Local Trail: Gay City State Park
By Guest Blogger Paul Parulis
Gay City is a State Park located in Hebron & Bolton on the border with Glastonbury. The main park entrance is right on Rt. 85, however there is one spur hiking trail that is accessible from Birch Mountain Road in Glastonbury. The history of this park includes former mills, which somehow factor into the derivation of its name. A few old building foundations are still visible along some of the trails. All together there are over 9 miles of maintained trails in this park, which are suitable for both hiking and mountain biking. You can read more about this park or print a copy of the trail map by clicking here.
When the park is not open for swimming and general admission (Columbus Day to mid April), there is still a rather large parking area just off Rt. 85 that will accommodate more than a few dozen cars. The Blackledge River runs right through this outstanding 1600 acre park feeding a scenic lake at its center.
It is one of my favorite hiking State Parks because of the diverse topography, numerous picturesque water crossings, a beautiful boardwalk along the southern edge of the park’s pond and numerous, well maintained trails. The Red Trail is the park’s main perimeter trail which encompasses just over 4 ¾ miles.