During this stressful time, we want the options of getting out and breathing fresh air and getting exercise. In order to reduce overcrowding at our town parks (which might potentially lead to closures), we’d like to suggest some alternative opportunities for getting outdoors and walking or biking.
Single-track trails are problematic because of the difficulty of passing others at a safe distance. If the parking lot at your favorite trail is full, it’s probably best to look elsewhere. Here are some New Milford hiking trails on Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust property that tend to be less crowded than others (but please bring a face mask just in case):
- Kahn-Nostrand Preserve Trail ; Squire Hill Road , ½ mile north of Bear Hill Rd intersection (look for parking lot on right at top of Squire Hill Road). Trails are on Town and Weantinoge lands.
- Tory’s Cave and The Eleanor and Howard Hunt Nature Preserve; (look for parking lot on Rt 7 between the two ends of Squash Hollow Road) Tory\’s Cave is closed to the public, but there are still miles of trail available to explore and you can access the Housatonic Range blue trail (HuRT) from the Tory’s Cave Preserve. Once on the HuRT, you can head north towards Gaylordsville or south through the Hunt Preserve.
- Candlewood Mountain Part of the Blue Trail system; The trail connects two of the Trust’s nicest preserves on Candlewood Mountain. Hikers will have to use their hands on this trek
- James Morrissey Family Nature Preserve, Gaylordsville Part of the Blue Trail system, the trail is .75 miles
- Mount Tom; an easy 1.3 mile hike off Mt. Tom Road that can be extended to the Pratt Nature Center
In addition to Weatinoge Heritage Land Trust properties, there is also the Nature Conservancy, which offers Sunny Valley Preserve (New Milford and Bridgewater)
One other option, part of the Roxbury Land Trust, is the Mine Hill Preserve (Roxbury) and bordering Carter Preserve (New Milford)
New Milford has miles of unpaved roads that offer unique opportunities for passive recreation, and plenty of space for social distancing. Please keep in mind that these are public, residential roads, so keep an eye out for cars (wear bright clothing), and make sure to park your own vehicle in a legitimate lot or pull-off. Here are a few of our favorites:
- River Road: This 3 ½ mile stretch of the New Milford River Trail is wide and scenic (with little car traffic), and its proximity to Sega Meadows makes it the perfect backup if that beautiful park becomes too crowded. There are numerous pull-outs for parking along the way.
- Mud Pond Road (Gaylordsville): North end (near Kent Town Line) is spectacular.
- North Road (Merryall): Note: Parking is limited, a few pullouts are located near the south end.
- Old Mill Road (Northville): Parking available at Carlson’s Grove.
Other good social distance walking opportunities in nearby towns
Steep Rock Preserve (can become crowded) in Washington Depot.
Two locations: 2 Tunnel Road, Washington Depot and 198 Bee Brook Rd, Washington Depot
White Memorial Conservation Center in Bantam. TIP: To avoid crowds at main entrance: look for parking at trailheads on Bissell Rd or White’s Wood Road.
BIKING – Unpaved Rides
- Start at Sega Meadows trailhead (alongside Boardman Bridge). ‘
- Follow New Milford River Trail signs through park then
- left on River Road;
- continue on to Gaylordsville, then back for a10 mile round-trip, ‘
- or start on River Road for a shorter trip. Park at ball fields if Sega Meadows lots are full
- Once you reach pavement in Gaylordsville, turn right on Station Road
- Left on Brown’s Forge Road
- Left on Mud Pond Road
- Turn back when you reach pavement (Camp Flats Road)
- Right turn at Camp Flats Road
- Right on Old Mine Road (just past stop sign at West Meetinghouse)
- Bear right at intersection with North Road
- Left on Chapel Hill Road
- Straight on Merryall Road
- Left on Buck’s Rock Road
- Left on Merryall Road
- Bear right on Wellsville Avenue
- Right on Wells Road
- Left on Aspetuck Ridge Road
- Right on Housatonic Avenue
- Return to start
BIKING – Paved Rides
New Milford, and much of Litchfield County, is blessed with miles of scenic back-roads that see little car traffic. More information on places to ride can be found on these websites: