United States

Litchfield Hills, Connecticut

A Comprehensive Guide to the Best Places to Run in the Litchfield Hills

Bob P.B.

The scenic Litchfield Hills of Connecticut, located in the state’s northwest corner, are a popular destination for New York City-ites looking for a rural escape. The area’s fall foliage, rustic New England architecture, plentiful farms, and antique shops draw in both casual tourists and owners of second homes — so much so that the Litchfield Hills have been called “The Hamptons of Connecticut.”

When it comes to running in the Litchfield Hills, options range from lengthy bike paths to conservation land to scenic rural streets and villages. Favorites include the extensive Farmington Canal Heritage Trail/Farmington River Trail bike paths, pretty rural roads in Kent, Norfolk, Barkhamsted, Litchfield, and Salisbury, and easygoing trail/dirt road runs on the Appalachian Trail, White Memorial Conservation Center, Steep Rock Preserve, and Larkin State Park.

Public transportation is virtually nonexistent in the Litchfield Hills, so runners will need a car to get around. Most won’t mind driving — almost every major route through northwest Connecticut is a scenic drive, and the further you travel, the more great runs you can take!

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If you want to be close to lots of restaurants, shopping, and other things to do, staying Litchfield itself is a good choice.

Kent is also a great jumping off point for activities in the region, with a small bustling downtown and close proximity to runs, hikes, and scenic attractions such as the Cornwall and Bulls Bridge covered bridges.

For more rural options, like bucolic B&B’s, options are plentiful. You can drive across the Litchfield Hills from any point in under an hour.

Woodbridge Running Company has locations in Woodbridge and Brookfield and is a great choice for running gear and advice just south of the Litchfield Hills. There are also a number of general outdoor sports shops, such as Sportsmen’s of Litchfield in Bantam, throughout the northwest hills.

Trail runners should most definitely check out the Steep Rock Trail Running Series while in the area.

In addition, the 10k Litchfield Hills Road Race, held in June, passes through the White Memorial Conservation Center.

There a number of other great local 5k’s take place throughout the year.