MERIDEN — As the leaves change color and the temperatures cool, hiking the local trails is popular.
Here are five things to know about fall hikes from city resident and Connecticut Forest and Park Association communications director Martin Gosselin.
Hiking in Meriden
Anywhere along the trap rock ridge is recommended for viewing foliage. Gosselin suggests visiting Castle Craig and East Peak, as well as Chauncey Peak in Giuffrida Park by way of the Mattabesett Trail.
“Anywhere you can get some elevation,” Gosselin said.
The trail up to Chauncey Peak was relocated a few years ago because of erosion and is easier to hike than the previous one.
NET hiking series
A total of nine hikes have been scheduled through next month on the New England Trail (NET), part of the National Park System. The trail is about 271 miles and runs from Long Island Sound in Guilford up to the Massachusetts-New Hampshire border.
Early hikes this fall included the Metacomet trail in Plainville, Mount Higby in Middletown and the new Mount Pisgah trail in Durham. Gosselin said more than 100 people have participated in this fall’s hiking series.
Upcoming hikes include: Mount Higby/Tynan Park in Middletown on Thursday, an Easthampton area hike in Easthampton, Massachusetts on Saturday, and a Penwood State Park Hike in Simsbury on Nov. 10.
Along with a sturdy pair of shoes or hiking boots, Gosselin also recommends hikers carry a backpack with water, snacks, extra clothes and a first aid kit. A physical map can also be helpful along with a compass.
While there are fewer sightings of wildlife during the colder months, Gosselin still warns hikers to be aware of their surroundings.
He said coyotes are still present, and hikers should have a sense of when the sun sets to avoid getting lost in the dark.
“You do have to be cautious on some of the trails at this time of year because of hunting,” Gosselin said.
The Meriden Parks and Recreation Department is hosting a hiking series on Thursdays from 4 to 6 p.m. called Meriden Trail Blazers.
Upcoming hikes include the Linear Trail on Thursday, which begins at the Platt High School east side parking lot, and the Beseck Mountain Trail on Nov. 1, which begins at the Black Pond parking lot.
Additional hikes may be added in November.
More information can be found on the parks and recreation Facebook page or by calling 203-630-4259.