6 Parks Kids Will Love Last Updated 7/18

When it comes to places for kids to get out and enjoy, don’t forget about Connecticut’s state parks! The first park was established in 1913 and today there are more than 100 parks and forests in the system, many with unique features that kids will love. Below are some examples.

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Sleeping Giant State Park, Hamden

As you take in the views from the stone tower at the top, consider you are located on the hip of what for all the world looks like a…sleeping giant. The park offers an impressive network of hiking trails, ranging from expert to nearly child-proof. Please note: due to storms this state experienced this past spring, this park is closed until further notice.

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Dinosaur State Park, Rocky Hill

A state park located where dinosaurs once roamed the earth? Really? Here you’ll find the fossilized footprints of the giant lizards that crisscrossed the Connecticut River Valley 200 million years ago. Kids can make plaster-of-paris casts of actual dino footprints to take home.

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Gillette Castle State Park, East Haddam

The centerpiece of this magnificent location high above the Connecticut River is a really weird house built by 19th-century actor William Gillette (known chiefly for his role as Sherlock Holmes). His “castle” is well worth touring, but be sure to bring a picnic to enjoy on the extensive grounds.

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Kent Falls State Park, Kent

One of the best hikes in Connecticut runs along this 250-foot waterfall, plunging a quarter-mile down through a thick forest.

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Talcott Mountain State Park, Simsbury

As you take in the view from Heublein Tower, be sure to take in the tower itself, in its day one of the most unusual and spectacular summer houses in Connecticut. Views from the 165-foot tower stretch from Mt. Tom in Massachusetts to Sleeping Giant to the south.

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Hammonasset Beach State Park, Madison

At over 2 miles in length, this is Connecticut’s longest beach and its most-attended state park. There are campsites, a nature center, a network of trails and, oh yes, swimming in Long Island Sound.