Hiking Trout Brook Valley Preserve in Weston, CT
The Trout Brook Valley State Park Reserve is a 300 acre reserve that has several hiking trails, mostly of the easy to medium variety. It is a part of the Aspetuck Land Trust which works to preserve land in and around Weston, Easton, Fairfield, and Westport, Connecticut.
This park allows a little bit of everything, from hunting, to animal-accessible trails, to blueberry picking (for members only). It’s such a unique and beautiful part of Connecticut that I recommend everyone visiting at least once. For animal lovers there are specific trails for off-leash dogs (blue/white) and for equestrian use (orange, green, blue, and yellow/white trails). But, in May 2020 they did ban dogs from the park. It’s unclear if this is temporary so I’d recommend calling the Aspectuck Land Trust to ensure it’s allowed
This post details the Blue to Blue/Green loop. It’s a very wide (equestrian-accessible-wide) trail, with some small inclines. It’s quiet, secluded, and peaceful and great for a simple shike.
Location: Weston, CT
Distance: 3.0 miles
Time: 1.5-2.5 hours
Cell-Phone Service: Sparse. Did not have service for most of the hike
Features: Beautiful, wooded scenery
Hours: Dawn to Dusk
Parking: Lot at Bradley Road apparently can get crowded, but that hasn’t been my experience
Dog Friendly: On leash only for the blue trail. Other trails offer off-leash options.
Location, Parking, and Bathrooms
There are several parking lots available in and around the Trout Valley Preserve. For the Blue Trail you will want to park at the parking lot off of Bradley Road. The website states that it is closed on weekends (as of May 2020), but I went on a Sunday in 2021, and the gate was open with other hikers parking there. There were no signs that it didn’t allow parking, and we had no issue.
Once you park you’ll see the large trail map and information station on the side. Just past that is the trail entrance. Since there isn’t a lot of cell phone service here, I’d recommend snapping a quick photo of that map. It came in handy a few times for me while I was hiking this trail when AllTrails tracking wasn’t working.
As for bathrooms, there are none. Not even a portable toilet. So, you’ll want to be prepared and use it before you arrive as to not end up in a precarious situation.
Trout Brook Valley Blue Trail Entrance
From the parking lot, you’ll immediately enter onto the white tail, and you’ll need to walk a bit before arriving at the blue. The first marker you will come across is marker 31, which details turning off on the red trail or staying on the white. You’ll want to stay on the white.
When you keep walking, the white will become the white/green trail, and you’ll start to see the green trail markers. Eventually, you’ll see the blue marker on your right, and you’ll want to take that direction. You should come across marker 41 shortly. This starts a slow uphill, switchback type climb up a small elevation.
If you don’t want to start off with the uphill switchbacks, you can choose to stay on the white trail. It will intersect with the blue trail at marker 30, and you can complete the hike backwards from this guide. Either way works, and in either case you’ll run into some small inclines.
Hiking the Trout Brook Valley Blue Trail – Features
There are not many large, standout features of the Trout Brook Valley Blue trail, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t enjoyable. In fact, this is definitely a trail I’ll continue to return to again and again. This is because it’s a great trail to get that heart rate going, without being too challenging.
The trails here are wide, and anytime you come across a muddy section they have already built a trail bridge to help you cross it. It truly is a fantastic and well taken care of trail in this capacity.
Because it’s so well maintained, it’s great to get some exercise and escape into nature, without worrying about whether you’ll get lost, or if you have enough energy to do more technical areas. It’s definitely just a trail that you can get out and explore without overthinking it.
The wide trails are amazing for a quick and easy hike. There are even a couple of trail areas that are gravel. Although not for everyone, these gravel areas make it very easy for beginners or those healing from injuries to get out on the trail again. While the entire blue trail isn’t the best for people newly recovering from injuries, this section may be beneficial areas to rest for those a little further on the recovery journey.
Trout Brook Valley – Off-Leash Dog Loop
The blue trail intersects the blue/white trail, which is an off-leash loop. You can access this off-leash trail from the blue trail or through a different parking area further south.
If you are planning to access from the blue trail, please note that dogs must stay on leash until you reach the proper trail. This reserve also has specific rules for off-leash dogs. These include limiting it to 2 dogs max, continuing to clean up after off-leash dogs, and dogs must remain under the owners sight and voice control.
These rules are both for the safety for the dog, and the continued conservation efforts in Trout Brook Valley itself.
Ending the Trout Brook Valley Blue Trail
The only time I got a little lost on this trail is at the ending. I think this is for a pretty understandable reason, though. The ending of the blue trail loops back to where you came from. But instead of it connecting directly, the trail rangers have placed a barrier to guide people in the right direction when first getting onto the trail.
Now, that helps you when you’re beginning the trail, but when you’re ending the trail it looks like you’re headed towards an area you aren’t supposed to be.
So, if you see the white barrier in the image below – that is the exit. You will need to either step over it, or walk around it on either side to end up in the right area. Trying to avoid this barrier will only send you back on the loop again and not where you need to go to get back to your car.
Other Tips to Remember
Trout Brook Valley is a secluded local spot in Fairfield county that has a diversity of trails and activities for everyone. You’ll want to be prepared to encounter equestrians and off-leash dogs, depending on the trail you choose, but it makes for an exciting and diverse excursion into the woods.
Leave no trace always applies, but if you will be traveling with animal companions into this area, please be sure to ensure your animal partners comply too. Especially with the freedom to go off-leash sometimes.
You will love the nature escape that Trout Brook Valley is – so get out and go see it!
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