The Best Hikes in Washington

Photo credit: @katalystk9

The weather is getting warmer, the sun is shining brighter, and enjoying Washington’s trails is a must-do as we start to get a glimpse of spring! We gathered these favorite hiking trails and we hope that you will join us in exploring our beautiful outdoors. One of the many splendors of our town is its pristine nature, protected by Steep Rock Association, our land trust that oversees 40 miles of recreational trails in three spectacular preserves. Now more than ever, we appreciate the beautiful nature preserves in town. Please remember to practice safe social distancing when hiking. If parking areas are full, please visit during non-peak hours, park at alternate locations, or go to another preserve.

Hidden Valley Preserve

The Hidden Valley Preserve offers nearly 17 miles of connecting hiking trails, making it a perfect spot for hikers of all levels. But it is Hidden Valley Preserve’s hidden gems that make this such a unique spot to explore. The Preserve is home to the Henry David Thoreau Footbridge, which spans across the Shepaug River; the Quartz Mine, which helped support a small mining industry from the 1800s until 1915; and the Lookout, which offers scenic views and doubles as a great picnic area. Grab a friend and see if you can find them all in one day’s hike!
Learn more about Hidden Valley Preserve
Download Trail Map

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Macricostas Preserve

For those who find serenity in meadows and farm fields, this one’s for you. The Macricostas Preserve is home to 400 acres of breathtaking landscapes, home to rare species of birds, and blooming wildflowers. The Macricostas Preserve offers an incredible panoramic view of Lake Waramaug and the surrounding countryside from Waramaug’s Rock, which sits at an elevation of 1,250 feet. You can also stop by the Judea Garden, a small organic community garden which serves food banks in Washington, New Milford, Warren and beyond thanks to the time of dozens of hardworking gardeners, sponsors, and local businesses.
Learn more about Macricostas Preserve
Download Trail Map

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Steep Rock Preserve

The Steep Rock Preserve spans nearly 1,000 acres with hiking trails along the riverbanks and hillsides of Washington, and even offers a Riding Ring for horses to roam. While exploring the Steep Rock Preserve, hikers can find the historic Railroad Tunnel which was originally a part of the Shepaug Valley Railroad until 1948, and the stone foundation of Holiday House which served as a vacation retreat for working class women from New York City in the late 1800s. And don’t forget to get an Instagram-worthy shot of Shepaug River Valley from up above! Find your way to the top of the Steep Rock Summit which sits at an elevation of 776 feet at the Steep Rock Preserve.
Learn more about Steep Rock Preserve
Download Trail Map

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Lake Waramaug State Park

If you are a walker, runner, or biker, you will love the scenic road around Lake Waramaug State Park. This nearly 8-mile loop around Lake Waramaug is primarily flat and offers a scenic trail that wraps around the water allowing for beautiful views that mirror nature at its finest in the water’s reflection. In the summertime, the park also offers camping, swimming, and even kayak rentals – making it a perfect great getaway destination for a weekend in the great outdoors!
Learn more about Lake Waramaug State Park

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