Perched high up on the Metacomet Ridge west of Hartford , the 165-foot Heublein Tower makes a tantalizing goal for hikers in Talcott Mountain State Park (Rt. 185, Bloomfield, 860/242-1158, www.ct.gov.dep , noon–2 p.m. Thu.–Sun., free). Reached by a moderate 1.5-mile stretch of the Metacomet Trail, the tower is done in the Tyrolean style, and has a rich history including a visit by President Eisenhower. The Metacomet Trail stretches for 40 miles up the ridge and is also accessible from other parks in the region, including Peak Mountain in Granby.
Another good spot for some outdoor exercise is the Windsor Lock Canal (Bridge St., Windsor Locks to Canal Street, Suffield, www.ct.gov/dot ), which has five miles of level trails overlooking the river and its ingenious series of locks.
Mark Twain would surely approve of the relaxing river trips offered by Huck Finn Adventures (21 Waterville Rd., Collinsville, 860/693-0385, www.huckfinnadventures.com , $55 per canoe, launch times vary based on trip type), a canoe-and-kayak outfitter that leads trips on the Farmington River. Additionally, paddlers can strap on headlamps and enter the tunnels beneath the city of Hartford  for eerie and historical “lost city tours.”