Connecticut State Outdoors

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State Parks
Camping and Hiking
Hunting and Fishing
Other Outdoor activities

Connecticut State Parks

Bigelow Hollow State Park
A scenic, natural setting provides a nice location for a day trip or escape. The Park provides access to two popular trout ponds: Bigelow Pond and Lake Mashapaug. The clear waters of these placid lakes reflect the overall beauty of the area. Activities: Picnicking, Fishing, Hiking, Boating, Scuba Diving, Mountain Biking. For information call: (860)424-3200


Chatfield Hollow State Park
The Park is situated in a heavily wooded hollow where natural caves and rocky ledges once provided shelter for Indians. Schreeder Pond, built in the 1930's by the C.C.C. dominates the developed portions of the Park. The adjoining Cockaponset State Forest is a natural extension of the Chatfield Hiking Trail System. Activities: Picnicking, Pond and Stream Fishing, Swimming, Hiking, (H) Field Sports, Ice Skating. For information call: (860)424-3200


Devils Hopyard State Park
Devil's Hopyard's primary focal point is Chapman Falls whose water tumbles over the rocky escarpment more than sixty feet. The water from the splash pool at the base of the falls, continuing as the Eight Mile River, flows through the hemlock canopied picnic area, providing a tranquil setting for a family outing. No less than half a dozen myths surround the name of this Park. The numerous potholes at the base of the falls are the basis for one tale which suggests that these formations were the result of the Devil hopping from ledge to ledge in order not to get wet. The cylindrical holes were "burned" into the rock by the "hot hoofs." Activities: Picnicking, Camping (21 sites), Stream Fishing, Hiking, Mountain Biking. For information call: (860)424-3200


Haddam Meadows State Park
This large meadow is situated in the Connecticut River flood plain. An access road loops around the entire area to provide access to both the meadow and the Connecticut River. Field Sports are popular here during the summer months. Activities: Picnicking, Fishing, Field Sports, Boating, Cross-Country Skiing, Mountain Biking. For information call: (860)424-3200


Mashamoquet Brook State Park
The present Park was formed by combining three parks: Mashamoquet Brook, Wolf Den, and Saptree Run. An interesting trail system provides access to the various areas and features of the Park. The most famous of the Park features is the Wolf Den into which, on a night in 1742, Israel Putnam crept and shot a wolf which for years had preyed upon local sheep and poultry. This same Israel Putnam was later to gain fame as a Major General in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. Near the Den are the Table Rock and Indian chair stone formations. Activities: Picnicking, Fishing, Swimming, Field Sports, Camping (Mashamoquet Brook - 20 sites) (Wolf Den - 35 sites), Flush Toilets, Nature Trail, Youth Group Camping. For information call: (860)424-3200


Camping and Hiking in Connecticut

Burr Pond State Park
Burr Pond, site of Borden's first condensed milk factory in the U.S., is nestled in the northern Connecticut hills. A scenic path encircles the 88-acre pond contained in the Park. Activities: Picnicking, Pond Fishing, Swimming, Hiking, Camping (40 sites at Taylor Brook), Boating, Cross-Country Skiing, Ice Skating, Mountain Biking. For information call: (860)424-3200


Dinosaur State Park
The geodesic dome exhibit center encloses an exposure of rock which bears about 500 tracks made by dinosaurs of the Jurassic Period (185 million years ago) and other interpretive exhibits. Casts may be made of some of the tracks; each cast requires 10 pounds of plaster and 1/4 cup cooking oil. Bring rags to clean up your hands and arms. The Park is open 7 day a week from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The exhibit center is open Tuesday-Sunday. Both are closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. Trails are open 9a.m. to 4:00p.m. Activities: (H) Interpretive Program, (H) Picnicking, Nature Trail, Limited Cross-Country Skiing, Hiking, (H) Exhibit Center, (H) Field Sports. For information call: (860)424-3200


Gay City State Park
The Park centers about the remains of an 18th century, abandoned mill village. Stone foundations of mills, water ditches, and houses can be seen along wooded roads. The Park adjoins Meshomasic State Forest. Activities: (H) Picnicking, Swimming, Hiking, Interpretive Trail, (H) Field Sports, Fishing, Youth Group Camping, Cross-Country Skiing, Ice Skating, Historic Site, Mountain Biking. For information call: (860)424-3200


Kettletown State Park
When settlers first arrived in this portion of the State, they purchased a large tract of land from the Indians for the consideration of one brass kettle. The name Kettletown, given to this area at that time still endures and all of the present State Park lies within the boundaries of the original purchase. The Park extends for about two miles along the east shore of Lake Zoar. A recently constructed handicapped accessible nature trail is a popular attraction. Activities: Camping (72 sites), Youth Group Camping, Fishing, Hiking, Nature Trail, Field Sports, Swimming, Camper Nature Program, Picnicking. For information call: (860)424-3200


Macedonia Brook State Park
Macedonia Brook became the property of the State in 1918 through a gift from the White Memorial Foundation in Litchfield. Two peaks within the Park are near 1,400 feet in elevation and offer outstanding views of the Catskills and Taconic mountains. Numerous springs and streams create a pleasurable experience for the nature oriented recreation seeker. Activities: Stream Fishing, Camping (80 sites), Hiking, Picnicking, Field Sports, Cross-Country Skiing, Historic Area, Mountain Biking. For information call: (860)424-3200


Hunting and Fishing in Connecticut

Black Rock State Park
The name "Black Rock" is derived from the local graphite deposits which the early settlers of the Naugatuck Valley were allowed to mine by the resident Indians. Visitors can enjoy the scenery of the Western Highlands while hiking the blue-blazed Mattatuck Trail which connects the Park to the woodland sections of the Mattatuck State Forest. Activities: Picnicking, Camping (96 sites), Swimming, Pond and Stream Fishing, Hiking, (H) Field Sports, Cross-Country Skiing, Ice Skating, Camper Nature-Program. For information call: (860)424-3200


Hammonasset Beach State Park
Connecticut's largest public beach facility provides visitors with two miles of white sandy beach and excellent saltwater swimming. Activities: Camping (558 sites), Picnicking, Saltwater Fishing, Swimming, Scuba Diving, Hiking, Interpretive Program, Nature Center, Open Fields, Boating, Mountain Biking, Roller Blading. For information call: (860)424-3200


Kent Falls State Park
Kent Falls, a 295 acre gift from the White Memorial Foundation, is perhaps one of the most scenic facilities in the state park system. The cascading waterfall draws thousands of visitors each year especially during the spring and fall. The Falls are a draw for both amateur and professional photographers. They have been pictured in numerous magazine advertisements and have appeared in the T.V. soap opera "Guiding Light". The staired pathway adjacent to the Falls provides views of all levels of the cascade. Activities: Picnicking, Freshwater Fishing, Hiking, Scenic Vista, Field Sports. For information call: (860)424-3200


Mt. Tom State Park
Mt. Tom is one of the oldest parks in the state park system; it is named for the mountain within its boundaries. There is a stone tower on top of the mountain which is a favored destination among hikers. The summit of Mt. Tom is 1325 feet above sea level, 125 feet higher than its Massachusetts counterpart. The tower trail is about a mile long and rises some 500 feet. Activities: Swimming, Hiking, Picnicking, Lookout Tower, Fishing, Ice Skating, Boating (non-motor), Scuba Diving. For information call: (860)424-3200


Rocky Neck State Park
One mile of beach frontage on Long Island Sound provides one of Connecticut's finest saltwater bathing beaches. Activities: Saltwater Fishing, Scuba Diving, Swimming, Hiking, Picnicking, Camping (160 sites), Field Sports, Cross-Country Skiing, Camper Nature Program, Interpretive Program, Mountain Biking, Roller Blading. For information call: (860)424-3200


Other Connecticut Outdoor activities

Connecticut also offers the following outdoor activities:
  • Bicycling
  • Boating
  • Climbing
  • Cross Country Skiing
  • Golf
  • Horseback Riding
  • Ice Skating
  • In-line Skating
  • Mountain Biking
  • Scuba Diving
  • Skiing