Get Out Into the World: Stay Safe & Visit Connecticut’s Best Park

Visit Connecticut’s Local Parks & Enjoy the Nice Weather

Summer is approaching, which means warmer weather is on the horizon. In addition, state parks are starting to reopen, as stay at home orders are starting to ease up. This means there’s great opportunities to visit some of the fantastic parks Connecticut has to offer.

Below we’ve highlighted our recommendations for the best parks in the state. We’ve also included some tips for how to keep safe while you’re out and about.

Sleeping Giant State Park

Stone Building at Sleeping Giant State Park
Source: Yelp

As one of the historical sites of Hamden, CT, the Sleeping Giant State Park is among the best places to visit in the state. The park’s two miles of mountaintops make it one of the standout destinations of the region. Lots of people come out to take the lookout tour and check out the beautiful view of Connecticut’s skyline.

Sleeping Giant also has many nature trails, and they are perfect for checking out the local wildlife. A nine-hole public golf course can also be found at the base of the park’s mountain line. This park is one of the most famous sites in the state, making it an excellent place to visit when you have downtime.

Hammonasset Beach State Park

Sunny Waterfront With Yellow Flowers at Hammonasset
Source: Yelp

Located in Madison, CT, Hammonasset Beach State Park is known for being Connecticut’s largest shoreline park. During the summer, lots of people come out to swim and surf out in the pristine ocean. If you’re simply looking to unwind, you can take a nice stroll down the park’s boardwalk.

Want to try your hand at kayaking or canoeing? The park also has a car-top boat launch for visitors to use. There are also mountain bike trails in the surrounding area, so bring your bike with you! Finally, you can visit the Meigs Point Nature Center and learn about local aquatic animals.

Gillette Castle State Park

Titular Stone Castle of Gillette Castle State Park
Source: Yelp

Gillette Castle State Park is located on the edge of both Lyme and East Haddam in Connecticut. The titular castle appears to be old-fashioned at first glance, but inside you will find a robust interior design. Beautiful built-in couches and woodcarvings adorn the inside of the castle, making it a sight to behold for visitors.

Hiking trails and picnic spots are available to use around the park. Also, there are several restaurants in the local area, including La Vita, so feel free to grab a bite to eat on your way over. If you’re looking to go camping with the family, riverside camping spots are available for use.

Penwood State Park

Wooden Pier at Penwood Park, During Day
Source: Yelp

Bloomfield’s Penwood State Park lies around the Connecticut River Valley. This 800-acre park houses robust trail system, making it a great destination for those looking to get some exercise. Several natural wonders, including a waterfall, can be observed as you walk along the trail.

Paved roads also extend around the park, and are perfect for biking trips. When you need to get some fresh air, Penwood State Park is a great place to spend the day.

Talcott Mountain State Park

Stone Building & Path at Talcott Park in Simsbury
Source: Yelp

Talcott Mountain State Park is a popular destination for residents of Simsbury, CT. The park has two hiking trails, the Tower Trail and the Metacomet Trail. Both of these offer

amazing views of the surrounding Connecticut area. There are also picnic areas, so you can have a quick bite to eat before you head up the trails.

Atop the mountain trail is the Heublein Tower, which serves as a historic home and museum. By heading to the top of the tower, you can get a look at the best look at the vistas the park has to offer.

Harkness Memorial State Park

Harkness State Park in Waterford, CT
Source: Yelp

Have an interest in plant life? You should make a trip to the Harkness Memorial State Park, located in scenic Waterford, CT.

The park is home to the gorgeous estate of the Harkness family, Eolia Manor. The mansion overlooks an extensive collection of gardens and offers many architectural wonders. Starting in November 1996, a massive restoration project commenced to bring the mansion and gardens back to their former glory. $3.8 million were spent to complete this project.

Besides the gardens, the park also has a few picnic spots and has plenty of locations that are ideal for fishing. During the summer, tours of the mansion are available on weekends, allowing you to get a firsthand look at the classic design work.

Social Distancing at the Parks

While the parks have opened to the public again, it’s important that you keep social distancing.

Whenever you go out to the parks, always remember to bring some masks for everyone in your group. Make sure you stay 6 feet apart from other groups that are visiting. If you need to pass some people while walking down a trail, call out to them so they can step to the side.

Bring a carry-on bag with you, and take some disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizers and even some extra masks. If you’re feeling sick, or if you display any of the symptoms associated with COVID-19, please stay home for your own safety.

Thanks to its large collection of parks, Connecticut is a wonderful place to live. We invite you to look through our local apartment communities if you’re interested in moving here.