Local Trail Spotlight: Westwoods
Nestled between I-95 and route 146 in Guilford along the town line with Branford you can find Westwoods Trails. This gem of property contains 1,200 acres of land with more than 40 miles of trails. While completely maintained by the Guildford Land Conservation Trust Westwoods is made up of pieces of land owned by the State Forest, Town of Guilford, Guilford Land Trust, and private ownership.
In Guilford there are 6 numbered trail access points. Westwoods can also be accessed through Branford Preserve land. If it is your first time heading into Westwoods I highly recommend taking a trail map. Trail maps can be downloaded here from the GLCT website or you can pick up a larger version at one of the locations listed on the website. For the most part, the main trails are labeled with either a circle or a rectangle. Circle trails run roughly north and south while rectangle trails are east to west.
Westwoods has so much to offer that the Appalachian Mountain Club has it in their Best Day Hikes in Connecticut book twice. A definite highlight is visiting Lost Lake. There are multiple spots where you can stop along this inland tidal lake, sit down, enjoy the view, and perhaps have a picnic. For those looking for some adventure in their hiking follow the Yellow Circle Trail. This trail has some good ups and downs, brings you along ledges, and has you do a few tight squeezes through rocks.
From Katie in the marketing department:
Westwoods is the home to some of the Shoreline’s best mountain biking trails, offering miles upon miles of singletrack that’s packed with tons of natural features to keep you on your toes. These trails range from not so easy to extremely unforgiving at times, although if your up for the challenge biking is a great way to explore Westwoods.
After the first few rides I did in Westwoods I was ready to sell my bike. I was constantly getting off and walking, hiking my bike up cliffs and down them, however don’t let this deter you. There are great trails, and great loops, to be found throughout this trail system it just takes more than a few rides to find them. Below I have shared my favorite ride through these woods, please use this in conjunction with the actual Westwoods map, and I hope you learn to love it as much as I do now!
Mountain Biking in Westwoods – A Teaser
filming and editing by John Biehn IV