Talcott Mountain – Simsbury, CT
Talcott Mountain is a pretty popular hike in Connecticut. Well, I believe any hike with a view tower attracts large crowds and Talcott does have the Heublein Tower at the summit. The tower does have a museum inside so dogs are not allowed inside Heublein Tower.
When I hike Talcott mountain I like parking by the helicopter landing pad (the circle spot on the map with the second “P”). I take the unmarked trail and usually cut off to check out King Phillips Cave. The entrance to King Phillips is about .3-.6 into the hike. it’s not marked but you turn right onto it and go another .5 miles you’ll see a small cave than .2 more is the big cave with ropes hanging down. It’s worth checking out and it isn’t a difficult path, just narrow. Then I turn around and go back onto the yellow trail and follow that to the tower. Just beyond the tower are the picnic areas and some more nice views. At this point, I usually turn around and take the blue trail back down. It’s about 4 miles total.
There are a lot of dogs along this trail and people have gotten pretty bad at picking up after their pups so be mindful of the landmines. It’s a pretty easy hike with no real steep sections so it’s perfect for an easy day hike.
About Heublein Tower
The centerpiece of Talcott Mountain State Park is Heublein Tower, accessible by trail only (1.25 miles). The tower, 165 ft tall and 1,040 ft above sea level, built for Gilbert F. Hueblein in 1914 as a summer retreat and home. The Tower was designed to withstand winds of 100 mph. Put up for sale in the 1960s and slated for residential development, the tower became part of the Talcott Mountain State Park in 1965 through the efforts of conservation non-profit groups, the state of Connecticut, and the United States government. The tower has been renovated as a museum with artifacts. Visitors may climb to the top of the tower for a 360° view encompassing four states. The tower is open for tours Memorial Day to Labor Day, Thursday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm; Labor Day through the end of October, 10 am to 5 pm.