DirectionsTrail GuideTopo MapReviewsPhotosGPS
This hike climbs a mountain overlooking the Farmington River valley and the site of a fascinating home with a 165-foot observation tower. The walk to the tower is short but steep in places. However, the views from atop Talcott Mountain and the mountaintop castle make the hike worth it. Picnicking is also available at Talcott Mountain State Park.
Gillette Castle Professional Review and Guide
"This hike climbs a mountain overlooking the Farmington River valley and the site of a fascinating home with a 165-foot observation tower. The walk to the tower is short but steep in places. However, the views from atop Talcott Mountain and the mountaintop castle make the hike worth it. Picnicking is also available at Talcott Mountain State Park."
--Johnny Molloy, Hiking through History New England (Falcon Guides).
More Gillette Castle Professional Reviews and Guides
"The grounds of Gillette Castle State Park are no less spectacular than the castle they surround. There are several woodland trails and walking paths that traverse over, on, and across a former railroad track (along which Mr. Gillette and his guests once traveled in his miniature steam train). Others explore the surrounding woodlands. There are many miles to explore and you’ll probably have to visit again to see them all."
--Eugene Keyarts, Short Nature Walks: Connecticut (Falcon Guides).
"If your children thrill to stories of Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty, they will be enchanted by the storybook quality of Gillette Castle and the riverside grounds. The ivy-covered castle perches atop the seventh of the Seven Sisters hills that border the Connecticut River. William Gillette, a Connecticut native and well-known stage actor at the end of the 1800s, designed every detail of his 24-room dream house. Gillette was also fascinated by trains, and he constructed a railroad that left a depot at the castle’s front door and meandered through the forest to the eastern end of the property. Gillette was understandably concerned about the future of this magnificent estate and in his will he ordered his heirs to “see to it that the property did not fall into the hands of some blithering saphead” who wouldn’t recognize its value. Certainly all who visit today appreciate Gillette’s efforts and vision. Some folks like to come in September and October, when the surrounding hills blush with autumn color. Others make it a tradition to visit during the winter holidays when the castle rooms are gaily decorated. Encourage grandparents to take the children on this hike. It’s perfect for both the oldest and youngest members of the family."
--Cynthia Copeland, Thomas J. Lewis, & Emily Kerr, Best Hikes with Kids: Connecticut, Massachusetts, & Rhode Island (The Mountaineers Books).
Sign in/up to upload photos.