth checking out.

The reservoir area that covers Farmington, Avon and West Hartford is a place you can spend the whole day if you wanted to. Many people do this. Hiking, running, bicycling, walking the dog - just overall a nice place. There might be picnic tables here but I'm not positive. Here's a link for it if you're interested:
MDC - Water Supply & Pollution Control (http://www.themdc.com/2rec_wh.htm - broken link)
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Old 05-26-2010, 07:58 PM
 
Location: NJ
3,733 posts, read 8,519,240 times
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There is a place in Canton called the Roaring Brook Nature Center that has a lot of forest walking trails. I haven't been there in years but I recall it was a pretty nice place to spend an afternoon.
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Old 05-26-2010, 08:13 PM
 
Location: In a house
13,258 posts, read 34,669,759 times
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Also, there is a nature trail that was originally built to be the Farmington Canal, and it runs from New Haven to (you guessed it) Farmington, more or less along the Route 10 line. The canal itself was never successful because it had to compete with railroads that were built around the same time, and it fell into disrepair and stagnation for a long time. Eventually, enthusiasts and volunteers helped clean it up and now it's one of the loveliest nature preserves in the state, and in particular, perfect for walking (since the parts near the Hamden area at least, are paved, and pedestrian-only).
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Old 05-26-2010, 08:38 PM
 
12 posts, read 25,266 times
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AnonChick - that's good to hear that I'm not "citylocked" away from nature entirely. But care to comment a bit more about living in Hartford in general? I am going to be there "only" for two years or so but hopefully I can keep myself from going completely loco.

I have been mapquesting some places listed as CT hiking/climbing at this website:

Hartford, Central Connecticut & Connecticut River Valley Hiking - Hikes

And a lot of them seem about 30-50 minutes out of Hartford, like "Talcott Mountain Trail" and places like that. A 30-45 minute drive on a weekend morning isn't too bad. Has anyone been to anywhere listed on that site?

Right now, I'm looking out at a wide expanse of trees, hills and green valleys in Oregon - but I'm slowly adjusting to the idea that there IS nature near Hartford - Keep the recommendations/ideas coming! Thank you!
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Old 05-26-2010, 11:49 PM
 
Location: Groton, CT
181 posts, read 477,898 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnonChick View Post
taking perhaps five hours to get from the westernmost point to the easternmost, and not even two hours from north to south.
Good lord! What, are you walking? lol. I live almost as far east as you can get and it takes me 2-2.5 hours to get all the way into New York City, and about an hour and a half to get to Six Flags.

That being said, there are many many parks and forrests throughout the entire state that you could access within an hour and a half at absolute most [barring terrible traffic] from Hartford.

I hope you love living here!
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Old 05-27-2010, 06:53 AM
 
Location: The brown house on the cul de sac
2,081 posts, read 4,124,715 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrotonMan View Post
Good lord! What, are you walking? lol. I live almost as far east as you can get and it takes me 2-2.5 hours to get all the way into New York City, and about an hour and a half to get to Six Flags.
I live in sw CT and I can get to Boston in approximately 3 hours.
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Old 05-27-2010, 07:07 AM
 
Location: In a house
13,258 posts, read 34,669,759 times
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When I said east-west I meant it literally, not "via the highway." From Killingly Pond State Park Reserve, to Macedonia Brook State Park, if you were to get in a car and drive, it would take you pretty close to 4-5 hours one way. This is because, there is no highway that will take you from one to the other. Macedonia Brook is WEST of Kent Falls. WAYYYYYYY up in the boondocks. Killingly Pond is EAST of Killingly, right smack dab in the middle of the Rhode Island border. Also, this isn't someone trying to get from point A to point B as fast as they can. This is people who want to take a leisurely drive to enjoy the sights.

I don't know much about Hartford proper, other than what I read here. I used to go to a disco downtown back in the late 1970's when it wasn't suicide to park a car on Asylum Street after 9pm on a Friday. I've been to the Meadows. Other than that I pretty much avoid getting off the highway in Hartford.

The thing about Hartford is, it's like, the pimiento in the olive. Everywhere you go, when you leave Hartford, is awesome. 10 minutes in any direction will land you in something better, and in some directions it'll land you in places so neat you'll wonder if maybe you should just get lost and forget how to get back.

In particular, CT 44West should be a perfect weekend route for the OP. That's what gets you to Talcott, and there are golf courses and state parks and ponds and all kinds of other things along the way.

In the Autumn, you could look for one of the many Bed and Breakfasts along the center shoreline (Old Saybrook, Lyme, and general vicinity), and enjoy the foliage of Rte 9, with an actual destination that isn't stupid with coppertone tourists (since it's Autumn, and things go back to normal). That area has a few spa-type B&Bs where you get a massage and a facial (his & hers), and then you walk along the docks, grab a lobster roll at one of the lobster shacks, then turn in for the evening in front of the fireplace, then take a nice leisurely ride home the next day.

I used to ride my moped to Essex, from Hamden, back when I had a moped. And even now, on weekends, I'll fill up the car with gas, grab a bottle of water, and pick a direction. I'll go until the car has half a tank, then turn around and come back. I stop along the way whenever I see something interesting, a roadside veggie stand, or a historic town square, or a stretch of antique shops.

This is the kind of weekend stuff you can do VERY easily in Connecticut.
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Old 05-27-2010, 09:08 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
24,612 posts, read 40,185,826 times
Reputation: 6984
Quote:
Originally Posted by Signifier View Post
AnonChick - that's good to hear that I'm not "citylocked" away from nature entirely. But care to comment a bit more about living in Hartford in general? I am going to be there "only" for two years or so but hopefully I can keep myself from going completely loco.

I have been mapquesting some places listed as CT hiking/climbing at this website:

Hartford, Central Connecticut & Connecticut River Valley Hiking - Hikes

And a lot of them seem about 30-50 minutes out of Hartford, like "Talcott Mountain Trail" and places like that. A 30-45 minute drive on a weekend morning isn't too bad. Has anyone been to anywhere listed on that site?

Right now, I'm looking out at a wide expanse of trees, hills and green valleys in Oregon - but I'm slowly adjusting to the idea that there IS nature near Hartford - Keep the recommendations/ideas coming! Thank you!
Talcott Mountain is only about 10 miles from downtown. It would take you 20 minutes tops to get there assuming you live right downtown.

Hartford is not a large sprawling city. The great thing about Hartford is that it is so accessable to the countryside. Drive 15 minutes from downtown and you are in the country. The reservoir in West Hartford is great for walking as is the Farmington Canal trail both of which are less than 30 minutes from downtown. Also the Airline Trail in Hebron which is about 30 minutes away. If you want to drive further you will be in some really rural areas. I am sure you will like it. Jay
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