Real Fit for Real Life
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The beauty of Topstone is that it is close enough and short enough to hike on a whim or do frequently as a gentle workout. Since it's so close & relatively easy for all ages and abilities, it's one we take our out-of-town guests to all the time to give them a taste of our CT beauty. I highly recommend you do the same ;)
It's easy to get to Topstone Road off route 7, just be sure to keep your eyes open and not pass the parking lot. Turn in (the turn will be on your right if you are coming from Ridgefield) and keep driving past the sign all the way toward the lake, where there is ample parking. Since this is also a life-guarded lake during the summer, you may be able to use restroom facilities, but they might be locked off-season-- alas, the lack of necessity thus far has prevented me to check on this very important tidbit of info! As usual, I make sure we all arrive with empty bladders! This hike is a loop, so you can start either to your left or right from this parking area. You can also explore the beach area first, where there is a playground for young kiddos. There are also basketball courts by the lake, if you bring a ball and want to shoot some hoops first. Talk about kid-friendly hike!
We always start on the trail head to the right for some reason, just a natural tendency. You'll begin with a slight downhill stretch & arrive at a wooden platform on the water. This is our favorite spot for yoga poses & snake-spying! Watch little ones here if you don't want them going for a swim! If the water levels are high enough, you can watch the water overflow down the man-made dam on your right.
Topstone is dog-friendly & even has a fenced doggie play area where the pups can run around off leash & even swim in the lake if they're brave enough (our Chloe doesn't love swimming, despite our attempts to throw her in our pool!) Plan for extra time on this hike if you want to enjoy the dog park, & of course scoop your dog's poop!
Shortly after the dog park, you'll see some fun exercise-playground equipment on your right. This is a definite must-do! The kids and I do tricks on the rings & practice the balance beam-- moms always think they're too old for this playfulness, but I say you're only as old as you move! So move like a kid ;) It's invigorating to hang upside down at any age!
The rest of the hike offers beautiful views of the lake, occasional streams over rock beds, ferns on the woods side & marsh grass & lily pads on the lake side-- maybe you'll get lucky and spot a frog on a lily pad or catch them flowering like a Monet painting come to life! It's really wonderful how compact this hike is-- so much to see & do on such a short hike! So take your time & take it in. To be truthful, I haven't mile-marked this one with my Runkeeper-- it's one we just go do. You could do it in 30 minutes, or have fun and play and spend an hour.
There are trails that take off into the woods area, but I have yet to explore these. I'll keep you posted!
What's also wonderful about Topstone is that you can enjoy it all four seasons. We've visited in the winter, spring, summer, & fall, & every time there's something new to observe & appreciate! Fellow hikers are always friendly, another reason why I love to take to the trails! It's refreshing to escape the angry people, all hustle & bustle & busy & thinking their schedules are more important than anything else in the world. I've had great conversations with lovely people out on the Topstone trail. So be one of those people. Show your kids how to be that kind of person. There's more to hiking than hiking, or even the exquisite beauty of nature. There's humanity. The simple truth that we share the trail, the planet, and the desire to feel peace, love, & joy.
And you thought it was just a hike.
Mother of 3. Fit-philosopher. Showing my kids how to be fit via living life to the max. Newbie photographer. Simplistic cook who shares easy, healthy meals. Lover of kid-friendly hikes & getting outdoors & unplugged.