Visit Great Mountain forest

Recreation at Great Mountain Forest

Please enjoy the following passive recreation opportunities on forest roads and marked trails in Great Mountain Forest:
Hiking
Cross-country skiing
Snowshoeing
Mountain biking (no biking in GMF when snow is on the ground)

Hours of Operation

Public access to Great Mountain Forest is daily from sunrise to sunset.
Note that the forest is closed at times during hunting season – dates will be posted on this website and at the east and west forest gates.

Fall hunting season is underway for hunters registered and authorized by the GMF Forest Manager. Please stay on recreational trails and wear blaze orange or other bright colors and adhere to the GMF rule of keeping your dog on a leash when visiting.

GMF will be closed for recreational use Monday through Saturday from November 17 to December 7, 2021. Recreational activities are only available on Sundays during that time period. Those days are November 21, 28, and December 5.

If you have any questions please contact the Forest Manager at 860-542-5422 or jody@greatmountainforest.org.

Parking

Ample parking is located at the East and West gates. At the West gate, parking is at the Mountain Office, a short walk from the kiosk and Forest entrance. Use only designated parking areas and avoid blocking the road or gates and parking on neighboring properties.

Please sign in and sign out at kiosks

For your safety and to record visitors who enjoy the Forest, please sign in and out on the sign-in sheets located at the East and West gate kiosks.

  • East Gate: adjacent to Forestry Office 201 Windrow Road, Norfolk, CT.
  • West Gate: near Mountain Office at 200 Canaan Mountain Road, Falls Village, CT.

Trails at great mountain forest

With over 13 miles of trails, GMF has a Forest experience for all who love the woods. If you haven’t visited us before, we hope you’ll fall in love with the beauty and magic of the Forest. Consult the downloadable trail maps and descriptions to choose the trail that’s right for you. Trail descriptions include mileage and level of difficulty. In-and-out trail mileage is one way.

If you’re new to cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or biking in the Forest, here are some helpful tips to make your GMF visit—and everyone else’s—more enjoyable.

GMF Winter Recreation Etiquette for All Those Who Love the Woods
IMBA Guide for Mountain Biking Trail Use

The following trails are pedestrian only:

  • Tamarack Interpretive Trail
  • Overlook Trail
  • Charcoal Pit Trail
  • Tobey Bog Trail
  • Wapato Trail
  • Matterhorn Trail
  • Iron Trail
  • High Pocket Swamp Trail

The following trails are for mixed use:

  • Camp Rd
  • Crissey Trail
  • Crossover Trail
  • Number 4 Trail
  • Chattleton Rd
  • Sam Yankee Trail

Respect the Forest Ecosystem and the Working Forest

  • Dogs are welcome but must be leashed.
  • GMF has no trash receptacles, so please pack out what you pack in.
  • The collection of stones, soil, plant specimens, animal specimens, or cultural artifacts is prohibited.
  • GMF is a working forest. Be alert and watch for trucks and other heavy equipment

Not Permitted at Great Mountain Forest

  • Swimming in ponds and streams. (Norfolk residents with permits, and their guests, may use the public swimming area on Tobey Pond.)
  • Camping and fires
  • Fireworks of any kind
  • Horseback riding
  • Firearms and archery equipment
  • Rock-climbing, hang gliding, and other extreme sporting activities

For a complete set of GMF regulations email info@greatmountainforest.org

Yale Camp

The Yale Camp is owned by Yale University and managed, on behalf of the Yale School of the Environment, by Great Mountain Forest. Written permission, from Yale University and Great Mountain Forest (Forestry Office), and appropriate insurance certification, are required of all Yale-Camp users. The unauthorized use of this property will be considered trespass.

Thank you for your cooperation in making recreation in Great Mountain Forest safe and enjoyable for all.