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16 Beautiful Connecticut Land Trusts Worth Visiting

Looking for beautiful walks in Connecticut’s woods with some even leading to views? Then look no further than this list of 16 Connecticut Land Trusts, each providing peaceful settings for all to enjoy!

goshen land trust connecticut at sunset
Sunset view at Mountain View Land Trust ini Goshen

What is a land trust?!🌲🌲

Land Trusts are private, not-for-profit groups that work to protect land for nature.. what a cool job 😉

In Connecticut, we have 123 Land Trusts in CT comprised of over 39,000 members who together take care of more than 62,000 acres of open space.

I love exploring new land trusts in Connecticut. I find that they are always well taken care of thanks to the people that do a great job caring for and conserving the land.

Land trust trails aren’t too difficult as they’re more like long peaceful walks in the woods! But we have several on the list that, with a short hike, do lead to super pretty views and overlooks. 🌅

Since I always hike with my dogs you’ll find a pet-friendly list of land trusts below. 🐶

Here are 16 of my favorite land trusts in CT! I love visiting these over and over in every season and hope you get inspired to visit with the pictures and descriptions below!

16 Beautiful Land Trusts in Connecticut

1. Simsbury Land Trust (894 acres)

simsbury land trust connecticut

Consisting of 14 separate and distinct properties, showcasing a vast array of varying landscapes and natural wonders, including ridges, cliffs, fields, wetlands, farmland, and ice cream, Simsbury Land Trust is an absolute local gem.

Highlights include Tanager Hill, Tulmeadow Farm and its legendary ice cream delectables, and West Mountain trail system, which boasts magnificent westerly views from its staggering cliff sides. 

2. Granby Land Trust (3297 acres)

connecticut hike
West Barndoor Hill for sunrise

Harken back to a quieter time among the many properties that preserve well over 3,000 acres of untamed wilderness, farmland, and waterfront terrain. 

Walk along fieldstone walls, meandering river’s edges, and in and among dense, beautifully overgrown forests. You’ll find these and much much more while exploring Granby’s priceless preservation properties.

True highlights abound at Mary Edwards Mountain Property, where views over happily forgotten farmland stretch east towards an awakening sun.

3. Farmington Land Trust – Farmington (2400 acres)

The Farmington Land Trust takes care of more than 300 acres of land, including fields, forests, wetlands, beautiful views, old places, and homes for animals, to keep them safe from being turned into buildings. A

ll of the Land Trust’s 67 pieces of land will stay as open areas forever, making life better for people in Farmington for many years.

4. Groton Open Space Association (1736 acres)

Forests, vistas, coves, ridges, and fields make up the magic of these 7 properties in the steadfast and proud town of Groton. 

You’ll certainly get your fair share of stunning florals, wildlife, vista views and waterfalls at these incredible properties, all while being warmly enveloped by the gentle invigorating scent of the blue ocean.

5. Warren Land Trust (1130 acres)

Dedicated to preserving the open spaces, picturesque farmland, lively and dense woodlands, peaceful water resources and scenic beauty of Warren, the 7 preserves of the Trust don’t disappoint.

Despite its name, the Eel Pond Preserve provides for a perfect fresh water escape from any wriggly problems and slimy ills of everyday life. 

Each property showcases a stunning variety of all things natural and wholesome.

6. Goshen Land Trust (728 acres)

goshen mountain view land trust

“Keeping Goshen Green” is this pristine and wild Trust’s motto. With a latticework of interweaving wilderness trails, there is something to catch any visitor’s attention. 

The Mountain View Trail delivers what it promises with a gorgeous northern facing vista at its half way mark.

Just outside of the cozy town of Litchfield the Goshen Land Trust is a hidden little gem of nature.

7. Kent Land Trust (2386 acres)

Kent Land Trust, Connecticut
Kent Land Trust, Connecticut

The town of Kent is well known for its quaint, tightly knit main street. The boutiques and delicious restaurants beckon all who stop off for a walk through the down town.

However, just outside of the town proper lies the properties of the Ken Land Trust.

The Bull Mountain Preserve hosts its name sake and provides hikers with unparalleled views west, making it a prime spot to admire a sunset. 

8. Litchfield Land Trust (3970 acres)

Litchfield Land Trust, Connecticut
Medicine Rock Loop, Upper Bantam River

A series of properties and trails make up Litchfield Land Trust. Nestled in the Litchfield Hills, the rolling vistas and babbling brooks and rivers offer a visitor the perfect excuse to slow down and relax.

2 of the best river walks in Connecticut, the Shepaug Crossing and Upper Bantam River trails, are a part of this trust and are primo spots to take a stunning stroll right on the banks of a free flowing river. 

9. Roxbury Land Trust (3865 acres)

Incredibly, there are 29 separate preserves that serve to comprise Roxbury Land Trust. The landscapes range from farm fields to abandoned mines to rolling mountainous terrain. 

Mine Hill provides a visitor with a first hand peek into what a true blue iron mine looked like. The stone furnace stands proudly and acts as a way point for adventurers traversing the trail systems here.

There are cavernous mining sink holes littered throughout the wilderness here, so do watch your step.

10. Salisbury Association (3576 acres)

salisbury pope preserve land trust connecticut at sunset

Here’s another one of Connecticut’s perfect little New England towns. Showcasing a mainstream that has shoulder-to-shoulder shops and cafes. Walking the interlacing alleyways and sidewalks are in and of themselves worth the stop. 

Now add the fact that there are several fantastic preserves and you’ve got the making of perfect weekend outing.

Out of two Salisbury Land Trust properties I’ve visited (Pope Preserve & Dark Hollow) I liked the views Pope Hill Preserve the best but loved the remote and quiet feel of the trails at Dark Hollow, too.

On the list is a visit to Tory Hill which features a country landscape dotted with rolling farm fields, a glistening lake, and vibrant wildflowers.

11. Sharon Land Trust (3198 acres)

So, this Trust may just be my absolute favorite in the entire state of Connecticut. Consisting of 11 unique and captivating preserves, you could spend a lifetime, and many seasons wandering these impeccable grounds.

Between mountain summits, sprawling farmlands, tumbling brooks, and an epic westerly sunset viewing spots, this Trust stands alone.

Garret Goodbody Preserve provides a taste of the landscapes of our European cousins across the pond, while Mary Moore preserve dishes up a northerly view of our beloved Berkshire Mountain Range. These are places that allow for true proper wandering. 

And if I convinced you to visit Sharon be sure to check out my post outlining a full-day itinerary for Sharon, CT where you’ll find more hikes, cafes, and an amazing BBQ spot! 🙂

And for a more detailed list check out my post on the best land trust trails in Sharon!

12. Steep Rock Association (5681 acres)

Steep Rock Land Trust, Connecticut
Tunnel at Steep Rock
Steep Rock Land Trust, Connecticut
View at Steep Rock

Washington Depot, CT. One of the absolute, hands down most beautifully quaint little river towns of Connecticut. Shoppes, cafes, history, fantastic eateries, all call this spot home. 

Along with all of the main dishes, are some exquisite accoutrements tucked away in the hollows of Steep Rock Preserve. 

The Shepaug River Railroad tunnel is an absolute highlight, that and the all but adjacent suspension bridge spanning the Shepaug River. But certainly don’t forget the summit of Steep Rock itself, which provides delectable views of the surrounding river valley.

13. Cornwall Conservation Trust (2735 acres)

cathedral pines in connecticut

16, count em’ 16 separate and unique preserves make up the Cornwall Conservation Trust! 

Wander the banks of the Housatonic River, meander through the hills of Cornwall along the Appalachian Trail, fish for trout, are all activities one can enjoy when visiting any one of the properties. 

Cathedral Pines Preserve is a highlight for me, showcasing nature’s persistent beauty in unfettered growth with a copse of absolutely towering pines, some of which are centuries old.

Don’t forget to check out West Cornwall Bridge, one of our beloved and preserved covered bridges.

14. Guilford Land Conservation Trust (3165 acres)

Another stacked Trust, proudly offering visitors the choice of 17 properties to choose a relaxing weekend morning stroll.

Transport yourself back to the mid eighteenth century by simply showing up to one of these properties in Guilford. You won’t have to walk long before the noice and chaos of modern living fades away and you begin to imagine slowly clip clopping along in a horse drawn carriage on one of the many old wagon roads found here.

15. Bethany Land Trust (3790 acres)

With 7 preserves and a staggering array of properties, hollows, easements, follies and farms, the Bethany Land Trust in Woodbridge is a testament to what a land Trust can truly be.

History and nature conglomerate to achieve a true sense of wonderment when visiting here. 

Mendell’s Folly is a 125 acre chuck of this Trust and gives an intrepid hiker a taste of New England’s undeveloped past, with dense and wild forests and bisecting untamed brooks.

16. Wintonbury Land Trust 

bloomfield land trust hike connecticut at sunrise
Wintonberry Land Trust in Connecticut at sunrise
Sunrise field at Wintonbury Land Trust

The Wintonbury Land Trust in Bloomfield offers up a rare and truly unique outdoor experience.

Centered around age-old farmlands, these trail systems have a visitor right next to livestock on an active farm one minute, to trekking through dense woods and coming out into a beautifully sprawling field the next.

Check out the sunrise from the trails of Hawk Hill Farm. (Check out this post of 11 sunrise hikes in CT for more sunrise spots!

Wintonbury Land Trust in Connecticut at sunrise
Wintonbury Land Trust

I hope you enjoyed this list of 16 land trusts in Connecticut!

And hope you have a few in mind that you want to visit.

These are beautiful spots to walk as spring green pops in or as fall colors set in. Even sloped snowy fields are a treat to walk amongst.

Comment below if you have a favorite land trust in the state that I don’t have listed yet! I’d love a new one to visit…

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2 Comments

  1. You always share so many amazing places! I’ve got to save this for later so that I can visit them all when I make it back to the East Coast

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