Just uphill from where the Appalachian Trail crosses the Connecticut River, along Route 10A on a broad low bridge from Hanover, you might want to while away an afternoon in Norwich at the interesting Montshire Museum of Science (802/649-2200, daily, $17 summer, $15 fall-spring), which has more than 100 educational exhibits focusing on natural history, as well as aquariums showcasing fresh- and saltwater creatures. The next town the AT passes through is West Hartford, on the banks of the White River upstream from I-91 along Route 14 and just off I-89.

From West Hartford, you can circle around (on unnumbered and rather rough-surfaced country roads) through North Pomfret, Pomfret, and South Pomfret, passing dairy farms and quaint barns, coming in through the back door to upscale Woodstock, where this AT route links up with US-4. From South Pomfret, a quaint little hamlet that’s also home to the Suicide Six ski area, the hikers’ Appalachian Trail heads up into the mountains through a long roadless stretch before crossing US-4 at Sherburne Pass. The only real driving equivalent follows Route 12 south into Woodstock.