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:
Cross-country skiing
Mountain biking (no biking in GMF when snow is on the ground)


Due to inclement weather, excessive road and trail damage has forced us to close Number 4 Trail to all recreation for the foreseeable future. Recreational access is still allowed from the East Gate to the West Gate. Please be aware that large vehicles and heavy equipment will be present on the GMF roads for the foreseeable future as we continue to fix and maintain our roads. Please exercise caution.

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.

If you have any questions please contact us at


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.

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

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.