Explore the most popular nature trips trails in Bigelow Hollow State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Even with the map in hands, we had some trouble at the beginning to find the blue trail, and got to wrong trail two times wasting a lot of time. It was supposed to take 3 hours and we took 5. We finally gave up on the map and GPS helped a lot. The trail itself its well market, however right on forks its bad signalised and confusing.

The difficulty is moderate, however as we took a lot more time it felt like hard.

As it was a beautiful day, the pond was like a mirror of the sky, which made all the trouble worth it.

I followed the Nipmuck Trail from the main parking lot and connected to the Breakneck Pond Loop Trail. If you approach this way, be careful--you will get to a meadow, make sure you bear right and find where the Nipmuck Trail picks back up (you will find a baby blue blaze). The white trail and a feeder road also stem from here. The trail itself is not demanding but you will find some narrow/mucky spots you have to scramble over. Pay attention to the blazes, as there are some break off trails.A fairly long and interesting trail, with some nice views. I did not find many bugs and did not come across another soul, despite going on a cloudless weekend day. I will do this loop again, as it certainly tires my dog out, but it's not my favorite at Bigelow. I'd like to take the white trail sometime when it's a bit cooler and my pup won't be so hot, as that looks more fun and challenging.

trail running
5 months ago

Great run! I would recommend starting counterclockwise.

This trail has tree cover for almost the entirety of the trail, which is nice on hot/humid days (like when I went). There are a lot of hills in this hike, but they were all manageable. There's also signs for a "lookout point"... Do NOT get excited; it's just a rock where you can see the pond through some trees, but it's a nice place to stop of a rest and a snack.

You can call this trail moderate but after you do it you won’t feel that way, lots of short bursting ups and downs that over time will take their toll. Secluded except for the occasional motorbike / ATV that roars through illegally. This happens because of the primitive nature of the area, and the fact that over 20 years ago it was a known destination for 4 wheeling clubs.. so ignorant fathers who once rode there legally as a kid bring their kids out there thinking it is still ok. It’s not FYI the state of CT out it’s foot down on this. If you come across these 4 wheelers make you let them know this is no longer a permitted activity.

I guess after all is said and done this is the risk you take when you attempt to hike this loop.. might be better off heading south into the Yale forest and get on the Nipmuc trail there, that forest is beautiful and the ridge at Boston Hollow is killer. Not as strenuous as breakneck pond. Google it.

Finally - bigelow hollow is a mob scene on the weekends in the summer - ethnic groups have been gathering in hoards that leave a lot of trash around and make it difficult to enjoy the solitude of nature with their loud music and sheer #s of gatherers. I respect all people, but many aren’t aware of today’s norms for respecting these parks and the wilderness. They come to the wilderness equipped as if their were having a barbecue party on the beach..

Fun hike around Breakneck pond.

Wonderful hike with dog. Some parts are strenuous. Lots of elevation change, beautiful wild rhododendrons, beautiful pond views, many places to picnic. Trails were dry but if wet definitely wear hiking boots.

trail running
8 months ago

Really enjoyed running this loop. Accessed from the North from Breakneck Rd in Sturbridge MA. Like the 1906 granite state border markers.

trail running
8 months ago

Nice trail on west side going up the hills with a few decent vista points along the way. A wet and annoying return on the access road starting at the state line. Looks like park officials want to restrict access to snowmobiles and motorcycles so put up a series of barriers along road. This, in addition to all the water, was a pain in the neck. Looks like there are alternate options though, one closer to the Pond and one up the hill. Overall, a nice property!

camp here often. trail head is at the end of mashapaug road just past the travelers restaurant in union ct. but they've been logging there. it's the first trail that cuts into the woods on the right. marked by blue/red markers. two camp spots have Adirondacks but plenty more if you tent. pack out what you pack in and be respectful :).

Can't get to the trail head, all posted land.

Monday, November 06, 2017

very well marked. this is my goto trail.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Not much elevation gain but don’t be fooled. This trail is very rugged in parts. The western side is more interesting and has a number of campgrounds you can explore. At the north end and on the east side you can hear the traffic from 84.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Great hike! Definitely will do it again.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

I followed this trail almost exact, except I kept to the park maps Blue Blazed Nipmuck Trail instead of breaking off onto the Ridge Trail. There were some hills and rocky parts, and I've been pretty lazy during this summer (too hot!), but I was able to complete the whole trail while carrying my 1-year old on me and a backpack. I also had my dog with me and she LOVED the trail and swimming in the pond. I'm planning on bringing my husband back with me to camp since there are a lot of camping spots along the trail as well. We saw several frogs, toads, birds, mushrooms, flowers, and the southern half of Breakneck Pond was covered in lilies in bloom, thousands of them! The only down side was the bugs, bring bug spray and spray yourself REALLY well EVERYWHERE! I think this has been my favorite hike in CT thus far, I hope to find more like it.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Love the park, love the trails, hate the bugs!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Nice half-day loop. Has a good balance of flat walking and uphill hiking. Well maintained though its easy to windup off the trail and on one of the access roads. Overall a great place to go when you want to stay local.

Monday, April 17, 2017

My favorite place and its in my backyard

Monday, January 02, 2017

Great winter hike!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Hot but good hike.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

I started on the Ridge Trail but due to the heat I cut across some four wheeler paths (where the first sign with arrows is) and went down to do the Breakneck Pond loop. Did 7.2 miles total. Definitely a great hike and will do it again when the weather cools down. Sweat, hills and bugs are a bad combination lol

Saturday, April 30, 2016

I hiked at Bigelow today (4/30/16) and made an approx. 10 mile loop. I parked at the lot at the north end of Bigelow Pond across from the 2nd Kiosk. I crossed the street and entered the white blaze path right behind the kiosk. A short way in the Blue/Orange Ridge Trail started and I took this trail. I followed it all the way to the northern tip of Breakneck Pond, then hiked down the west side of Breakneck using the blue/orange blazes (park of the loop trail that looks like it's blue on the maps). Once I got to the south end of Breakneck Pond I hiked south up the dirt/wood Breakneck Hill Rd, then the Lower Breakneck Hill Rd, and then the Mountain Rd to Park Rd and then the short White blazed section back to the the starting area. The map which can easily be found online will help this description make sense.

The Ridge Trail is great. Some awesome views. The trail along Breakneck Pond is also excellent. I have to say I put on a few pounds over the winter and might be a little de-conditioned but this hike kicked my arse (in a good way). Some challenging areas with great views, very remote, and just a great hike. An added plus was that although the bugs are starting to emerge, I didn't need to use any spray at all today and gnats were not an issue. Awesome day.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Very quiet trail when done early in the day.

Monday, March 14, 2016

This trail was awesome! It was hard then easy the trail follows all around the lake and with deep woods and valleys!! Fantastic!!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Great fall hike. Did the roughly five mile trail - had some interesting elevation changes without being challenging.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

I hiked the blue blazed trail up and around Breakneck Pond. GPS said 6.53 miles for the hike. It was a wonderful hike, but not for the novice hiker.Some spots are muddy while others are very rocky. some of the trail is very narrow and on a steep incline which falls right to the water.
From the entry on Rt 171 i Parked in the lot on the right with a trail Kiosk at the front of it. I think it was the first lot on the right, though it might be the second. At the back of the lot is a green gate leading onto a wide dirt path. Just a little down is a small sign on the right with an arrow saying "to Nipmuck Trail" this is the beginning of the blue blazed trail. I didn't find the trail hard to follow and only had to stop twice to look for the blazes. These two spots were at the top and bottom of the pond where there is a diverging of many trails. It should be noted that the trail down the west side of the lake is a blue/red blaze, instead of just the blue that it is marked on the map I got from the CT state park and forest web site. There are many campsites around the lake (many more than are noted on the map) and these sites make for great break spots as they all have excellent views of the water. It is 1.45 miles to the south shore of the pond, 3.63 miles around the pond, then another 1.45 back to the parking lot.
I went on a Wednesday afternoon in July, and aside from seeing a few cars entering and exiting the park, I didn't see another soul the entire time. It was a beautiful and peaceful hike. A few pearls of wisdom. 1. Bug spray is a MUST! I was wearing a 90% deet and still got a few bites. The poor dog just about got eaten alive by horseflies. 2. This park is a pay-to-play on holidays and weekends. I don't know what the fee is, but be prepared if you're going on the weekend.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

My husband and I went here today for the first time. I'm surprised at how well the (blue) trail was marked, given the brutal winter we just had. It's beautiful there right now- bigelow pond is 25% open water. It's a great place for a picnic- there are fire pits and gorgeous scenery. We lucked out and didn't have to pay to park- I'm assuming that is only during the summer? We will definitely be back!

Saturday, May 03, 2014

I just went the other day and got lost on the blue orange blue trail. I'm 22 but I've been going here my whole life. The trail is called ridge trail. The trail is beautiful but the trail ends in the middle of the woods but keeps going onto another trail. Don't go on this trail if there is only a couple hours of sun left. I plan on going on this trail again and keep going to bigelow. Hope this helped some what. Also the trails aren't marked very well so keep your eyes pealed

Sunday, December 01, 2013

We hiked the blue/white trail partially. Starting at the trail head bared right until we got to the yellow markings which is an unpaved access road. Headed north until running into the blue/white trail on the left. Overall the trail markings were kinda sparse but the hike was challenging with good elevation changes, rocks, ruts/roots. We wore orange and yellow since it was hunting season.
No bugs in November!

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

It's a nice quiet park plenty of picnic areas big hikeing trails some are challenging a nice place to sit an eat an relax

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