Indian Council Caves

Barkhamsted, Connecticut

Indian Council Caves

fast facts

Location: Barkhamsted, Connecticut
Size: 9,152 acres (Tunxis State Forest)
Owner: State of CT
Trails: 4.2 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Entrance Fee: N/A
Main Attraction(s):
Boulder Caves
Native American folklore
Beautiful hardwood forest

overview

Rumored to have been the meeting place for Native Americans, Indian Council caves is a little known day hike nestled in Northwest Connecticut. The hike is just shy of 4.5 miles round trip, if just hiking to the caves and back, as it is not a loop trail. The trail is great for hikers of all abilities; beginners will feel challenged but not over their heads, as there is not a lot of steep inclines. Moderate hikers will also be pleased with this hike, because of the length. Hikers who like a challenge could continue onward and upward on the Tunxis Trail instead of turning around, viewing the caves from above and exploring other landmarks such as remains of a cellar. This hike is interesting from the very beginning, from the extremely old White Oak, to the huge White Pine Forest, then passing over the beautiful stream ‘Kettle Brook’, and finally to the Caves. There is never a dull moment or lack of something to look at. The actual caves themselves make an amazing spot to have lunch, rest, and explore. A hiker could spend hours just in the cave area itself checking everything out. Parking is across the street in a tiny parking lot, but there are signs pointing the way.

browse our photos

hikingct_0105.jpg
hikingct_0106.jpg
hikingct_0107.jpg
hikingct_0108.jpg
hikingct_0065.jpg
hikingct_0068.jpg
hikingct_0069.jpg
hikingct_0072.jpg
hikingct_0074.jpg
hikingct_0077.jpg
hikingct_0078.jpg
hikingct_0079.jpg
hikingct_0081.jpg
hikingct_0082.jpg
hikingct_0083.jpg
hikingct_0084.jpg
hikingct_0085.jpg
hikingct_0086.jpg
hikingct_0087.jpg
hikingct_0088.jpg
hikingct_0089.jpg
hikingct_0090.jpg
hikingct_0092.jpg
hikingct_0093.jpg
hikingct_0094.jpg
hikingct_0097.jpg
hikingct_0098.jpg
hikingct_0099.jpg
hikingct_0100.jpg
hikingct_0101.jpg
hikingct_0103.jpg
hikingct_0104.jpg
hikingct_0105.jpg
hikingct_0106.jpg
hikingct_0107.jpg
hikingct_0108.jpg
hikingct_0065.jpg
hikingct_0068.jpg
hikingct_0069.jpg
hikingct_0072.jpg
«   »

directions

Look for a small parking area near the intersection of Route 219 and Hillcrest Drive across from the trailhead marked with small blue “Tunxis Trail” sign.


Click here for directions with Google Maps

nearby attractions

Peoples State Forest

Explore the impressive woodlands of Peoples State Forest, offering all sorts of outdoor activities including hiking, kayaking, fishing and camping. The forest is full of local culture and history, and is a great place to visit during any season.

Enders State Forest

Enders State Forest is, first and foremost, a generous swath of state-managed woodlands, but Enders Brook is the real gem that makes this place so incredible. For about a half-mile of its run through the forest, the shallow river races beneath the canopy and careens over six or seven different cliffs and ledges, making this little niche in Granby more dense with waterfalls than perhaps anywhere else in the state.

more resources

“Take a hike: Tunxis Trail to the Indian Council Caves”
TCEXTRA.COM

If you found this interesting, please consider sharing it!

Responses & Comments
Larry
April 17, 2014
Great Hike! Lots of changes in elevation and nicely challenging we went with kids ages 13, 11, 9 and 6, they loved it. Pretty muddy this time of year (April 17th). There were some icicles on the boulders around the caves, really cool looking. We have to go back again when the acres and acres of Mountain Laurel are in bloom.
Beverly Wheeler
October 16, 2014
I have been to the Indian Council Caves numerous times & every time I go I love the caves even more! I took my 15 year old Nephew & he absolutely loves the caves & all the old stone foundations where the early settlers lived. I wish I could learn more about the Indians who use to meet at the, but the Internet doesn't have much information at all! Can anyone help me find out more about the Indians who once lived there?
Trails of Freedom
October 17, 2014
We're glad that you and your nephew enjoy the Council Caves so much! The truth is that very little is known about what role the caves may have served in Native American culture. The Council Caves probably would've been within the territory of the Tunxis tribe, but we don't know whether or not the caves were actually an important meeting place or just in an area that tribespeople happened to pass through occasionally. Europeans began settling in Connecticut around the 1630s and, unfortunately, several Connecticut tribes succumbed to sickness or were displaced from their land quite rapidly in the following decades, long before there was any sincere interest in documenting their culture. So although there were probably numerous places throughout Connecticut which would've served as important landmarks to Natives, in most cases that knowledge was lost when the tribes dissolved.
Leave Your Response
* Name, Email, Comment are Required

Our Affiliates

Follow us on Instagram

 

Our Products

Online Newsletter

Follow Our Instagram

Get In Touch

Trails of Freedom, LLC
8 Simos Lane
West Haven, CT 06516
Phone: (203) 887-5187
leighanne@trailsoffreedom.com