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8 Must-See State Parks in Connecticut

Throughout Connecticut, you'll find a wide range of sterling state parks to explore. These eight, of many more, offer a unique and refreshing take on outdoor recreation in the Constitution State. From the hiking and kayaking, to the fishing and bird watching – visit CT soon and visit these state parks.

1. Lamentation Mountain State Park

Though only 47 acres in size, Lamentation Mountain State Park will yield a full day of fun for you and the whole family. Drive in from nearby Berlin and enjoy any and all of the outdoor recreations found here. Many of the hikes at Lamentation Mountain SP can take you to the summit and it's 720-foot rise. It's just across from Silver Lake, and is easily accessed from the Berlin Turnpike.

I, Dystopos [GFDL (, CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or CC BY-SA 2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Explore the Wide Range of State Parks in CT

2. Putnam Memorial State Park

Not only is Putnam Memorial State Park an excellent choice for outdoor fun, it also features a historical side, too. It was named in honor of Major General Israel Putnam, who made his name and his mark during the American Revolutionary War. Within this park, check out the Putnam Visitors Center, and throughout the year, be sure to watch any of the many reenactments they produce. Drive in from nearby Bethel.

3. Quinebaug Lake State Park

Stretched out over 88 impressive acres, Quinebaug Lake State Park continually proves to be a favorite among aquatic adventure seekers. Many in nearby Mansfield Center make the short drive east for premier boating and fishing areas – it's all easily accessible from Interstate 395 in the town of Killingly

4. Bluff Point State Park

Since 1963, Bluff Point State Park has been a popular destination for hoping to find outdoor fun near Groton. Found south of downtown Groton, and just to the east of the Birch Plain Golf Course, Bluff Point State Park is just about 800 acres of explorable land along the coast. With its exceptional seaside views, Bluff Point SP also offers great boating, picnic sites, and hiking trails.

5. Penwood State Park

By Altairisfar (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Enjoy Connecticut's State Parks Soon

When your Connecticut visit has you in the capital, Hartford, be sure to spend a day exploring Penwood State Park. Found just to the northwest of downtown, Penwood SP sprawls across Talcott Mountain. Be sure to test your hiking ability with a trek across the Metacomet Trail, which stretches the length of the park.

6. Mansfield Hollow State Park

Another top outdoor site near Mansfield Center is the Mansfield Hollow State Park. At 251 acres in size, and with no parking fees, this state park will be a must-see for any stay in the area. Fish or boat along Mansfield Hollow Lake, or, if your visit is a winter one, check out the impressive cross-country skiing.

7. Quinnipiac River State Park

Closer to North Haven in the southwestern region of CT, be sure to explore the Quinnipiac River State Park. Nearly the entire eastern ridge of this state park is lined by the Quinnipiac River – you'll no doubt want to bring your fishing gear, if not your kayak. The park, in all, is 323 acres in size, and features a range of trails for hikes, bikes, and more. 

8. Farmington Canal State Park Trail

Plan a stay in the charming town of West Haven – make sure you include some time for an afternoon at Farmington Canal State Park Trail. You can find it just to the north, not far outside of Sleeping Giant State Park. Farmington Canal SPT is split into two unique sections – one, a 5.5-mile stretch of trails and other built-up areas, and the other is a 3.9-mile stretch offering a more rugged, off-road experience. Both are popular among hikers, though mountain bikers often choose the smaller section, just for a more fun experience. 


Best Western Hotels Along the Way:


Best Western Plus New England Inn & Suites

2253 Berlin Turnpike, Berlin CT 06037-4036
Phone: +1 860-828-3000  |  Fax: (860) 357-2350  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Danbury/Bethel

11 Stony Hill Road, Bethel CT 06801-1055
Phone: +1 203-744-3200  |  Fax: (203) 744-3979  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Plus Fairfield Hotel

100 Kings Highway Cutoff, Fairfield CT 06824-5341
Phone: +1 203-659-2200  |  Fax: (203) 659-2208  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Olympic Inn

360 Route 12, Groton CT 06340-2930
Phone: +1 860-445-8000  |  Fax: (860) 449-9173  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Hartford Hotel & Suites

185 Brainard Road, Hartford CT 06114-2102
Phone: +1 860-525-1000  |  Fax: (860) 525-2990  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Storrs

123 Storrs Road, Mansfield Center CT 06250-1638
Phone: +1 860-423-8451  |  Fax: (860) 423-8452  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Plus North Haven Hotel

201 Washington Avenue, North Haven CT 06473-1305
Phone: +1 203-239-6700  |  Fax: (203) 239-1560  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Executive Hotel of New Haven-West Haven

490 Saw Mill Road, West Haven CT 06516-4044
Phone: +1 203-933-0344  |  Fax: (203) 937-1678  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

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