Difficulty: Easy-moderate, depending on the trails you choose to take within Bradbury Mountain State Park.
How to get there: The park is located in Pownal (next to Freeport) on Route 9 or Hallowell Road. The address that showed on my GPS was 528 Hallowell Road. If you get off Interstate 295 on Exit 22 in Freeport, signs will lead you to the park via Durham Road, Pownal Road and Elmwood Road, which leads to Hallowell Road (a right turn).
Information: Bradbury Mountain State Park is one of the original five state parks acquired from the Federal government in 1939. The mountain itself is less than 500 feet in elevation – more like a hill – but it offers a stunning view and is a popular place for bird watchers and picnickers. The park is more than 800 acres of forested land crisscrossed by trails for horseback riders, mountain bikers, snowmobilers, hikers, snowshoers and cross-country skiers. Snowshoe rentals are available. Dogs are allowed if on a leash and cleaned up after. Visitors pay a small fee at the gate. For information, call 688-4712 or visit bradburymountain.com.
Personal Note: Bradbury Mountain State Park is an ideal place for people looking to get active in the outdoors during the winter. I visited the park in January and had no difficulty on the trails with my waterproof hiking boots. Several people were visiting the park on the gloomy Tuesday, so I’m assuming it is a popular place in the winter for snowshoers, snowmobilers and skiers. If the snow had been deeper, I would have been snowshoeing. I do suggest wearing ice cleats or snowshoes in the winter (I did see some icy patches), but the trails are traversable without them.