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Hiking the Metacomet trail and Wilcox Park, Simsbury CT

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Metacomet trail at Wilcox Park, Tariffville CT


Metacomet a fierce fighting chief of the Wampanoag tribe who earned the name King Philip has his footprints all over this trail. The Metacomet trail system runs along the outcroppings and cliff’s starting in the Hanging Hills of Meriden, following along the Ragged Mountain, and through Sunset Rock State Park.

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Leading across the Rattlesnake Mountain, Talcott Mountain State Park, then across the valley to Penwood State Park, leaving through Simsbury Wildlife Management area and onto West Suffield Mountain. You can imagine Chief Metacomet taking arrows and shooting colonist from these high vantage points and then escaping across these mountains with his army of warriors.

Some hidden pathways lie along this beautiful trail system. Quiet enough for most folks avoiding the masses at the two large parks nearby. This little section in Simsbury called Wilcox Park lies at the end of Penwood Forest. Now this part of the trail may not seem like much but hiking up hill you can sense the excitement to come. You can see the vista and the rolling hills coming into view.

When you reach the summit the distant views are outstanding. If you look straight out you can see a fire tower as it comes into view atop the 800 foot high Rattun Mountain. This very fire tower can be seen as far away as from South Windsor Conservation Area and the eastern side of the Connecticut Valley. 


Now hiking these cliffs is a pastime for us few but we ran into the lucky residents who live in the area below the mountain who get to enjoy the refreshing air and incredible view of this little section of the Metacomet trail. When you get here just hike up the blue trail; go left at the end of the road, to get to a nice rock overlook covered with pine trees. Shading it and making it perfect for a picnic within a 20 minute hike from the road.

If you hike to the right you will end up in Penwood Forest with it's mountain of 700 plus feet, but since your at the end, it will take a good 45 minutes to go up hill and across the cliffs to get a great view. This spot seems to be the rear parking lot for Penwood forest.

Follow Terry Plain Road from Route 189 then bare left on to Quarry Road make a left on to Wintonbury Road, which will end with the parking area for the two mountain parks. Turn around and face downhill don’t forget to set the parking brake on this steep hill. You could explore any of the three trails that head off from here, but they are not loop trails so keep an eye on the time and your stamina when out here so you don’t get stuck on the mountain after dark. For more details about topography please use the State of Connecticut Park Maps as a resource.