The familiar Farmington River Valley landmark of Heublein Tower sits atop Talcott Mountain, a long, precipitous wooded ledge named after the Talcott family. The 165-foot structure was built as a summer home in 1914 by Gilbert Heublein. In the early fifties, two future presidents were guests of the Hartford Times, then General Dwight D. Eisenhower (who was asked to run for office there) and Ronald Reagan, then president of the Screen Actors' Guild. Following a period of ownership of the property by the Hartford Times during WWII and the early 1950's, it was slated for residential development by a private corporation when the 557 acres of Talcott Mountain came under public ownership in 1965 through the cooperative efforts of private conservationists and state and federal governments.
The 1,000-foot high promontory provides a splendid view of the Connecticut landscape. On the horizon, Mount Monadnock, eighty miles away in New Hampshire, is discernible. To the northwest, the Berkshires dominate the horizon. Long Island Sound is revealed as a thin blue streak to the south. Those with sharp vision can see an area estimated to be 1,200 square miles.
Hikers may encounter a variety of wildlife including deer, fox and rabbits in this natural sanctuary. Bird watchers enjoy occasional sightings of the turkey vulture, bald eagle, and pileated woodpecker. During May, visitors find wildflowers such as trillium, trout lily, wood anemone, and Dutchman's breeches among the damp, craggy rocks. Tables, grills, and toilets are available for picnickers.
If you see a bear:
- Enjoy it from a distance.
- Advertise your presence by shouting and waving your arms or walk slowly away.
- Never attempt to feed or attract bears.
Report bear sightings to the Wildlife Division at (860) 424-3011.
Virtual Tour of Talcott Mountain State Park (link to the Friends of Heublein Tower's page.)