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.
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
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.