As the weather FINALLY begins to warm up (please, thermometer, keep climbing!) and the trees and flowers begin to bloom, you really can’t help but get excited about being outside in comfortable weather once again. It sure was a long and grueling winter by pretty much anyone’s standards, and the green grass and milder temperatures are a long-awaited welcome – at least in our book!
Chances are you like doing something outside when the temperature is warm, so today we’ve found some great spots- specifically here in the Nutmeg state- that are great options for an afternoon or weekend adventure. The best part is that all of these are child friendly, so you don’t have to worry about finding a babysitter or anything like that.
First, we’d like to start off with some great parks here in Connecticut that are just begging to have us come visit for a picnic, flag football game, or a simple early afternoon stroll:
1. Bushnell Park: Literally, this is right in downtown Hartford, across from the state capital building. There is plenty of space for a host of activities, but it’s perhaps best known for the famous carousel that dates back to the turn of the 20th century!
2. Dinosaur State Park: This place is especially geared toward the little ones, so if you’re looking from something to do with them during summer vacation, here’s a good starting point. This place has fossil tracks, interactive displays, and a host of other activities that will have the kids entertained for hours. Here’s a really cool fact, in my opinion- – Dinosaur State Park’s 200-million-year-old sandstone trackway is a registered natural landmark!
3. Gillette Castle State Park: Yep, this really is A CASTLE! It was designed by its owner – William Gillette, who’s perhaps best known for his stage role as the great Sherlock Holmes! Aside from the castle though, there is also a museum, picnic areas and hiking trails.
Speaking of hiking… there are some GREAT hiking trails and lookout points in this great state, so let’s take a look at a few of those:
4. Mount Tom State Park: If you chose here for your afternoon hike, you surely will not be disappointed! If you really want to challenge yourself, take the steep climb to the tower which stands over thirty itself and provides magnificent vistas for its visitors!
5. Heublein Tower: Many call this place the jewel of Simsbury, since it’s another turn of the century structure that caps the eight hundred foot Talcott Mountain…like right out of a European medieval tale!
If flowers are more your speed, then you’re really in luck, especially living in Stafford Springs, because right up Buckley highway is the state Mountain Laurel Sanctuary! When these flowers are in bloom, there really is nothing more beautiful!
But if you’re a water freak, and love to kayak or canoe, then have no fear, because there are a handful of lakes, rivers, and streams in the 860 and 203 that you can explore! Here are two that I’ve found to be really great:
6. Essex Canoe Trail: Covering three river coves of the Connecticut River, they provide calm paddling zones that provide great sights for those in the boat. If you want more of a challenge, then head into the CT River itself, but just make sure you can handle it because the current will become far stronger and more challenging, especially during this time of the year.
7: Old Lyme Kayak Trail: This hidden gem will take your boat behind Great Island and Griswold Point. Once there, it’s up to you whether you want to do the southern or northern trails… this can be the difference in almost two hours of your time- the latter choice being a far longer excursion.
We hope this list gets your outdoor adventure juices flowing, and that you enjoy this warmer weather! We know we want to spend as much time as possible outside, and ESPECIALLY don’t want to see snow for a LONG TIME!
This article was provided by Paradiso Financial & Insurance Services.