Guide to Connecticut State Parks
Dinosaur Tracks | Swimming & Beaches | Gardens | Farms | Hiking | Scenic Views | Cross Country Skiing | Nature Watching | Bird Watching + Find Campgrounds near Connecticut State Parks
Dinosaur State Park
The largest dinosaur track site in North America was discovered at this location. Visitors can see the displays of early Jurassic fossil tracks made 200 million years ago within the geodesic dome. After viewing the dinosaur tracks, visitors can enjoy over 200 miles of trails as well as a fantastic arboretum. The Dinosaur State Arboretum has more than 250 species of plants, including some living representatives of plant families that existed during the time of the dinosaurs.
Gillette Castle State Park
Located on 184 acres in the southern region of the state. The estate is located along the Connecticut River and visitors will be delighted with the amazing medieval castle on the estate. The castle was built by the notable actor William Hooker Gillette, best known for his performance as the original Sherlock Holmes. The mansion, which on the outside resembles a medieval castle, was built from the local stone. The interior is filled with unique and amazing woodwork created by the local craftsmen. Visitors will find that none of the many doors throughout the mansion are exactly alike, and there are even built in couches, a movable table on tracks and more.
Hammonasset Beach State Park
Hammonasset Beach State Park has the largest shoreline of any park in Connecticut. The park is located on the Long Island Sound. Visitors will find that the park has a wonderful white sandy beach. While visiting Hammonasset Beach travelers should be sure to enjoy some swimming, as well as camping and more.
Harkness Memorial State Park
This State Park was once the Harkness Estate. Visitors to the park will enjoy exploring the mansion. One of the most interesting parts of the park are the formal gardens. These gardens were designed by Beatrix Ferrand, it is one of only three of these designs left. While visiting the park travelers can take tours of the mansion as well as enjoy some fishing and much more.
Mohawk State Forest
This northwestern Connecticut forest is a wonderful destination for visitors and residents alike. The forest is beautiful and offers a wide range of activities. Mohawk State Forest is especially good for winter sports, including cross country skiing and snowmobiling.
Osbornedale State Park
Osbornedale State Park is a beautiful state park, it is located in the Naugatuck Valley. When visiting the park travelers will learn that the land was once owned by the Osborne family. The park grounds include the farmhouse, which is a museum, as well as the gardens and more. While visiting the park travelers can enjoy the programs and more.
Pachaug State Forest
Pachaug State Forest is the larges in the state. Within the forest there are many trails, which are great for hiking. Especially the trail that extends over Mount Misery. This park has a few interesting features, including a cedar swamp and rhododendron sanctuary. Visitors should be sure to visit the rhododendrons. In addition to hiking travelers can enjoy some boating, mountain biking, camping and more.
Peoples State Forest
Located in the Pleasant Valley this forest has a wide variety of ecosystems within it. Visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy evergreen forest, wetlands, streams and more. In addition there are a few historic sites within the forest, including the Barkhamsted Lighthouse Site. Visitors should be sure to enjoy some nature watching while enjoying this park. The People State Forest also offers great winter activities, including cross country skiing.
Sleeping Giant State Park
Sleeping Giant State Park gets it's name from the shape of the mountaintop that resembles a sleeping giant. This park is also a wonderful destination for recreation, including fishing and camping. The park also has a lookout tower and is also a wonderful destination for nature watching and scenic viewing.
Talcott Mountain State Park
This park features the Heublein Tower on top of Talcott Mountain. Visitors can learn about how the park was built by the Talcott family. From this park visitors can see a wide range of amazing views. In addition the park is a good spot for wildlife viewing. The park is a great spot for hiking, while hiking visitors can see wildlife and birds.