river and rocks in CT

5 of the Most Beautiful State Parks in Connecticut to Visit

There are an astounding 139 state parks in Connecticut.

Whether you’re looking for a gentle walk, a strenuous hike, or a history lesson, each of these parks has something unique to offer. With so many parks and forests statewide, there’s bound to be an outdoor spot near you (or a day’s drive away).

Are you new to the area and looking for a fun way to explore? Spring is coming, and outdoor weather is on the way. Pack a day backpack with snacks and water, put your dog on a leash, and go into the woods!

1. Talcott Mountain State Park

This beautiful park located in Hartford County offers fantastic sightseeing.

It’s home to the 165-foot Heublein Tower, which provides 360-degree views. The tower used to be a summer home for a wealthy Hartford family. Now, it’s a historic site—its base has a small museum full of local history.

To get to the tower, take a scenic 1.25-mile hike.

2. Elizabeth Park Rose Garden

This gorgeous garden in West Hartford is a must-visit for flora and fauna lovers.

The conservancy has over one hundred acres of lush gardens, greenery, and walking loops. This is a beautiful spot for those who enjoy taking photos.

While here, you can have some lunch at the Pond House Café or enjoy their many rec facilities.

3. Nepaug State Forest

New Hartford is home to this sprawling state forest.

The forest has a moderately-trafficked 1.7-mile trail for you to enjoy and where you’ll see wildflowers galore. The path is most fun from March through October, where the scenery can be appropriately appreciated.

The forest also has a spacious camping area, so consider a backpacking and overnight trip.

4. Penwood State Park

This state park is located in an awe-inspiring area, right atop the northern part of the Talcott Mountain Range.

The 800-acre park hosts many trails that were built by Curtis H. Veeder (the park’s sponsor) and his wife, who were avid hikers. Here, too, you’ll find many types of wildflowers, from bloodroot to trillium, and you may even spot a bald eagle.

It’s referred to as a four-season park, as it can be enjoyed in all types of weather.

5. Stratton Brook State Park

This is perhaps one of the better-known small state parks, likely because of its proximity to the Hartford metropolitan area.

The park features an impressive bike trail that’s shaded by white pines and located over scenic babbling brooks. Here, you can bike, fish, swim, and picnic all spring long. It’s even a designated trout park.

This was also Connecticut’s first-ever fully wheelchair-accessible park.

Bucket List Goal: Visit These State Parks in Connecticut

You’re living in a beautiful place, so why not get out and enjoy it? Getting outside for some fresh air or a stroll can make adjusting to your new home fun and special.

These are some of the many state parks in Connecticut. We hope you get to explore them all.

Keep the stress-free vibes going by hosting a friends and family housewarming party at your new place! Check out this post on how to host a grand one.