Throughout Connecticut are idyllic recreation sites, beautiful beaches, mountain retreats, deep forests, and lush parks. Several of the state’s natural attractions also showcase celebrated historic sites and treasures from yesterday. At the Weir Farm National Historic Site, visitors can walk along the Historic Painting Sites Trail and stand in the same place as the Impressionist artists to compare paintings with the scenes that inspired them.

For every imaginable outdoor activity, the state provides a panoramic backdrop and outstanding facilities. Winding bike trails, horseback riding paths, scenic hiking trails, modern and primitive campgrounds, cabins, delightful nature centers, exquisite gardens, and environmental education centers are never far from home.

Hikers, walkers, and nature lovers will find it easy to discover the perfect places to enjoy Connecticut’s natural beauty with seemingly endless miles of trails for beginners to the famous Blue Blazed trail system. On a state level alone, more than 100 parks and forests beckon the adventurous.

Connecticut State Forests
Thousands of acres of heavily forested land throughout the state have been preserved for public enjoyment and recreation. Popular activities are many and include picnicking, camping, canoeing or kayaking, fishing, hunting, swimming, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, mountain biking, horseback riding, bird watching, motorcycling, and dog-sledding.

American Legion
& Peoples State Forests
Barkhamstead 860-379-2469
Campground 860-379-0922
3,736 acres

Cockaponsett State Forest
Haddam 860-345-8521
15,652 acres

Mohawk Mountain State Forest
Cornwall/Goshen 860-491-3620
3,351 acres

Natchaug State Forest
& James L. Goodwin State Forest
Eastford 860-928-6121
12,935 acres

Pachaug State Forest
Voluntown 860-376-4075
22,938 acres

Salmon River State Forest
Colchester 860-295-9523
6,115 acres
Shenipsit State Forest
Somers 860-684-3430
6,126 acres

Topsmead State Forest
Litchfield 860-567-5694
514 acres


Major State Parks

Bigelow Hollow State Park
Stafford Springs 860-684-3430
The park combines with adjoining Nipmuck State Forest to provide more than 9,000 acres of recreation opportunities including miles of hiking trails and an 18-acre pond.

Black Rock State Park
Watertown 860-238-8088
Black Rock offers excellent swimming, hiking, scenic views, and Indian legends all tucked into the scenic rolling hills of the Western Highlands.

Bluff Point State Park
Groton 860-444-7591
Bluff Point Coastal Reserve provides the visitor with a delightful mixture of wooded hiking and biking trails coupled with spectacular wildlife viewing along the Long Island Sound.

Burr Pond State Park
Torrington 860-482-1817
Heavily wooded splendor with a lake offers swimming, canoeing, kayaking, sailing, pedalboating, hiking trail, picnicking, fishing, and ice skating.

Collis P. Huntington State Park
Redding 203-938-2285
Lifelike sculptures of bears and wolves are on hand to welcome visitors to a peaceful setting of open fields and dense woodlands.

Devils Hopyard State Park
East Haddam 860-526-2336
Named for the round holes in the falls that some call “the work of the devil,” the park is ideal for bicycling, hiking, picnicking, birding, camping, and stream fishing.

Gay City State Park
Hebron 860-295-9523
Gay City State Park offers a glimpse into Connecticut’s industrial roots with more than 1,500 acres of endless opportunities for outdoor fun. Historic sites exploration includes extinct mill-town ruins and rustic stone foundations.

Hammonasset Beach State Park
Madison 203-245-2785
The largest shoreline park features a beach, swimming, picnic areas, camping, saltwater fishing, scuba diving, hiking trails, nature study, and boating opportunities.

Harkness Memorial State Park
Waterford 860-443-5725
This former summer estate on Long Island Sound is a magnificent, 42-room mansion with formal gardens, picnic areas, a fine beach, and summer concerts.

Hopeville Pond State Park
Griswold 860-376-2920
Fish, swim, or camp along the shores of Hopeville Pond in a panoramic area that combines quality recreation with historic significance.

Housatonic Meadows State Park
Sharon 860-927-3238
The hiking trail on Pine Knob Loop Trail joins the Appalachian Trail. Other activities include picnicking, flyfishing, canoeing, and riverside camping.

Kent Falls State Park
Kent 860-927-3238
Wander across the covered bridge, hike the falls, and feel the mist on your face as water cascades 250 feet down on its way to joining the Housatonic River.

Kettletown State Park
Southbury 203-264-5678
The refreshing waters of the Housatonic River make the park and Lake Zoar popular recreation destinations.

Macedonia Brook State Park
Kent 860-927-3238
Hike the Blue Trail across Cobble Mountain and other peaks for outstanding views of the impressive Catskill and Taconic mountains and splendid foliage vistas.

Mashamoquet Brook State Park
Pomfret Center 860-928-6121
Rich with history and legend and home of the Wolf’s Den, the park offers hiking, camping, fishing, and swimming for the whole family.

Mount Tom State Park
Litchfield 860-567-8870
Hiking trails combine with opportunities for swimming, picnicking, fishing, boating, scuba diving, and ice skating — all around the spectacular 1,325-foot summit.

Osbornedale State Park
Derby 203-735-4311
Enjoy hiking and fishing, then relax with a picnic or visit the environmental center.

Penwood State Park
Bloomfield 860-242-1158
Visitors enjoy more than 800 acres of four-season fun at this expansive park just a short drive from the capital city.

Rocky Neck State Park
East Lyme 860-739-5471
The sprawling stone pavilion, diverse trail systems, and gently sloping half-mile beach make this a popular family destination.

Sherwood Island State Park
Westport 203-226-6983
Park amenities encompass facilities and opportunities for swimming, fishing, scuba diving, field sports, interpretive programs, a picnic grove, and beach.

Sleeping Giant State Park
Hamden 203-287-5658
Two miles of mountaintop that resemble a sleeping giant give this park its name.

West Rock Ridge State Park
Hamden 203-287-5658
Featuring a ridge that is one of the most prominent features of the New Haven area, the park offers spectacular views.


Connecticut Wine Trail
Vineyards and wineries can offer everything from wine tasting and picnic areas to scenic walks, musical festivals, and activities like maple sugaring. Some activities are year-round while others are seasonal.

Chamard Vineyards
115 Cow Hill Road
Clinton 860-664-0299

DiGrazia Vineyard & Winery
131 Tower Road
Brookfield 203-775-1616

Haight-Brown Vineyard & Winery
29 Chestnut Hill Road
Litchfield 860-567-4045

Hopkins Vineyard
25 Hopkins Road
New Preston 860-868-7954

Jonathan Edwards Winery
74 Chester Maine Road
North Stonington 860-535-0202

McLaughlin Vineyards
14 Albert’s Hill Road
Sandy Hook 203-426-1533

Priam Vineyards
11 Shailor Hill Road
Colchester 860-267-8520

Sharpe Hill Vineyard
108 Wade Road
Pomfret 860-974-3549

Stonington Vineyards
523 Taugwonk Road
Stonington 800-421-WINE


Natural Wonders

Ansonia Nature & Recreation Center
10 Deerfield Road
Ansonia 203-736-1053
Miles of nature trails in a 104-acre park includes native fern and wildflower gardens as well as butterfly and hummingbird gardens.

Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens
151 Brookdale Road
Stamford 203-322-6971
More than 60 acres of natural woodlands and cultivated gardens are complemented by ecology trails, a swamp walk, a pond, and a greenhouse.

Devil’s Den & Nature Conservancy
33 Pent Road
Weston 203-226-4991
Nature preserve with historical features includes more than 20 miles of hiking trials on 1,720 lush and wooded acres.

Lighthouse Point Park
New Haven 203-946-8027
Long Island Sound recreation area covers 82 acres to offer swimming, natural history displays, nature trails, picnic areas, bird sanctuary, and antique carousel.

Mohegan Park & Memorial Rose Garden
Judd Road
Norwich 860-823-3759
Opportunities for swimming, picnicking, and fishing combine with nature trails and gardens with brilliant seasonal rose blooms.

Ocean Beach Park
98 Neptune Avenue
New London 860-447-3031
Major recreation area offers saltwater and pool swimming, bathhouses, carousel, playground, miniature golf, picnic areas, boardwalk, and arcade.

Pardee Rose Gardens
180 Park Road
Hamden 203-946-8142
More than 50 varieties of roses in East Rock Park bloom in June and July; annuals, perennials, and herbs delight visitors throughout the seasons.

White Memorial Foundation & Conservation Center
Route 202
Litchfield 860-567-0857
More than 4,000 acres makes this wildlife sanctuary the state’s largest with 35 miles of multi-purpose trails for four-season recreation.


Parks & Recreation Contacts

Connecticut State Parks & Forest System
State Headquarters
Hartford 860-424-3200

Boating Information
Old Lyme 860-434-8638

Boating Courses & Certifications
Old Lyme 860-434-8638

Bureau of Outdoor Recreation
Hartford 860-424-3200

Forestry Division
Hartford 860-424-3630

Inland Fisheries
Hartford 860-424-3474

Marine Fisheries
Hartford 860-434-6043

Wildlife Division
Hartford 860-424-3011




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