J.A. Skinner State Park has an extensive trail system with trails of different types for all interests and abilities.

To download a trail map of the park, please click here. Maps are not currently available in the park.

Trail Blazes

The blaze system used at Skinner State Park is paint on the trees or rocks alongside the trails. Some trails do share colors, but they will not intersect each other. Two squares on top of each other indicate a turn. Some trails overlap each other, so a trail may have multiple color blazes on it. There is also a location ID trail marker system to assist in trail navigation. These markers are in most intersections, and correspond to the numbers on the trail map.

Trail BlazesInitialsColorsTrail BlazesInitialsColors
Black RockBR   BlueLithia OutlookLORed
Conglomerate RockCR RedLithia Springs           LSYellow
Dry Brook  DBRedMetacomet-MonadnockMMWhite
Devil’s Football DFBlueTwo Forest TFYellow
Hang GliderHGGreenTaylor’s NotchTN Yellow
Halfway House HHBlueTramway TrRed

All mileages are approximate. Hiking times are estimated based on an average rate of thirty minutes a mile.


Hikes from the Main Gate

Park road to Summit
1.6 miles to summit, about 50 minutes, steep
The road is the simplest way to the summit. Starting at the main entrance, the park road rises steeply about half a mile to the halfway area, and then gradually ascends for the remainder of the trip. Both automobiles and cyclists use this road, so use caution, especially on the sharp turns.

Two Forest (Yellow Blaze)
0.8 miles to halfway area, about 30 minutes, steep
Beginning by the main gate, this trail parallels the auto road and ends at the halfway area.

Metacomet-Monadnock (White Blaze)
2 miles to summit, about one hour, steep
The Metacomet-Monadnock trail (commonly referred to as the M&M), follows the mountain ridgeline to the summit. The trailhead is on the dirt road about half a mile from the main gate.


Hikes from the Halfway Area

Halfway Trail to the Summit
.25 miles to summit, extremely steep, about 20 minutes
This trail is the quickest route from the halfway area to the summit. Go up the stairs on the right side of the road just before the parking lot and follow the blue blazes to the top.


Halfway House/ Conglomerate Rock Loop
One mile, about 30 minutes, moderate
Begin on the blue blazed Halfway House trail across the street from the house. After half a mile, turn onto the red blazed Conglomerate Rock trail and follow the Conglomerate Rock trail back to the road.

Tramway/Devil’s Football Loop
One mile, about 30 minutes, moderate
Start just below and across the street from the halfway house on the red blazed Tramway trail. Keep left at the fork after about half a mile. At trail marker 136 turn onto the blue blazed Devil’s Football trail. After passing the Devil’s Football, keep to the left, where the trail overlaps with the yellow blazed Two Forest trail and continue on to the auto road.

Halfway House/Taylor’s Notch Loop
Two miles, about 60 minutes, moderate
Take the blue blazed Halfway House trail as above. Stay on the Halfway House trail, passing the turnoff for the red blazed Conglomerate Rock trail. Turn onto the yellow blazed Taylor’s Notch trail and follow it to the auto road, then turn right and follow the auto road back to the halfway area.


Hikes from the Summit

Summit Loop
One mile, about 30 minutes, moderate
Take the path to the end of the picnic area away from the Summit House and find the white blazed M&M trail. Descend on the trail to the park road at Taylor’s Notch. Turn right and follow the road back up to the summit.

Dry Brook Loop
Two miles, about 60 minutes, moderate
Follow the directions for the Summit Loop, however at Taylor’s Notch, cross the park road to the red blazed Dry Brook trail. Follow this trail for about half a mile, then turn onto the yellow blazed Lithia Springs trail. Less than a quarter mile later turn left onto the blue blazed Black Rock trail. Continue on this trail until it joins the white blazed M&M trail and turn left to return to Taylor’s Notch and the Summit.

Hang Glider Launch
One mile, about 30 minutes, moderate
Walk down the trail between the two upper parking lots, blazed white, blue, and green. At trail marker 121 there is a small footpath to the right where the trail continues, marked with green blazes. Turn here and follow the trail to the hang glider launch point.

Descend via the M&M and Auto Road
1.25 miles to main gate, about 45 minutes, moderate
Follow the Summit Loop as above, but turn left at the park road and continue to the main gate.

Descend via the Halfway Trail
.75 miles to main gate, about 30 minutes, extremely steep
The quickest way down the mountain is to take the blue blazed halfway trail next to the upper parking lot to the park road, then continue on the road to the main gate. Use caution as this trail is steep.

Descend via the M&M trail
About two miles to main gate, about one hour, moderate
Start next to the house or the upper parking lot and follow the white blazed M&M trail down the mountain. When you get to the gravel road, turn right and follow it up to the main parking area.


Hikes from Hockanum Road Gate

Taylor’s Notch (Yellow Blaze)
1.5 miles, about 40-60 minutes up, moderate difficulty
This is a steep, direct route up the mountain ending at Taylor’s Notch. To continue to the summit, cross the park road and continue on the white blazed M&M trail.

Conglomerate Rock (Red Blaze)
1.3 miles, about 40-60 minutes to summit, steep
The Conglomerate rock trail goes partway up the mountain, ending at the auto road by the halfway house. To reach the summit either take the road to Taylor’s Notch then follow the white blazed M&M trail or stay on the road to the top.

Halfway House (Blue Blaze)
1.3 miles, about 40-60 minutes to summit, moderate difficulty
This trail goes to the halfway area, then continues across the park road and goes to the summit. Start on the red blazed Conglomerate Rock trail, and then bear right onto the blue Halfway House trail. After reaching the park road, walk downhill to get to the second portion of the trail just beyond the halfway house barn. Go up the steps and follow it to the summit. Use caution as the second part of the trail is extremely steep.