I would have given one star but what saves the trail is how beautiful it is. Very secluded, once you're on the trail in the forest it feels very untouched. Minus three stars for how poorly labeled the trails are. Many trails going...who knows where? My boyfriend and I got lost and ended up doing a loop almost back to where we started, which meant we ended up hiking into the campsite after dark. The campsite itself is very nice, although definitely feels like you're out in the wild.
Day H. on Nepaug State Forest Trail
I parked in the small lot off Rt 202. The lot can be hard to find as it is not labeled and isn't very big. It is located about 3 miles from the intersection of 202/44. If you go over the river and reach the park on the right, you've gone to far.
I started by following Tunix trail up the where it meets the end of Satans Kingdom Road. In many places the trail follows unmaintained dirt roads and then veers back off into the woods. At this point the Tunix trail follows the Satans Kingdom dirt road all the way to Rt 44. But I took the blue/yellow Tipping rock loop to the outlook trail. Tipping rock and outlook trail are far more woodsy than the tunix mainline trail. Not much elevation changes. There was a small elevation gain in places but it was never very steep and as an avid day hiker my legs never felt the workout. There are many rock ledges along tipping rock and outlook trail. The Outlook was OK but nothing special Tipping Rock Loop leads back to Tunix not far from Rt 44. Instead of taking Tunix trail all the way back to my car, I took the side trail Shelter Four Loop. This trail either follows dirt roads or mostly it follows an old carriage road. But I found a nice gem. About a quarter mile down the trail I could begin to hear rushing water. Leaving the loop trail, I followed a dirt road towards the sound and found a beautiful spot on the Farmington River. A small section of rapids which was a section of tiny waterfalls in the low water of August. Truly a gem that made the entire hike worth while. The rocks were such that I had no problem walking right out into the middle of the river on them, sitting next to one of the tiny waterfalls, and eating my lunch.
After lunch, I headed back to my car. It was all Shelter Four loop and Tunix trail so much of it was the unmaintained dirt roads that seem to be popular here. All told, it was a total of 7.5 miles. Trails were VERY well marked and I never once doubted I was still on the proper path. Even with lots of unmarked trails always crossing paths, the proper trails are easy to follow. Decent hike and I'm glad I did it once, but at an hour drive from my house, not worth a return trip
Lisa S. on Nepaug State Forest Trail
Trail is steep at times, wide roads with off paths. Mostly used by off-road vehicles and ATV's. Use caution with vehicles.