Any time of year, it's beneficial to get outside. Going hiking is a great excuse to enjoy the fresh air. Just remember to "leave no trace" when you are exploring the great outdoors. Stay on marked paths and don't leave litter behind.
Tolland is a lovely, historic town located just about 21 miles East of Hartford and about 12 miles from the University of CT Storrs campus, a topic of previous articles. The Town of Tolland and Joshua's Trust have been instrumental in preserving open space for the development of hiking trails in town for public use.
First you may want to stop by the Homestead shop on the Tolland green and pick up a collection of pocket-size trail maps to carry with you while hiking. The Tolland Walk Book comprises a set of laminated cards attached together with a small carabiner; each trail is diagrammed and basic information is provided.
Crandall Park trails
One place that offers a great variety of options for trail lengths and difficulties is Crandall Park, a multi-functional park of over 400 acres in the center of town; most of those acres are undeveloped and available for hiking. There's a section of trail which is ADA approved and can be navigated by those with physical disabilities; a wide and well-maintained asphalt pathway wends its way through the trees. This trail is accessible directly from the parking lots at Crandall Park or Lion's Field - both off of Cider Mill Road - or can be accessed at the Tolland Intermediate School overflow parking lot found on Old Post Road. In winter, sections of the ADA trail may not be completely cleared and one should watch for ice.
All trails lead to peace of mind
Any of the trails within the town's network is lovely to hike and each one has its own character to admire. Many have the interest of wildlife around ponds or flowing streams. Some trails have views which are well worth the climb. All lead through the woods and offer the peace of mind one gets while enjoying the great outdoors. In winter be careful of icy spots; in spring through fall, there may be some soggy sections. Bring hiking shoes or boots and plan accordingly. Dogs must be leashed if they accompany you.
Take it all in while you're hiking, and enjoy getting outside!