Penwood State Park in Bloomfield is where you end up if you’re looking for the Heublein Tower Trail but accidentally pull into the parking lot across the street. I imagine this happens to a lot of people — you’re driving, you’re not quite sure where the entrance to the trail is, you spot a parking lot with people in assorted hiking clothes milling around, so you just naturally assume you’re in the right place. This is what my friend Ellen and I did.
This was completely understandable for Ellen, who had never been there before. But for me? I had just hiked this trail not six months ago.
Turns out if we had driven 1/4 of a mile further we would have seen the “Heublein Tower Trail” sign, but no matter: Penwoord turned out to be gorgeous. I loved that while it was in the 50s and sunny, there was still lots of snow on the ground, and it was pure white and not all graying and grimy they way snow gets in the city. This is nature, people! This is also a much longer trail than it’s Heublein neighbor so be prepared for 45-60 minutes. We did stop quite a bit because this trail has the same great views of the Farmington Valley as Heublein, but also has a rather large pond to explore and several areas for a picnic.
So why am I calling this ‘hiking and pancakes’? Because I’m going to give you a nearby breakfast or brunch suggestion to go along with hikes I suggest, and this week it’s Mo’s Midtown in Hartford where Ellen and I went afterwards for pancakes.
A hint about Mo’s: the pancakes are good, but if you want real maple syrup, you better bring your own. I had some maple syrup in the car from my last trip to Vermont, but was too shy to bring it in. Ellen tells me there’s an entire society of people who travel with their own maple syrup because most places serve the sub-standard, high fructose corn syrup-riddled, overly sweet, grocery store alternative. While we were leaving though, we noticed the Mo’s waitstaff was finally sitting down to their own pancakes with a big bottle of real maple syrup on the table. Lesson learned.
Penwood State Park
57 Gun Mill Rd
Bloomfield, CT 60002
25 Whitney St
Hartford, CT 06105