The Quiet Corner  abounds with hiking opportunities in many state-owned forest and conservation lands. One of the most secluded is Bigelow Hollow State Park (166 Chestnut Hill Rd., Stafford Springs, 860/424-3200, www.friendsctstateparks.org , $7 Conn.-registered vehicle, $10 out-of-state-registered vehicle), which has several miles of trails leading through dense forest to hidden fishing ponds. Tracing a 26-mile path from Putnam to Pomfret, the Air Line Walking Trail (860/928-6121) follows a former railroad bed through pretty farms and woodlands.
The roads in the region are also particularly good for cycling, with sparse traffic, gentle grades, and scenery with every mile. The brochure Northeast Connecticut’s Bike Guide details 10 self-guided loops through the region. Bikes can be rented at Scott’s Cyclery (1171 Main St., Willimantic, 860/423-8889, www.scottscyclery.com ) and Silver Bike Shop (6 Livery St., Putnam, 860/928-7370, www.thesilverbikeco.com ).
Self-proclaimed “water rat” Ian MacRea leads guided canoeing tours of the Quinebag River through his outfit Cider Rides (241-G Church St., Putnam, 860/928-5040, www.ciderrides.com ). Post-paddling cider is included.