Hikers in Connecticut are getting the chance to win prizes for hiking.

The state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is giving hikers the opportunity to win prizes for hiking as part of its popular “The Sky’s the Limit” hiking challenge, which is designed to promote hiking in Connecticut’s state parks and forests.

For 2017 the theme is “historic sites.” Participants in this competition will have the opportunity to receive a medallion for visiting ten designated locations. On January 1, 2018 names will be drawn from those who visited all fourteen locations and fifty winners will receive a hand-carved hiking staff.

To participate in the challenge, follow the steps below:

Step 1:  Hike to one of the 14 Connecticut state parks or forests listed. The locations are circled in red on the maps below.

Step 2:  Snap a photo of yourself at the same location as in the photos provided.  Please realize it will not look the same as in the photo.  We also encourage you to explore the trails in the various parks.

Step 3: To receive a medallion and certificate, email your photos (a picture of yourself at ten of the parks listed below), along with your name and home address, to deep.stateparks@ct.gov or mail to CT DEEP State Parks, Sky’s the Limit, 79 Elm St., Hartford, CT 06106. Entries must be received by December 8, 2017.

Step 4: To be entered to win a hiking staff, send your photos at all fourteen locations, along with your name and home address to the above address. On January 1, 2018, 50 winners will be chosen to receive a hand carved hiking staff. Entries must be received by December 8, 2017.

  1. Map: Air Line State Park
    Photo: Blackledge River Bridge, Colchester
    Suggestion: Bring a bike and take a ride on the Air Line Trail.
  2. Beckley Furnace Industrial Monument (no map) link to website.
    Photo: Beckley Furnace
    Suggestion: Learn more about the iron industry by visiting the Friends of Beckley Furnace website and exploring the Upper Housatonic Valley Iron Heritage Trail.
  3. Map: Bigelow Hollow State Park, Union, CT
    Photo:  Mashapaug Pond
    Suggestion:  Bring a fishing pole or canoe/kayak.
  4. Map: Bolton Notch State Park
    Photo:  Hop River Trail
    Suggestion:  Explore the 20 mile Hop River State Park Trail by bike or on foot.
  5. Map: Chatfield Hollow State Park
    Photo: Oak Lodge Nature Center
    Suggestion: Take time to discover all the work that the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC)  accomplished across CT and throughout the nation.  Find out if any of your family was involved in the CCC and send us their stories and photos. www.ccclegacy.org/CCC_Brief_History.html
  6. Map:  Farmington Canal State Park Trail
    Photo: Lock 12, Cheshire
    Suggestion:  Rollerblade, bike and stroller friendly!
  7. Map: Gillette Castle State Park
    Photo: Gillette Railroad Tunnel
    Suggestion:  Take a ride on the ferry across the CT River to Gillette Castle
  8. Map: Haley Farm State Park
    Photo: Canopy Rock
    Suggestion:  The Haley Farm Bike Trail, which is wheelchair accessible, is part of a 7 1/2 mile town-owned bikeway routed from Mystic to Groton on local roadways.
  9. Map: Indian Well State Park
    Photo: The Well
    Suggestion:  Come across the river and visit the Osborne Homestead Museum and Kellogg Environmental Center
  10. Map: Mashamoquet Brook State Park, Wolf Den
    Photo: Wolf Den
    Suggestion:  Make this a destination for a great camping experience.  Make camping reservations at ReserveAmerica.com
  11. Map: Nathaniel Lyon Monument, Natchaug State Forest
    Photo: Nathaniel Lyon Birthplace
    Suggestion:  Hike to Cemetery Hiking Directions
  12. Map: Putnam Memorial State Park
    Photo: Officer’s Quarters/Magazine
    Suggestion: Watch the video about Putnam Memorial State Park before you leave or one of the other CT DEEP Videos to help you plan your excursion.
  13. Map: Stratton Brook State Park
    Photo: Stratton Brook Depot (no building currently there)
    Suggestion: Plan to bike the entire 54 miles of the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail
  14. Map: Topsmead State Forest 
    Photo: Barbeque Pit
    Suggestion: Bring along a picnic lunch made from CT Grown foods.  Check out the CT Grown Availability Calendar