Lantern Hill Trail Hike CT

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Looking for a hike with some great views in Southeastern Connecticut? Hike up the Lantern Hill Trail in North Stonington CT! This hiking trail is a great place for outdoor adventures.

top of lantern hill.

Getting There

Lantern Hill is located in North Stonington, CT, just a couple miles from Foxwoods Casino Resort. It’s not too far away if you’ve been hiking near Hartford.

The parking area for the hiking trail is located off of Wintechog Hill Road, which is off of Foxwoods Boulevard. The parking area itself isn’t a lot, you’ll be looking for a dirt pull-off. The trailhead is located at this pull-off.

The Hike To The Summit

When I hike this trail, I typically take the route that is on AllTrails. The hike to the summit is steep, but it’s totally worth it!

The total elevation gain is 383 feet to get to the 491 foot summit. It’s a bit rocky, with some loose rocks. So, make sure you’re wearing the proper hiking shoes with good grip.

hiking up the hill.
Hiking up Lantern Hill.

the view

When you get to the top, you’ll be rewarded with some beautiful views. At the top, there is a loop so you can enjoy views on both sides of the summit.

If you go left, when you reach the top, you’ll get a great view of the landscape. The views on the east side offer lots of trees and some hills.

girl sitting on rock.
Views from the east side of Lantern Hill. Hikers can enjoy views of woods from the large rock that makes up this vista.

On the other side of the hill, there are some more interesting views. One of the things you’ll see on the west side of the hill is Foxwoods Casino.

The view of the casino resort should not be a surprise as it’s just up the road. You can also see the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center to the left of Foxwoods.

girl standing on rock with foxwoods in background.
Behind me, you can see Foxwoods and the Mashantucket Museum and Research Center. The hilltop makes a great view point for both buildings.

As cool as it is to see Foxwoods, there are some more natural things to see on the western side. This side of Lantern Hill gives you great views of Lantern Hill Pond.

You also can get a glimpse of Long Pond which is just up the road from Lantern Hill Pond. On clear days, you can also see the shoreline in Mystic!

lantern hill pond view from summit.
From the view point on the western side of the hill.

Other trails

After you hike up to the summit, there are other trails you can explore. You can go back down the way you came on the blue blazes trail, or you can take the red trail. All the trails will take you back down to the main trail where you first came in.

When you get back to the bottom of the Lantern Hill trail, you can walk a trail to take you to the pond.

The pond trail isn’t flat, but it will feel like a breeze after the hike to the top. Take the red trail. It’ll be on your left if you’re coming back from the hike up to the summit.

red trail marker.
Look for this marker to do the lower loop.

If you’re still a bit winded and tired from the hike up to the summit, there are a couple of benches along the trail. These are great for small children who get tired easily. My younger sister made full use of these benches nicely placed along the trail!

girl sitting on a bench.

When you get to the pond, you’ll find a bench where you can just sit and enjoy the views. There is a small opening in the trees where you can get a glimpse of Lantern Hill Pond.

Of course, the views are better from the hilltop, but it’s nice to get a glimpse of the pond up close!

lantern hill pond.
Views of Lantern Hill Pond from the lower trail.

Interesting Facts About Lantern Hill

There’s more to this beautiful spot than just the hike. There’s some interesting history attached to this spot!

History

While this spot is most commonly referred to as Lantern Hill, it is also known as Tar Barrel Hill. This spot was referred Tar Barrel Hill after barrels of tar were burned here on August 11th, 1814, to warn residents of the British attack during the War of 1812.

Geology

The hill is made up of white quartz. This beautiful rock adds to the beauty of the hill. The rocks are estimated to be more than 238 million years old and were formed by the Atlantic Ocean. The hill is a pretty cool geologic time stamp!

It’s A Part of the Narragansett Trail

Lantern Hill is actually the start of the Narragansett Trail! The Narragansett Trail goes all the way from Lantern Hill to Ashville Pond in the Village of Canochet in Hopkinton, Rhode Island.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a good hiking spot in southeast Connecticut, be sure to check out Lantern Hill! You’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the land surrounding the hilltop as well as the ponds.

Related

Looking for more things to do nearby?

  • Grab a bite to eat at Johnny Rockets Foxwoods! Foxwoods Casino is minutes from the trailhead, so it’s a great spot to go after you work up an appetite from your hike!
  • Have some beer and pizza at Shunock River Brewery and Village Cafe! This brewery is right in North Stonington and they have amazing beer and wood fired pizza!
  • Check out hiking trails in Rhode Island! North Stonington is right on the Rhode Island border. There are some great hiking trails over the border in Rhode Island!

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