A snowy winter means mountains of fun in Connecticut's Litchfield Hills, where opportunities for many kinds of outdoor recreation abound.
Imagine the quiet swoosh of a cross country skier gliding across the winter landscape in one of the many state parks and nature centers that abound in this unspoiled northwest corner of the state. Here are a few of our favorite spots to cross country ski.
White Memorial Foundation, on 71 Whitehall Rd. (off Rte. 202) in Litchfield offers 35 pristine miles of trails to explore. The Apple Hill Trail is especially scenic for x-country skiing as it meanders for approximately two miles from Laurel Hill to the summit of Apple Hill, the highest point around Bantam Lake. An observation platform located on top of Apple Hill provides stunning views of the lake, hills and unspoiled countryside as far as the eye can see. Gliding through open fields and forests you may catch a glimpse of a white tailed deer or a red fox.
Burr Pond State Park, on Burr Mountain Rd. in Torrington offers a lovely blue blazed three mile trail with very little elevation that circles Burr Pond making it easy to ski on. The trail takes you through a portion of Paugnut State Forest with its sheltering pines and hemlocks. In addition to including many fine views of the pond – popular with ice fishermen, you will also glide through a variety of habitats.
Collis P. Huntington State Park on Sunset Hill Rd., in Redding is a quiet hideaway park that offers several unexpected charms. The hill at this park is excellent for sledding and sliding and the network of trails here, most were former roads offer excellent and easy cross -country skiing. The Blue Trail circles the park in a 5.7-mile loop that is perfect for an afternoon excursion. A highlight of the park is the unique bronze animal sculptures made by Anna Vaughn Hyatt, one of America's most prolific sculptors.