What is it about a bike that just entices you to go anywhere on a moments notice and discover things you might otherwise not be able to see? Maybe it’s the feeling of the open road, or the wind in your face, or maybe it’s the pure joy of feeling like a kid again. Whatever it is, I’m a huge fan of riding my mountain bike, everywhere and anywhere, and the Litchfield Hills are no exception.
The moment the snow starts to melt, I transition my ski legs to bike legs. All spring and summer, I get out as much as I can as I load my bike onto my car rack. I never really have anything specific in mind, it’s pretty much wherever I end up, and sometimes I often wonder about the places I bring myself. This one time, I ended up in the middle of a dairy farm! Manure anyone?
Though the spring and summer are great seasons to get out and ride, there’s really no season quite like autumn, and here in the hills it makes riding a pure joy, despite the constant nuts hitting you in the head from the trees and leaves slapping you silly in the face every time the window blows. Yes, it’s really that entertaining sometimes.
The past few weeks I have really been enjoying myself. Every chance I’ve gotten I’ve been out on the bike. So far, I must have biked a combined 400 miles or so. At this rate, I might as well bike across the country! There would be no way I could ever miss the New England foliage, however. It’s much too grand of a season.
Biking in Litchfield County is very different compared to other parts of the state. For starters, the hills are drastically steeper so even for the experienced bikers, you’ll need your strongest legs, as well as heart! It’s a lot of hard work climbing those hills, even with the best mountain bike. Trust me, I know.
Some have asked me where the best spots are to bike in the region. Boy, that’s a tough question to answer! There’s not one area in particular I enjoy more than the other. Each one poses a challenge, and each one poses some magnificent views. Take Norfolk, for instance. It’s a quaint town tucked away in far northern Litchfield County. It’s a gorgeous area to bike as you pedal past bucolic farms and rolling hills complete with waterfalls. It’s also known as the icebox of Connecticut so when it’s cold, it’s COLD! Where you only needed a sweater in let’s say Watertown in southern Litchfield County, you’ll need a winter jacket! It’s a great ride through the town during the fall, but only if you’re up for a brisk ride.
If you’re looking to bike with the whole family, a ride around Peoples State Forest and American Legion State Forest in Barkhamsted and Riverton are a pure joy. For one, it’s a relatively quiet area traffic wise, and two, it’s a really scenic ride along side the Farmington River. There are plenty of places to stop off to grab a bite to eat, including an old fashioned general store in the historic town of Riverton.
Litchfield County has a lot to offer, and this time of year is the best time to check it all out. With the beautiful array of color from the foliage, a ride through any area of the county is sure to win your heart, as well as make it pump a few extra times.