Tunxis State Forest

Barkhamsted, Connecticut 06063

Tunxis State Forest

Tunxis State Forest Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"Sheltering the rumpled terrain and crashing streams above Barkhamsted Reservoir adjacent north-central Connecticut’s border with Massachusetts, Tunxis State Forest is one of the state’s least visited parcels of protected land. In its east section, a long portion of Tunxis Trail travels through a wooded landscape of solitude and quiet natural highlights.

This 9.8-mile, point-to-point route on Tunxis Trail undulates along a high plateau that rises parallel to out-of-sight Barkhamsted Reservoir below to the west. The area’s abundant laurels bloom in May and June. The following northbound description involves less overall elevation gain than a southbound trip. Dogs are allowed on the trail, but not at the designated camping area."

Tunxis State Forest Trip Reports

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WARNING: water is not as plentiful as the guide describes. The trail crosses a handful of brooks but at this time in the summer (at least this summer) most of them were not running. The brook by the campsites was running but not "roaring" by any means—we did take water (and filtered it) from Roaring Brook but it was not looking as fresh as we would have liked.

We decided to hike this trail because we were looking for something relatively easy and not too long for an overnight hike.

We wanted a longer hike on the first day and so did the hike in the opposite direction than the guide recommended.

Because we started late, we hiked in from Old Rt 20, cutting about 2 miles out out of the total hike (5 miles or so until the campsites and then 2.8 miles to the southern trail head).

This hike was pretty, mostly in the woods. It would have been much prettier had the water been flowing.

There is a small summit to a nice view where you can see out to Springfield, MA.

The elevations, even going in the opposite direction, were not too difficult.

The guide is pretty detailed and the description matches what we saw (with the exception of the brooks).

We would definitely recommend this hike.

There were only a couple of short sections on a bit of a steep incline that would perhaps make some people nervous (me!).

Two sets of campsites were nice, plentiful and each had a fire pit.


Tunxis State Forest Photos

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Trail Information

Nearby City
1,650 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
2 Days
950 feet
Trailhead Elevation
Top Elevation
Tunxis State Forest, 860-379-2469, ct.gov/deep.
Local Contacts
Connecticut Walk Book West (Connecticut Forest and Park Association)
Local Maps

Trail Log