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Farmington Valley’s Natural Beauty, Positive Forecast Make it a Great Foliage Year

Patch gives you the online resources to find the best viewing and fall events.

A hike to Heublein Tower in Talcott Mountain State Park in Simsbury is a rite of passage for many West Hartford residents. Its 360-degree views make it a famous spot to view foliage and later this month the Friends of Heublein Tower will host the annual Tower Toot with German music, food and drink.

But the rest of the Farmington Valley, and the surrounding area, is also rich with foliage opportunities.

In a Facebook poll of Patch readers this past week, some favorites emerged:

  • West Mountain Trails located on 100 protected acres behind the Master’s School in Simsbury.
  • The Barkhamsted Reservoir, complete with its well-know and picturesque stone structure at Saville Dam, with easy viewing off of Route 318 in Barkhamsted.
  • The banks of the Farmington River.
  • The Canton Land Conservation Trust’s Sweetheart Mountain trails in Collinsville, which in addition to natural beauty offer views of the old Canton Ski Club infrastructure. 

Numerous others abound. Pinnacle rock on the Farmington-Plainville line is another popular destination. Granby and East Granby have many options, including the Farmington Canal trail, the McLean Game Refuge, East Granby Farms and Salmon Brook Park. West Hartford has the expansive MDC Reservoir property on Farmington Ave. as well as Reservoir #6 on Avon Mountain.

Readers are welcome to tell us their favorite spots in the comments. 

The next several weeks offer the best time for leaf peeping, according to Rena Calcaterra, Tourism Division, Marketing and Public Relations coordinator for the Connecticut Office of Tourism.

“It’s seems it's going to be a great year,” she said.

The tourism office, along with the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection offer some great resources for those who can’t get enough autumn color.

One DEEP resource is an interactive foliage map that shows peak times in each area of the state.

It states that the best foliage view time began this past weekend and predicts great views in some parts of the state through the middle of November

“We have a great opportunity for longer viewing than some other states.” Calcaterra said.

Another DEEP resource is a list of suggested viewing sites.

In addition, a chart of tree types and color is available as well as a lesson about the science behind foliage.

Calcaterra feels that Connecticut’s small size is an advantage when it comes to leaf peeping.

“One nice thing about Connecticut is everything’s close by,” she said.

In addition, the state’s historical sites and agricultural resources offer so many great fall activities and events to coincide with the foliage, she said.

“It’s really a great time of year for the family,” she said.

One way to keep track is the weekend tab on the ctvisit.com website, a listing of events for each weekend. The site’s Facebook page also lists many great activities.

Calcaterra said suggested many different ways to see foliage. Hiking, zip lines, hot air balloons and kayaking are a few.

“It’s about ways to see the foliage,” she said. “It’s not just the drives.” 

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