DEEP’s Annual Challenge Invites Public to Go “In, Under, Over, and Through” State Parks and Forests
Ready for an outdoor adventure exploring Connecticut State Parks and Forests? The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s (“DEEP”) State Parks ring in spring on Monday, March 20, 2023, with the release of the 2023 Sky’s The Limit Hiking Challenge (“STL”), an annual checklist of hiking locations chosen from the state’s 142 parks and forests.
Take the challenge to get outside for some fresh air and fun physical exercise. Hike and walk the highlighted locations/trails and take designated photos along the way to experience this year’s STL theme, “In, Under, Over and Through” Connecticut State Parks and Forests. Fifteen park or forest locations are identified below for participants to explore, with varying scenery and highlights at each location.
Walk up a tower, go underground in a cave or root cellar, enjoy a scenic vista, or explore a former railway trail. Join the challenge to discover the various places you’ll walk in, under, over, and through. Participants who hike or walk 10 of the 15 trails will receive a “Sky’s the Limit” hiking staff medallion and a certificate for their efforts. For hiking or walking all 15 locations, in addition to the medallion and certificate, 50 participants will have a chance to receive a hand-carved hiking staff made by the DEEP sawyer from the DEEP sawmill or from the Connecticut Woodcarvers Association.
“Spring is here, and our Sky’s the Limit Challenge is back, providing residents with a great way to explore Connecticut’s state parks and forests while joining others in a friendly challenge to visit all 15 locations handpicked by DEEP State Parks staff,” said DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes. “Our state parks and forests, which are free to enter for those driving Connecticut registered vehicles thanks to the Passport to the Parks program, are such tremendous resources here in our state. We hope you’ll accept the challenge and explore your parks by going “In, Under, Over, and Through.”
Follow the Connecticut State Parks social media platforms @CTStateParks and visit www.ct.gov/DEEP/SkystheLimit for hiking challenge details including the challenge locations:
Rails to Trails:
- Air Line State Park Trail, Multi-town
- Larkin State Park Trail, Multi-town
- Moosup State Park Trail (Moosup Valley Trail), Plainfield/Sterling
- Farmington Canal Heritage Trail, Cheshire/Hamden
- Hop River State Park Trail, Multi-town
- Auerfarm State Park Scenic Reserve, Bloomfield
- Camp Columbia State Park, Morris
- Chatfield Hollow State Park, Killingworth
- Haystack Mountain State Park, Norfolk
- Hopemead State Park, Bozrah/Montville
- Machimoodus State Park/Sunrise State Park, East Haddam
- Mianus River State Park, Stamford
- Mount Riga State Park, Salisbury
- Mount Tom State Park, Litchfield
- Windsor Locks Canal State Park, Windsor Locks
The Connecticut State Park system was founded in 1913 with the creation of the State Park Commission. One year later, the Commission purchased its first property, about four acres in Westport for what became Sherwood Island State Park. Today, Connecticut has 110 state parks and 32 state forests attracting around 17 million visitors each year, generating over $1 billion in economic activity for the state and supporting 9,000 private sector jobs. Those driving Connecticut registered motor vehicles are provided free entrance to the parks thanks to the Passport to the Parks program. For more information on Connecticut State Parks visit: www.ct.gov/deep/stateparks.