Hi! I’m Kristen!

I teach math at a high school but love to explore every chance I get! This often involves working in sunrise and sunset hikes during the week and road trips and long hikes on the weekend.

I haven’t always hiked this much even though I wanted to! I grew up in CT and in high school, I always was looking for someone to come up Sleeping Giant (our popular trail in town) with me.  

A relationship in my early twenties allowed me to have a built-in hiking partner, and two trail dogs, too! And when it didn’t work out I found myself not only in need of hiking partners but a life change. I moved to the Berkshires in Massachusetts where I knew no one but was surrounded by all the beauty and charm of small New England towns. (Richmond, Lenox, Great Barrington, Stockbridge- love them all!)

The 4 years spent in the Berkshires was a special time. I spent a lot of time alone, exploring the area, and made beautiful connections and memories where I taught at a sweet little school. When you think about places or experiences that have built you this is the place for me.

“In the quiet moments, the discoveries are made.”

Vera farmiga

While I often wondered what I was doing there (as did most of my family🥴) I now realize that having that time on my own helped me realize what I wanted and develop a strength I didn’t know I needed!

After the Berkshires, I moved back to Connecticut to Litchfield County, which is equally as beautiful and found myself discovering new trails and hikes I never knew existed in CT. And a deep desire to hike again was born! 

I started with walking a lot in town (long walks in hilly neighborhoods are a great first step!) and transitioned to the local trails that I felt safe visiting alone like White Memorial but I was craving bigger hikes again.

I decided to stop waiting for someone to hike with and joined a local Meetup group where I met the most amazing, kind, and knowledgeable people to hike with. On these Meetup group hikes, I was often in the back, catching my breath and realizing how out of hiking shape I was compared to these people who were decades older than me and way ahead on the trail. But this is where I learned about my hiking abilities, became comfortable, and built my confidence on the trail.

Shortly after, I decided to adopt a dog that could come along with me. It took almost a year of searching for adoptable pets, going to adoption events, and emailing and applying for dogs I liked until I saw Captain’s litter online and fell in love with them. After all of the meet and greet adoption events, I applied to adopt Captain sight unseen (in person at least) and he was shipped up from Alabama to his new home in CT. My first day of meeting him was the day I brought him home and it is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Just a few months after adopting Captain (and 9 years after that last relationship!) I met Jared and Bauer.🐶 Our first date was a walk in Collinsville with the dogs and we continued to have dates that revolved around hiking ever since. It was amazing to find someone that appreciated and knew all about the hiking spots I loved, too.

Exploring more in the state and around New England, I started to have a deep desire to share about the hikes I was discovering and the thousands of pictures I would take on my cell phone.

And more than that, I wanted to connect with people that loved nature and exploring as much as I do. I felt the need to be part of a community and that’s why EarlyBirdontheTrail was born! The friendships made (both online and in-person) are really special to me and I love talking to people that understand this hiking obsession and appreciate nature and how it makes you feel.

Hiking heals, maybe not physically (though we can’t rule it out!) but any stress or anxiety of the day slowly leaves with every step. When you are listening to the birds and can hear them over your own thoughts it is truly a blessing. And if it’s in the morning, even better! 😍🌅

I’m glad you are here and I hope you find inspiration to explore more near you and find some new favorite trails and views in and around CT!

If you want to say hi, have a hiking question, give a suggestion of an area you love to hike in, or even inquire about working together (photography or social media needs?!) – I’d love to hear from you! 📩

Happy Trails! 💗🥾🐾🐶

Kristen, Writer/Photographer

Looking for amazing hikes and road trips in CT and New England?! I’m on a mission to find and share all the adventures that Connecticut and the surrounding areas have to offer. Whether you’re looking to plan a road trip or a hike close to home, I know you will find your next adventure here!