Sometimes you just need to get away from the crowds.

I'll admit that I'm not a big fan of large clumps of people. You might even say that I'm an introvert. From time to time I enjoy being by myself so I've done some research and found seven awe-inspiring outdoor destinations in Connecticut that are ideal for an afternoon of peace and quiet.

  • Photo Credit - Robert Winkler
    1

    White Memorial Conservation Center - Litchfield

    From New Milford, hop on Route 202N to Litchfield where you'll find a beautiful land trust where you can be one with nature. From a simple walk-in-the-woods to various moderate trails, you'll see a striking array of habitats including preserved forests and wetlands. This gorgeous 4,000-acre land trust is a perfect get-away-from-it-all destination.

    If you visit, make sure to explore the walk-only Little Pond Boardwalk Trail which is a 1.2-mile wooden walkway that takes you through the woods around the edge of the pond and over the marches. Bikes are allowed but there are no designated bike paths. For more information visit their website or call, 860-567-0857.

  • 2

    Bear Mountain Reservation - Danbury

    Located off Rt. 37 at 17 Bear Mountain Rd. this 140 acres of land offers hiking trails from easy to 'you're gonna get a workout.' Take the orange trail for some stunning views of Candlewood Lake. If you'd like to actually walk to the shores of the lake, take it slowly because the trail is steep and rocky.

    Whether you're looking to get a workout in or you're just bringing the kids along to disconnect from their video games, Bear Mountain Reservation is ideal. It's easy to get to, well maintained, and the hiking is straightforward. For more info and a diagram of the BMR hiking trails, click this link.

     

  • 3

    Mount Tom State Park - Litchfield

    Located on Rt. 202 in Litchfield, Mount Tom has a gorgeous picnic area along with a beach and a spring-fed pond but on a beautiful summer day, it can get a bit crowded but not to worry because finding some solitude at Mount Tom is only steps away.

    The hiking trail leads to a 34 foot stone lookout tower where on a clear day it offers clear views of Massachusetts, New York, and northwestern Connecticut. The walk up the trail during the fall season is absolutely stunning. Check out the photo of Mindy and me atop the tower.

  • 4

    Railroad Ramble - Litchfield

    Railroad Ramble is where the Central New England Railroad ran successfully in the northwest corner of Connecticut from 1871 to 1927 when passenger service ended although freight service continued until 1938.

    The Railroad Ramble trail connects Salisbury and Lakeville and traverses wetlands, old fields, and railroad cuts and is an easy walk. Your trail activities include biking, horseback riding, walking, and cross country skiing.

  • 5

    Brian E. Tierney Preserve - Roxbury

    Off 23 Squire Rd. in Roxbury is a 56-acre preserve donated and dedicated in memory of native son, Brian E. Tierney who died in '68 during the Vietnam War.  This day trip is perfect if you're looking to get away from it all for an afternoon.

    The walking path passes through a meadow and across two footbridges where you will see the memorial plaque. The trail will pass through a "glacial erratic" where large boulders were left after being carried along by monstrous glaciers.

    If it's peace and quiet you've been searching for, this 1.8-mile trail is just what the doctor ordered. For trail map directions, click on roxburylandtrust.org.

  • 6

    Garden of Ideas - Ridgefield

    At 653 North Salem Rd. in Ridgefield lies 12 acres of land which includes wild gardens, marshland, and woodland, and sunshine and shade. You can even purchase fresh vegetables from their farm stand.

    They also sell community garden plots to the public and fresh eggs from their chickens in season. You're invited to visit the gardens any day between 8 am and 7 pm.

  • 7

    Squantz Pond State Park - New Fairfield

    As my oldest son, Matt approaches his 40th birthday, I vividly remember driving he and I and a photographer friend of mine to Squantz Pond to take some memorable baby photos.

    To me, Squantz Pond State Park has remained one of the most tranquil and stunning locations in the state except on summer weekends when the park fills up by 9 am.

    During the fall season, the park becomes a haven for photographers due to its mountain-like setting. Hiking trails lead you to breath-taking views of Squantz Pond but my advice is to enjoy this park during the offseason before April 15 and after September 30 when dogs are allowed to tag along and don't forget to bring your camera.