Mount Prospect and Raccoon Hill via Appalachian Trail

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Lime Rock Park

Mount Prospect and Raccoon Hill via Appalachian Trail is a 6.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Falls Village, Connecticut that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 6.3 miles Elevation Gain: 1,305 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

running

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

No matter how many hikes you’ve done in the area, it’s unlikely that you’ve ever done one quite like Rand’s View. Most of the hike is standard enough, following the Appalachian Trail over moderate inclines. You’ll climb past the decent view atop Mt. Prospect, which might serve as its own a destination on a normal hike. But then you come down the other side of the mountain and emerge from dense woods into this crazy, enormous meadow that seems like it shouldn’t exist at all. The low grass stretches on and on, leading to a panoramic view of the Berkshires beyond. A perfect place to enjoy a romp, a picnic or both.

hiking
over grown
6 days ago

Overall great out and back trail, elevation is gradual over time. So you really don’t feel it and doesn’t feel like other 6 mile trails I have done wondering when it will be done. This trail had awesome views from the start and always changing. The overlook view was great, but the meadow is amazing and worth the trip out to. Little buggy but it is the woods and no mud or even wet spots where mud would be.

Uphill 2 miles then another miles or so and it opens onto a beautiful huge grassy area with far off views. Amazing spot for a picnic, snack, or just a rest. One view on the way up. Can’t wait to try this in winter- there must be more views. Very cool waterfall and dam area at start of hike.

Rands View is spectacular! Make the trek to Lime Rock—-it’s worth it

hiking
13 days ago

Pretty hike, although not particularly hard. The meadow is amazing! Well worth it.

hiking
15 days ago

For me, this was a stunner! The falls, the view from Prospect Mountain, Rand’s View, the beautiful forest in spring with its wildflowers blooming. Bugs weren’t too bad and a beautiful day. Took me a long time to do 6.2 miles because I was birdwatching and because I sat and enjoyed each of the views- almost 5 hours (seems most do it between 2.5 and 3.5 hours). I will definitely be back. Very clearly marked. A lovely climb!

camping
1 month ago

5/2 - 5/3/2020: Nice trail, surprisingly without mud even after several previous days of rain. I parked inside the public gate by the falls overnight, no issues. Mt Prospect view is average, small view hole with the surrounding vegetation. Rand View field was great though. I later returned after setting up camp to catch sunset which happens just at the western edge of the meadow so it casts across the valley very well. Saw deer, turkey, vultures and even a porcupine Lime Rock camp has 3 platforms and a lean-to and privy. Also space for extra tents. Easy 3ish mile hike in, brought my dog.

hiking
bugs
1 month ago

The big waterfall at the start of the trail was the highlight for me. It was a good trail through the woods, not much to see until you get to the top of Prospect and you can see out. We continued on to rand’s view. You get to a point where you can go left or right. Right takes you to Rands View. A couple coming from the left convinced us that there was cool stuff to see to the left including a waterfall and it was only a half mile but cautioned us it was steep. Let me say, don’t take this little detour. It was extremely steep- kinda dangerous, the waterfall sucked it was a trickle of water; and the cool things to see were a lean to, a bear box, and an outhouse. And then you have to walk back up which was awful- you walked up very steep rocks and it was like a very long vertical incline. Anyway; we eventually made it back to that intersection and continued on to Rands View which was nice- an open field w the mountains in the distance. At this point we should have turned around but we didn’t. We continued on. Raccoon Hill was lame and there’s nothing spectacular to see when you get to the top. The only reason I knew I was at the top was because I was watching my progress on the map provided in this app. The two spots with views were nice and the waterfall across the street was cool at the start but I wouldn’t do this one again. Definitely over hyped. And there were a ton of bugs. As for parking, there’s a lot that holds 10-12 cars if everyone parks appropriately. We got the last spot. When we came out, there were a ton of cars parked on the shoulder.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Great trail! Well maintained and not too busy during these quarantine times. Also surprisingly not muddy given it’s rained so much.

One of the best hikes in CT. My map recordings was to giants thumb and back.

hiking
1 month ago

This trail has it all: it starts with the biggest waterfall I’ve seen (today it was absolutely ROARING), has a good mix of uphill, even, and downhill grades well marked made of clear trails of dirt and smooth rock, and nice views all the way up. The payoff of the majestic Rand’s View at the end is rewarding. We did 5.6 miles in 2 hours, 17 minutes. Not too hard for novices, but challenging enough to get the heart pumping.

hiking
1 month ago

Not a bad trail at all, just overhyped in the description. Besides the top of Mt Prospect, where you really have this nice vantage over the Berkshire, much of it feels like it's only a couple-of-tree's remove from people's backyards. No issues with mud, well marked.

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail and views of the falls. Plenty of spots to stop and rest. A little muddy in some spots since it rained the last few days but not too bad.

Excellent hike- the mud is slippery and closer to Rands you need micro spikes.

Foggy but still a great hike!

I would do this hike again. Prospect Mountain had a small summit with a little view where we stopped and ate our lunch. It took about 45 minutes to summit from the parking lot. Rand's View is really amazing! Definitely one of the best I have seen in CT. I dropped one star for bugs. We used DEET spray and we're still getting swarmed by the black flies. Eventually we gave up and turned around before summiting Raccoon Hill bc of the bugs. Still views made it worth it.

Great trail. Beautiful overlook. Definitely head down to the field for Rand’s View.

hiking
11 months ago

We went on a Saturday morning in June and it was fantastic. Although a warm day, the paths are mostly shaded so it remained comfortable. The meadows are beautiful and the view from the top worth the climb. It is definitely a moderate hike with some challenging portions. Took us two hours from the dam to the large meadow and back, which included a few short breaks. Highly recommended!

hiking
Thu Oct 11 2018

The Saturday I was there was overcast and dreary with no view of the Berkshires from Rand's view and a slight view from Mount Prospect. On the plus side The Great Falls were RAGIN!! Had a nice picnic at Rand's view will definitely return one day when the weather is nice!!

hiking
Mon Sep 24 2018

there are some great views on this hike — not just the gorgeous meadow at rand's view, but also the view from mt. prospect and a nice variety of woodlands. i second the suggestion to drive past the marked trailhead and park in the lot by the dam. you can pick up the trail just across the road from there. lots of poison ivy along the trail, so keep your eyes out. but there are also some nice wildflowers blooming right now, especially goldenrod.

hiking
Sat Sep 01 2018

Rand's View is just incredible, there's nothing in CT like it. Instead of parking where the directions for this takes you, I recommend driving up further until you find a parking lot on the right which is near the dam. It's a 1.8 mile hike from there to the summit of Mt. Prospect. The beginning and end parts of the hike are easy, the middle gets steep. Thankfully it peters out and the last quarter mile or so is pretty flat. The view at the summit is good, though a bit limited with the trees on the side. The hike down to Rand's View was very easy, only about another 15 minutes. I didn't go any further onto Raccoon Hill, so the total hike for me was about 6 miles with roughly 1000 feet of elevation gain. Total hike time for me was 2 hours 47 minutes. It was cloudy when I went but still had a fantastic view. Best in CT!

hiking
Mon May 28 2018

Great hike with a unique payoff at Rand's View. Was lucky to have the meadow all to myself, as I arrived early. Unfortunately it was a bit misty and foggy in the distance so the view was not all it might have been. Still super cool. I didn't hike as far as the AllTrails route indicates, but I did check out Giant's Thumb and went a little beyond that, until I saw the trail heading steeply downhill. Mount Prospect view is nice, though not spectacular. But it's a good place to rest for a while before chugging along to Rand's View. Lots of nice ups and downs on this trail, but nothing too taxing.

hiking
Sun Apr 08 2018

I'm planning a hike here this year. is there a place to park?

hiking
Sun Oct 22 2017

Moderate/easy hike on the AT! Most sections of the hike are flat. I really loved the spot at Rand’s View- definitely has to be one of the best viewpoints on the CT AT (it’s featured at the REI in Milford likely for that reason). Would definitely recommend!

Sun May 07 2017

This is a great hike, from Great Falls on up. Rand's View is one of the most beautiful spots on the CT section of the AT!

hiking
Sun Aug 07 2016

Beautiful falls! Have to see! Trail well traveled up to top of Mt Prospect. Limited views but views nonetheless. Tried to extend my walk to Raccoon Hills but found the trail heading downward and my legs tired out and knew I had to go back down Mt Prospect to where I started.

backpacking
Tue May 10 2016

Unquestionably one of the best views in CT. Park down by the Great Falls at Falls Village and take the Appalachian Trail up. Rand's view is roughly 3 miles from there. Little bit tough going up Prospect Mountain, but at the top there is a cool view of Canaan Mountain. Just go a little bit farther until you reach a meadow that just doesn't belong in the Connecticut Countryside. Highly recommend it for anyone!

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