The Best National Parks in Connecticut

There are five National Park Services in Connecticut, although, though are no National Parks in the state. The national park services are comprised of two National Scenic Trails, and a National Historic Trail. There are also two National Historical Parks. So, if you are into hiking and history, you are in for a treat when you visit The Constitution State. Ready to explore the inspiring historic sites and stunning scenery? If so, here are some of the best National Parks in Connecticut.

The Best National Parks in Connecticut

1. Coltsville – National Historical Park

Samuel Colt was one of America’s early innovators in precision manufacturing and firearm production. He started his Hartford factory on the banks of the Connecticut River in 1847. Today, the Coltsville National Historial Park encompasses and preserves sites of importance, for example, the factory, worker housing, and owner residences. On a self-guided walking tour, you can visit eleven different sites that tell the history and stories of Samuel Colt and his wife, Elizabeth Hart Jarvis Colt, for example, the Samuel Colt Monument and Colt Park.

2. Weir Farm – National Historical Park

Weir Farm is the home and studio of American impressionist painter, Julian Alden Weir. He was a member of the Cos Cob art colony – a group of artists who in the summer months, from about 1890 to about 1920, would gather in and around the Cos Cob neighbourhood of Greenwich in Connecticut. Weir Farm National Historical Park is located in Ridgefield and Wilton, nestled amongst painterly woods, fields, and waterways, and when you visit, you’ll understand why Weir described it as a “Great Good Place.”

3. New England – National Scenic Trail

The New England National Scenic Trail is located in central Connecticut and western Massachusetts. It covers 215 miles from Long Island Sound, located in Guildford’s Chittenden Park, to Royalston in the mountains of Massachusetts. As you hike, you’ll cross long ridges, summit mountains and enjoy panoramic views of the beautiful natural and cultural landscape of New England. For example, you’ll take in traprock ridges, historic villages, farmlands, forests, steep valleys, waterfalls, and river crossings. Some 110 miles (177km) of the New England Trail crosses Connecticut. Here, the trail takes you through lots of scenic places, for example, Chittenden Park, Timberland Preserve, and Penwood State Park.

By Sage Ross – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

4. Appalachian – National Scenic Trail

Stretching between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Mount Katahdin in Maine, the Appalachian Trail is the longest hiking-only footpath in the world. Due to rerouting and modifying, the trail’s length varies from time to time but it is roughly 2,200-miles (3,500km). The scenic trail crosses “wooded, pastoral, wild, and culturally resonant lands of the Appalachian Mountains.” Approximately three million people visit the Appalachian Trail every year. Some 3,000 people a year attempt a thru-hike. Those who manage to complete the entire Appalachian Trail in one go become 2,000-milers. Some 52 miles (84km) of the Appalachian Trail crosses Connecticut. Here, the trail follows the ridges to the west of the Housatonic River Valley and to the east of the Taconic Mountains. In Connecticut, there are lots of interesting along the trail, for instance, Ten Mile Hill, Great Falls, Lions Head and Bear Mountain.

By J. G. Coleman – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

5. Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route – National Historic Trail

The 680-mile (1,090km) Washington–Rochambeau Revolutionary Route commemorates the journey the Continental Army made in 1781. This journey saw French and American troops, under the command of George Washington and Jean-Baptiste de Rochambeau, march for 14 weeks from Newport in Rhode Island, to Yorktown in Virginia. 4,000 French and 3,000 American soldiers marched, as a result, this became the largest troop movement of the American Revolution. It was this effort and cooperation between America and France that led to victory at Yorktown and therefore secured American independence. Connecticut makes up one-fifth of the route, which is more than any other state. Along the route in Connecticut, you can visit Lebanon Green which provided winter quarters for some of the hussars of Lauzun’s Legion from November 1780 until June 1781.

Melanie May

Melanie is an intrepid solo traveller, endlessly curious about people, places and food. She is a fan of slow travel and loves exploring the world by mouth, discovering a culture through its food. Having backpacked her way around the world she turned her wanderlust into a career and is now a full-time travel writer.

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