Tour de Talcott - Trail, West Hartford, Connecticut

Tour de Talcott - Trail, West Hartford, Connecticut

DESCRIPTION

This is a link-up of three rides: West Hartford (MDC Reservoir), Talcott Mtn. St. Park, and Penwood St. Park. Most of the ride is on single-track, some of it very technical. Much of the single track is on the Metacomet trail (blue blazed). There are also sections of double track, fire roads and pavement.

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-6 of 6  
[Dec 18, 2006]
Anonymous
Weekend Warrior

This should be called the Tour de "Gorge", especially after consuming 2 pitchers of beer, 20 wings, fish and chips, chili hot dog and pot roast at the Cracker Barrel Pub at the ride's end. We did a one-way riding from our houses in West Hartford and it took about 2.5 hours total time even going mostly on fire road in the first half of the ride. The last half hour was tough to navigate, but we ended up hugging the ridge line and slowly decided into Tariffville. You do cross multiple powerlines in the latter half of the group and be careful of ticks during the first powerline slog.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Dec 13, 1998]
Anonymous

Okay, I had to post here to review my own trail submission. This could be one of the ultimate rides in CT. It links up 3 areas that are commonly ridden, but not together: West Hartford, Talcott Mtn, and Penwood SP. Everyone knows W. Hartford, and Penwood is one of the most popular technical rides in the state. Most of this loop is on single-track, with some sections of fire-road and pavement thrown in. There are some sections that are very technical. Depending on where you turn around in Penwood, the ride is from 25-30+ miles. We turned around at the overlook in Penwood (open area on top of cliffs on blue trail, N of 2nd parking area) for a 25 mi, 4.5hr
loop. If you continue N to the brick chimney, you're looking at well over 30 miles. This is an awesome ride,
with lots of technical sections, some big climbs and descents, great views, and it just keeps on going.
Bring plenty of H20, food, and ibuprofen! Feel free to e-mail me for specifics.

Customer Service

Park at MDC reservoir. Head N on Blue Trail (Metacomet) to Rt. 44. Cross road, continue N past res. #6 (Talcott Mtn. SP). Stay on E side of reservoir (W side is off-limits to bikes). Hook up w/ Blue Trail at N end of reservoir. Take this N to Rt. 185. Cross road, enter Penwood SP. Take road on right, head N until you can pick up red-blazed trail. Take this N, pick up yellow-blazed trail, head N. You'll reach a "nature center" at a pond. To the W of the pond is a white-blazed trail. Take this N. Long descent to a parking area. Blue trail on E side, continue N as far as you want to go (to overlook on cliff is 25 mi round trip, to brick chimney is 32+ miles??).
Return trip: from 2nd parking area, take trail on E side, head S. You'll hit the road, take a left, continue S. You're now at Nature Center. Pick a trail, head S to RT185. Take Blue trail S, continue past Talcott Mtn. SP back to W. Hartford. Here, head E, pick up trail at Fence-line. Head S to parking area, your car, and the end of an awesome ride.

Similar Products Used:

Ride W. Hartford or Penwood individually. Getting familiar with the trails will help you in putting loop together (although its hard to get lost. If in doubt, just head S to get back to your car).

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
[Mar 16, 1999]
Anonymous

Not for the faint of heart or beginner mountain bikers. I suggest going with a person that knows the trails. If you go the right way it has everything, but it's mostly an endurance ride (death march if your out of shape). There are routes you can take where you never have to get off the bike. Penwood is great ride by itself. You could do ride between 4 and 5 hours, and you are going to want to take a long nap after.

Customer Service

can be pretty complicated - find somebody that knows the trails - basically follow the blue.

Similar Products Used:

Penwood-Nepaug

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
[Feb 26, 2000]
Anonymous

I have done this ride several times with the "Shadedude", and it is one long, and painful trip. Each section by it's self is not all that bad. Put them all together, and you have nearly 36 miles of traprock, roots, hills, and mud. A few tips for those stupid enough to try this route. Bring seriuos amounts of water. Penwood has a fountain near the lower picnic area, and the Talcott section has a fountain at the last pump station. Other than that, you are driking from a puddle or your buddies sweat. Another suggestion is bring some calories and carbs, there are no supermarkets or burger stands along the way. Riding for 5 hours is a long time without any food. We had a friend who bonked halfway, not fun. Be prepared with tubes and the like. Only one thing sucks worse than riding for 35 miles, and that is walking a busted up junk that far. Last but not least, avoid riding this on super hot and humid days. You could seriously end up kicking the bucket and ride the big singletrack in the sky. Prepare yourself and don't be stupid and you should have a great time. It is not everyday that you get to ride an epic.

Customer Service

The men start at the comuter lot on rte. 4, this adds about an extra 4 miles of pain. Pedal to the second brick chimney past Penwood, regain your senses, padal back.

Similar Products Used:

None, you have done all three at once.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
[Jul 14, 2000]
Anonymous

With this added section this should be called the Tour de Satan. It's brutal. The climb up to Tariffville Gorge is grueling. There's lot's of steep short climbs and technical downhill sections. Sometimes we would ride the road back to Tariffville and enter Penwood off Wintonbury Rd. This is not a beginner ride.

Customer Service

I used to ride this route all the time before moving to Utah. Start at the Rt. 4 Communter Lot and follow any number of routes through West Hartford Rez to Talcott Mt.. I prefer to climb to the Hueblien Tower and ride the higher back trail to Penwood. Follow the Metacomet all the way through Penwood to Wintonbury Road. To make it even tougher you can add the following section and get have a cold one as well. After completing the Blue trail all the way thru Penwood you arrive at end of Wintonbury Rd. Cross the road and follow the Metacomet Trail up the hill and across the ridge line. You'll cross several powerline sections and eventually arrive at the remains of Bartlett Tower. From Bartlett tower you follow the old carraige road down to Mountain Rd. which dumps you out in Tariffville. Ride into town and grab a beer and burger at the Crackerbarrell Pub. From the Pub take rt. 189 towards Granby across the bridge over the Farmington River. On the right side of the road there's a trail that enters the wood and climbs up to the top of the cliffs of Tariffville gorge. This is still the Metacomet trail. The trail will cross Hatchet hill road at one point and continue on the other side. If you follow it you'll end up on Rt 20 in Granby across from Newgate Prison. This is a good spot to turn around and head back.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
[Sep 26, 2001]
Anonymous

This ride combines three superb mountain bike areas - West Hartford Reservoir, Talcott Mountain and Pennwood State Park. Experienced riders could spend most of the day riding the many more advanced single track trails that traverse this route, especially at the WH reservior. I suggest riding each of the areas seperately to familiarize yourself with the route. For the easiest route explained here, we take along many beginners. It is do-able for beginners, but I suggest riding with someone who knows the trails, bring lots of water, take many breaks and plan at least 2.5 hours. The route is very diverse - senic paved paths, rocky single track, dense forest, vistas and a boardwalk through a marsh. You can make this a one-way ride by parking a car at Tarrifville and after the ride, enjoy a cold one outside on the deck at the Crackerbarrel Pub!

Customer Service

A group of 15-20 of us take this tour once/year. We drop off a few pick up trucks at the Crackerbarrel Pub in Tarrifville and then ride one way from West Hartford to the pub for burgers and beer! There are unlimited advanced single tracks, but we take the easiest route. Start at the West Hartford Reservoir parking lot on route 4. Head north on the paved walking path and pick up the fire trails and single track to route 44. Cross route 44 to the Reservoir 6, take the paved road on the east side of this reservoir, past the water treatment plant to the dirt road. Follow this straight about 1.5 miles to the power lines. Follow the single track power lines northeast to a housing develepment on the right and ride through the development down the paved road to the entrance of Pennwood State Park. The easiest route here is the paved road on the right, next to the pond. Follow this down, then up the hill to a marsh area with a boardwalk. Ride the short boardwalk and catch the blue trail on the west side of the marsh area. Follow this blue trail up and then down the hill, about 2 miles. At the road, follow the trail straight for another 3-4 miles. This dumps you into Tarrifville. Take the paved road down to through the intersection and take the next left to the Crackerbarrel Pub. Total distance about 20 miles.

Similar Products Used:

West Hartford Reservoir, Pennwood State Park, Talcott Mountain State Park

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-6 of 6  
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