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7 Summer Hikes in CT with Nearby Ice Cream!

Wondering what to do in Connecticut this summer? Tackle this list of 7 different CT hikes paired with local (some even on-site!) ice cream places!

Could there be a sweeter combo?! Beautiful trails paired with THE best ice cream in Connecticut – I only went to highly-rated favorites! ๐ŸŒŸ๐Ÿฆ

Even if you love hiking we all need a little incentive to get out there sometimes, right?! So when you have some of the very best ice cream nearby – it makes the drive to the hike and the hike itself 100% worth it!

And it makes for the perfect CT summer day. (I’m not much of a beach person ;))

Living in Connecticut almost all my life I love how each season brings new perks to hiking. There’s something so refreshing about a small cup of creamy, cool ice cream after a hot hike.

In this post, I share 7 CT hikes and walks paired with an ice cream shop that in some cases, is located in the same place as the hike! And I’ll let you know what these ice cream places have in store for dogs. ๐Ÿ˜‰ So let’s get to it! โคต๏ธ

1. Tulmeadow Farm Trail and Tulmeadow Farm Ice Cream ๐Ÿฆ

vanilla ice cream cone at tulmeadow farm in simsbury ct
Salted caramel
woman smiling at hiking trails at tulmeadow farm in simsbury connecticut
The multiple miles of farm trails behind Tulmeadow Ice Cream!

This is one of my favorite summer walks in CT! Tulmeadow Farm Ice Cream & Farm Trail is a one-stop shop combining beautiful trails on the farm property along with their amazing ice cream!

Tulmeadow Farm is a historic working farm permanently protected by a Simsbury Land Trust conservation easement. Since 1768, it’s Simsburyโ€™s oldest continuously operated small business and has been owned and farmed by generations of the Tuller family. 

Pulling into the parking lot youโ€™d never know that there are gorgeous, serene trails here. There are tons of little trails, all part of the Simsbury Land Trust, but the main one I often do is the 2.5-mile Tulmeadow Farm Trail.

hiking trails at golden hour at tulmeadow farm in simsbury connecticut
Follow the farm trails at Tulmeadow
dog on hiking trails at golden hour at tulmeadow farm in simsbury connecticut
So many pretty paths!

The trail starts from the back of the parking lot and goes down to the Simsbury town forest road and back, through 60 uninterrupted acres of fields where you can see Talcott Mountain & Heublein Tower in the distance. If youโ€™d like you can also cross this road to enter trails in Stratton Brook State Park.

Taking you all along the rolling green pastures lined with fencing I always feel like Iโ€™m strolling along my own private farm property here. Itโ€™s fun to imagine!

This trail is perfect for sunset which coincides nicely with prime ice cream time..

๐ŸฆIce Cream Review: After all that walking, letโ€™s get to the good part!

I tried the Oreo and Jared had the salted caramel, both creamy and delicious and perfect after a couple mile.

They make over 50 different flavors of very rich 16% butterfat gourmet ice cream.  Their top-selling flavor is Red Raspberry with Chocolate Chips but I’ve yet to try it!

๐Ÿพ Pup Approved: For a couple of dollars each you can get a pup cup which is soft serve ice cream!

big brown dog eating vanilla ice cream out of cup at tulmeadow farm in simsbury ct
Bruin enjoying his pup cup! ๐Ÿ™‚

Don’t forget to pop into their farm store to pick up pints of ice cream or fresh produce.

2. Sessions Woods in Burlington and Rich Farm Ice Cream ๐Ÿฆ

rich farms ice cream in bristol
Seriously some of the best Oreo ice cream I’ve had. Beautiful property and place to sit, too!
wide walking path at sessions woods in burlington ct
Trail at nearby Sessions Woods

Wow, you’ll love all the peaceful trails within Sessions Woods in Burlington, CT!

You’ll find 5 different trails listed for Sessions Woods Wildlife Management Area which is a 771-acre nature preserve owned by the state of Connecticut.

Along with being a beautiful place to hike, the preserve also focuses on conservation education and features the Sessions Woods Conservation Education Center with displays and signs about area wildlife all throughout the preserve.

The trail we took was the 2.5-mile Beaver Pond Trail loop which gives you a nice sampling of what Sessions Woods offers. There is also this 4.1 mile loop which I’d love to try one day with more time.

A bonus about the trails here is that they’re on a wide gravel path so this is a trail you can bring the kids or where I would bring my mom! ๐Ÿ™‚ There is nothing technical about the Beaver Pond Trail and it is great for beginners.

After building up an appetite head over to Rich Farm Ice Cream which is just 7 minutes down the road in Bristol!

Now I know Bristol kind of gets a bad rap, but there are nice areas to every town, and right over the line from Burlington, you’ll find Rich Farm Ice Cream perched high on a hill in a more country setting.

It’s the perfect place to sit with your ice cream and watch the sunset!

๐ŸฆIce Cream Review: I got Oreo in a cone and I found it super creamy, RICH, and delicious! It was hard not to eat the whole thing!

sign of flavors at rich farms ice cream in bristol connecticut
Menu options at Rich Farm’s in Bristol

๐Ÿพ Pup Approved: For a little more than $2 each you can get the kids (dogs) a pup cup which is whipped cream topped with waffle cone pieces! The boys loved it. ๐Ÿ™‚

dogs eating ice cream in the car
Pup cup here equals whipped cream topped with waffle cone pieces! ๐Ÿ™‚

3. Hilltop Farm Trails in Suffield at Hilltop Farm Creamery๐Ÿฆ

This is a must visit for a summer walk in Connecticut.

sunset at hilltop creamery suffield connecticut
Sunset from Hilltop Creamery! Incredible ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿฆ๐ŸŒ…
hilltop farm trail in suffield ct
Farm trails behind Hilltop Creamery!

Here you can hike and get your ice cream all in one spot. As if the view from Hilltop Creamery isn’t enough to get you there, there’s a one-mile + trail that you can take from the Creamery.

The mainly gravel path and trail runs all around the farm and down to the Connecticut River. This was such a peaceful walk and it was made even better by the sunset that night. It felt like a true summer night even though we visited in spring.

The gently sloping gravel path takes you down by an old tobacco shed (looks like a big barn) and to a dirt path along the Connecticut River. After you pass the tobacco shed at the bottom of the hill, enter the woods on the right and you’ll find a little trail that leads to a little beachy area on the Connecticut River.

If you’d like more of a hike with a view you can try the 2.3 mile Brian Spears Trail on the eastern edge of Suffield in East Granby. This would make for about a 15-minute drive to Hilltop Creamery.

Now on to the ice cream! The creamery is open everyday 12-8 except Mondays.

Located in a big white barn built in 1913, The Friends of the Farm at Hilltop, a nonprofit, owns 11 acres where the โ€œBig White Barnโ€ or creamery is.

There are tons of flavors to choose from which change often so be sure to check their Facebook page for new flavors and updates.

๐ŸฆIce Cream Review: I got their deer tracks flavor which was espresso ice cream with toffee, chocolate cookie pieces, and chocolate fudge. Jared got a soft-serve chocolate vanilla swirl. I wasn’t that crazy about mine. The espresso gave it a sharp taste that I wasn’t expecting nor wanting at 7:30 pm! Next time I’ll try a go-to like Oreo. ๐Ÿ™‚

๐Ÿพ Pup Approved: For a little more than $2 each you can get the kids (dogs) a pup cup which is soft serve vanilla in a small cup with a milk bone on top! ๐Ÿ™‚ Classic. ๐Ÿถ

dog with head out window eating ice cream at hilltop creamery suffield ct
They actually allow dogs INSIDE Hilltop Creamery!

4. Sweetheart Mountain (or Farmington Canal) & Lasalle’s But Sweeter

vanilla ice cream cup with rainbow sprinkles with the farmington river in the background
Walk right from Lasalle’s to the Farmington River Canal Line!๐Ÿฅพ
man sitting on hiking ledge with view of blue sky
Or hike at Sweetheart Mountain just minutes from Lasalle’s & downtown Collinsville

You can either hike to a beautiful view on Sweetheart Mountain in Collinsville or simply walk from Lasalle’s to Farmington Canal for a scenic, flat, paved walk.

The Sweetheart Mountain Yellow and Red Trails Loop is just one mile but there is a pretty steep section that will help you make some room for the ice cream after! This is a more moderate trail.

As stated on AllTrails, “The land to the south of this loop is owned by MDC. The property line is indicated by signs, and there is no trespassing allowed. This is a former ski resort that closed many years ago, and has since overgrown. Remnants of old ski equipment can be seen in the trail, such as lift ropes and pulleys, and drive motors.

If you take the loop clockwise you will at some point notice a fence and signs posted by the MDC Water Utility Services but as a recent reviewer of this trail on AllTrails put it:

“Town blocks off cliff edge but just walk around the fence. Iโ€™ll be damned if Iโ€™m kept from my towns best views.”

So, I always follow the loop linked above on AllTrails and get to the view. I’ve hiked here dozens of times.

But if you prefer a more straightforward and flatter walk, check out the all-paved Farmington Canal Heritage Trail. The trail is located in downtown Collinsville and is RIGHT ACROSS FROM the ice cream spot! ๐Ÿ˜

๐ŸฆIce Cream Review: LaSalle Only Sweeter is located downstairs from the popular breakfast and lunch spot, LaSalle Market.

At 104 Main St in downtown Collinsville you’ll find both a candy and ice cream shop at LaSalle Only Sweeter.

While other spots on our list make their own ice cream, LaSalle’s gets most of their ice cream from the well-known Gifford’s Ice Cream in Maine.

vanilla ice cream cup with rainbow sprinkles with the farmington canal walk in the background

I got the Oreo with rainbow sprinkles and it was REALLY really good! Definitely impressed and will be back!

๐Ÿพ Pup Approved: Not only do they have pup cups here but they also have a jar of (free!) treats at checkout.

This is a must-do CT summer hike, walk, and ice cream combo!

dog treats in a glass jar with doggy ice cream on the side
Free treats at counter and a frozen pup cup!

5. Talcott Mountain and Dom’s Creamery, Avon ๐Ÿฆ

two scoops of ice cream in waffle cone at doms creamery in avon ct
Ok, they’re honey latte ice cream and cookie dough was one of my favorite ice creams to date! ๐Ÿ’ฏโœ”
woman and dog on top of talcott mountain at sunset time in summer
Love sunset or golden hour hikes at Talcott!

Could there be a more perfect summer day in CT than a hike at Talcott Mountain State Park up to Heublein Tower followed by some of the best ice cream in CT?!

There are 4 different trails to choose from at Talcott Mountain State Park ranging from just 2.6 miles to over 6 miles. All routes lead to the popular Heublein Tower which is a sight to see in itself!

If you’re a beginner or hiking with someone who is – you can take the wide gravel 2.8 yellow loop (#3 on the post linked above) which is the most popular.

For a short but steep challenge try the 2.6-mile trail that takes you up the less-traveled western side of the mountain through Hazen Park, the Avon Land Trust.

No matter which hike you pick you now have a special treat in store…

๐ŸฆIce Cream Review: You may have heard of Dom’s Coffee or Dom’s Cheese Shop and if you haven’t you can stop in when you visit Dom’s Creamery, the newest Dom’s addition!

The owners wanted Dom’s ice cream and the visit experience to be more like European ice cream shops.

The owners said they wanted to keep the ice cream (made in small batches in-house!) as healthy as possible using only real ingredients. You can tell when you’re eating it – it is high-quality ice cream!

I LOVE their honey latte ice cream which has real honey in it, giving the perfect amount of sweetness. I also tried and loved their cookie dough! Wow, I’d love to buy the cookies they use for that ice cream.

There’s also a fig and parmesan cheese flavor which uses the cheese right from their cheese shop next door!

๐Ÿพ Pup Approved: I will find out! ๐Ÿ™‚

6. Penwood State Park & Grassroots Ice Cream (Simsbury)

salted caramel ice cream in cone at grassroots in simsbury ct
Salted caramel vanilla! Wow, I wish I had another right now! ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ’—
woman sitting on mountain in connecticut looking out at the orange sunset
Peace, quiet, and beauty atop Penwood at sunset time โ›ฐ

Great hikes and views await in Penwood State Park!

There are 7 different trails to choose from within Penwood but I like the first and fifth on that list the best!

The first is a more direct way up to the top with the view and the fifth is a longer, scenic route that takes you first through the Simsbury Land Trust.

The views face west making it perfect for a sunset or golden hour hikes before you get ice cream!

๐ŸฆIce Cream Review:

Just minutes away you’ll find Grassroots Ice Cream in Simsbury with amazing ice cream and food. Grassroots has been a family-owned, family-run business since its opening in the former Granby General Store in 2013

Voted one of the โ€œTop 100 Places to Eatโ€ by Yelp in 2021, Grassroots Ice Cream & Street Food offers over 100 artisanal ice cream flavors and an eclectic menu of salads, wraps, and tacos! Yum.

They make all their ice cream and even mix-ins like brownies and cookies and are known for their unique flavors like Goat Cheese Blackberry, Honey Lavender, and Blood Orange Chocolate Chip.

I got their dark chocolate chocolate chip ice cream and WOW. If you like dark chocolate you will seriously appreciate this flavor.

I loved how the chocolate chips weren’t the tiny mini chips that you usually get in chocolate chip ice cream but big rectangular chunks of dark chocolate that will keep you digging for more!

๐Ÿพ Pup Approved: I will find out and report back! ๐Ÿ™‚

7. Hemlock Hills-Pine Mountain and Deborah Ann’s Sweet Shoppe, Ridgefield

deborah anns ice cream in ridgefield connecticut
Such a delicious and fun ice cream flavor! ๐ŸŽŠ๐ŸŽ‰
man and baby at hemlock hills pine mountain in ridgefield with green mountains and trees in backyard
Lookout is only about 0.7 miles in to the hike!

Enjoy this 2.2 mile loop taking you up to Pine Mountain with a view facing west!

This was the first time I’ve ever hiked in this area but I was pleasantly surprised to find this view at Pine Mountain.

hemlock hills pine mountain in ridgefield with green mountains and trees in backyard

If you want another hike in this area we also enjoyed this short 1.7-mile loop to Saugatuck Falls to see a beautiful waterfall and walk along Saugatuck River.

saugatuck falls in ct
Alternative hike in Ridgefield; Saugatuck Falls

Make a day of it like we did and head to the waterfall first, followed by ice cream, walking around the town of Ridgefield, and ending with Pine Mountain!

๐ŸฆIce Cream Review:

What a fun place to stop after a summer hike! And it’s right along Main Street in downtown Ridgefield which is worthy of a stop even if you don’t want ice cream. ๐Ÿ™‚

Deborah Ann’s Sweet Shoppe features famous homemade chocolates, ice cream, and gift shop.

We make our ice cream using fresh dairy from Upstate Farms, a co-operative of family farms in upstate New York that pledge not to treat their cows with rBST growth hormones.

I had a hard time choosing from one of their over 30 flavors but ended up going with their Carnival flavor which is vanilla ice cream, Oreos, rainbow sprinkles, and M&M’s. ๐Ÿ˜ It was perfect and creamy!

I loved the crunch of the sprinkles and M&M’s and of course, Oreo is my favorite!

๐Ÿพ Pup Approved: This place is dog-friendly with dogs sitting outside on their front patio with their owners. There are several benches and tables along Main Street if you prefer to sit away from the crowd. ๐Ÿ™‚

So that’s it, friends!!

I hope you enjoyed this post of summer hikes in CT paired with CT’s very best ice cream places.

I had a ton of plan putting this post together. I spent a lot of time finding the best ice cream places in Connecticut based on reviews and experience living here for decades. And of course, I had a lot of fun sampling the different ice cream shops and seeing which I liked best!

My most memorable and ice cream I still think about is the cookie dough and honey latte flavors at Dom’s Creamery in Avon. ๐Ÿ™‚ And second runner up for me would be Rich Farm’s in Bristol!

Enjoy!

And let me know which one you visit or if you have a favorite CT ice cream shop that isn’t on my list! I’d love to stake out a few more. ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy trails!

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4 Comments

  1. Okay you had me at ice cream! But actually, these trails look fantastic, but ice cream farms are soooo incredible. Looking at all of these is making me want a cone now!

    1. Yes, love the ice cream farms! Trails and ice cream ๐Ÿ˜ Hard to beat. Thanks, Lita!!

    1. Thanks, Kevin! This was a fun one to put together ๐Ÿ˜‰ Lots of ice cream sampling! Hope to keep adding to the list..

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