A Great Autumn Hike in Litchfield That’s Not the Boardwalk

Point FollyThe fall foliage remains resplendent in Litchfield and it’s a call to action to get out on our trails to enjoy the vibrant colors and scenic beauty all around, especially amid the amazing weather we’re having at the moment.

Like metal to a magnet, most folks are drawn to the dramatic Little Pond Boardwalk Trail, a 1.5-mile loop where you walk on a boardwalk ringing the pond that sometimes seems to be floating directly above the water.

At any time of day and in any weather, the boardwalk always delivers rewards, and White Memorial highlighted its appeal in an Instagram post just in time for this week’s mini Indian Summer.

The boardwalk is so popular that it can get more crowded than many hikers prefer as the backdrop to a peaceful ramble in the woods.

Fortunately, with 4,000 acres and roughly 40 miles of trails, White Memorial offers lots of other great options – and we mean great. Apple Hill with its viewing platform high above Bantam Lake and the Lake Trail at the main Conservation Center area with its platform overlooking the lake are just two examples.

We hike those trails often – but we’re going to let you in on our “secret” go-to spot for a short walk that may be the best autumn hike in Litchfield and always exceeds expectations.

It’s Point Folly, a peninsula off North Shore Road extending into Bantam Lake.

It’s not really a secret, but it seems that way because the trail is actually the lasso-shaped dirt access road for the Point Folly Family Campground. The campground, with 47 sites, is open from May through Columbus Day, and during that stretch it’s the domain of registered campers.

In the off-season, though, it becomes one of the best short hiking trails (about three-quarters of a mile) in Litchfield … and, we would argue, in the entire state.

There’s a dirt parking area at the entrance to the campground, a smaller adjacent parking area along North Shore Road, and another place to park next to the campground store a short distance away.

Also see: 10 Great Fall Foliage Walks in Litchfield, Autumn 2022

Point FollyPoint Folly’s fall foliage is especially vibrant, and the trail offers long views across Bantam Lake.

It’s most glorious in the early morning after sunrise and at sunset. Walking the loop road clockwise brings views of clouds bruised with intense pinks and purples in the evening/late afternoon as winter nears, and if you’re on the eastern side of the point as the sun is setting the trees and foliage to the east are brilliantly lit up and the windows of cottages across the lake look like burning jewels.

There’s a viewing platform near the beginning of the walk looking east and north into the protected cove where the lake drains into the Bantam River outlet. It’s a prime spot for migrating ducks, and if you’re lucky you might also see the lake’s resident bald eagles.

Because the access road trail is flat and the hike is short, it’s a perfect adventure for families with younger children – and dogs love Point Folly! (All dogs walking at White Memorial must be leashed and owners must also clean up after their pets.)

Intrepid hikers who venture out in all seasons will be rewarded in a different way at Point Folly during the winter. White Memorial also has a marina there and it’s the seasonal home of the Connecticut Ice Yacht Club.

Trust us on this one and you’ll be glad you did.

Which is not to discourage you from hiking the magnetic Little Pond Boardwalk Trail, which White Memorial describes in that Instagram post:

Point Folly
The viewing platform at Point Folly

The Little Pond Boardwalk Trail begins at the parking lot at 121 Whites Woods Road in Litchfield Connecticut. This trail is 1.5 miles total and marked by a black square on a white square blaze. This trail is a great way to really get into the marshes around Little Pond. The boardwalk is very popular, if you want to be there alone, go early! Plan to spend 45 minutes to an hour here. This trail is not recommended for strollers, wheelchairs, or running.

See the White Memorial website, and especially the trail maps, to connect and enjoy.