Oct 6, 2008

Hike to Heublein Tower

Ever since I heard about the Heublein Tower I have wanted to hike to it. I refrained all summer from dragging the family 25 minutes away to Simsbury, Connecticut because I had heard this was a hike you must do when the leaves are changing colors. I worked hard to find a weekend that all the stars would be perfectly in line. No Cross Country meet. Late soccer game. No church activities. Friends who could come along. Good weather. I settled on this past Saturday the 4th. It was a beautiful day. Clear blue sky. We got to the beginning of the trail at about 9am. There were 19 of us that went...... the more the merrier!! The hike to the tower is 1.5 miles and is supposed to take between 30 to 40 minutes. It took all of us exactly 40 minutes. The first part of the hike goes straight up but once you see the view you realize it is so worth the climb. I know in 2 weeks the colors will be even more amazing but there was no other free Saturday to hike so I took what I could get.
When you get to the top of the hike you are 1000 feet above the valley. There was this guy named Gilbert Heublein who is best known for manufacturing A-1 Steaksauce and he was hiking with his fiancee one day and told her he would build her a castle on this spot. So in 1914 he built it and it was his summer home. Many famous people have been guests there. When you get to the home inside there is 110 steps that lead up to this amazing observation tower that has beautiful windows and an awesome parquet floor. The tower is an extra 165 feet up and you can see for miles in every direction. It was so cool to see trees, trees, trees and then a city ( Hartford and Springfield) rising up out of nowhere.

And speaking of trees you really should come and visit me to see the amazing colors. But before I make you feel guilt for not coming I should confess I actually was surprised that there are other places that were listed in the "top ten places to view colors" list and there also seemed to be no consensus on the fall foliage lists. But Massachusetts, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Vermont and Michigan were consistenly on any list I found. There are so many factors that determine a good fall leaf show. You can see from the picture that they are starting to change but I did not realize until I got to the top of this hike just how many still have to change :) Now that I know how easy the hike is and how close it is to my house I may have to try to sneak another hike in when the colors get a little better.

The first picture is of Madeline and Miriam goofing off at a stopping point on the hike. The second picture is of Natalie and her friend Shannon standing in the observation room at the top of the tower. And the last picture is a view from a spot on the hike where you can look out over the valley and try to give your mom a heart attack by standing dangerously close to the edge.


another day in the life of... said...

sorry we couldn't come. i think it would be awesome to go when the leaves are on full swing. but, i probably won't get to do it then either. drat this house, it's ruining my social life!

Brianne said...

Sounds like a great hike! I've never heard of it before...I'll have to try it out someday. My husband always loves a good hike.

Alyson said...

So cool that the teenagers were willing to come and goof around!