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Connecticut is the third smallest state by land area yet has the 29th largest population. The state is within the Northeast Region. The state is nicknamed the “Constitution State” for its role in developing the federal government. The state has an important maritime history. It’s national park service sites related to art and nature. There are currently two National Park Service Site in Connecticut and 3 associated sites.
Official National Parks of Connecticut
- Appalachian National Scenic Trail
- Weir Farm National Historic Site
Associated sites of Connecticut
- New England National Scenic Trail
- The Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor
- Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail
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Map of National Parks in Connecticut
Connecticut National Parks
Appalachian National Scenic Trail
Depending on where you are from, the Appalachian National Scenic Trail either starts in Mount Katahdin, Maine and ends in Springer Mountain, Georgia or starts in Springer Mountain, Georgia and ends in Katahdin, Maine. The Appalachian Trail is 2,181 miles long and passes through 14 states.
There are 51.6 miles of trail in the state of Connecticut. This section of trail runs along the western ridges of Housatonic River Valley. The trail will climb to the summit of the 2,326 ft high Bear Mountain before entering Massachusetts.
Every year several thousand people attempt to thru-hike the trail. Tens of thousands of people will hike sections of the trail each year. The trail was officially completed in 1937 but the improvement has been ongoing since then. The trail is maintained by 31 different trail clubs and other partnerships.
Weir Farm National Historic Site
This small historic site is located in Wilton and Ridgefield, Connecticut. The site was a rural retreat for Julian Alden Weir. Weir was an American Impressionist in the late 1800s. He purchased the farm for $10 and a painting. Here Weir painted the surrounding landscapes and hosted a large selection of famed artists. After Weir’s death, his daughter Dorothy and her sculptor husband Mahonri Young added an art studio.
In 1990, the 60 acres of the farm was acquired by the National Park Service and is one of two NPS sites dedicated to visual artists. The other is Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park in New Hampshire.
The site maintains a summer artist-in-residence program where professional artists are invited to stay for a month and create art as Weir did. The park runs a summer “Take Part in Art” Program where park guests are encouraged to create art while visiting. You are welcome to bring your own supplies or borrow a set from the Visitor Center. Colored pencils, pastels, and paper are offered from Wednesday to Sunday, and watercolor paints are available on Saturdays and Sundays from May to October.
New England National Scenic Trail
The New England National Scenic Trail is a 215-mile trail from Long Island Sound across the mountain ridges of Connecticut and Massachusetts. Approximately 115 miles of the trail is located in Connecticut. The trail is made of parts of the Metacomet-Monadnock Trail, Mattabesett Trail, and the Metacomet Trail. The New England trail is sometimes called the Triple M Trail. The trail starts at 0 ft in elevation and will reach its highest point at the summit of Mount Grace at 1,617 ft.
The New England National Scenic Trail is administered by the National Park Service and managed by the Connecticut Forest and Park Association and Appalachian Mountain Club. The trail was officially designated in 2009.
The Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor
On a drive from Washington DC, to Boston, Massachusetts, you will see lots of buildings and towns. That is until you get into the northeast corner of Connecticut. This area is known as The Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor. This 1,100 square mile area is 77% rolling New England upland intermixed with coastal forests. Much of the area is split between farmland, state forests and a wildlife sanctuary. The region has the darkest skies between Boston and DC making for decent star gazing.
The Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor was created in the 1980s to help stem the over the development of the land. Today the area includes sites such as the Edward Waldo House, Clara Barton Birthplace Museum, and the Connecticut Eastern Railroad Museum.
Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail
Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail is a 680-mile long Historical Trail. The trail is sometimes known as the Washington–Rochambeau Revolutionary Route. The route follows the road used by George Washington’s Continental Army and Jean-Baptiste de Rochambeau’s Expédition Particulière took on their way from Newport, Rode Island to Yorktown, Virginia. Yorktown was the final battle of the American Revolutionary War.
Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail is primary an auto trail. While the route forces on the march to Yorktown, the trail passes thru or near many other important revolutionary war sites. Connecticut sites include the Lebanon Green.
Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail passes through Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Washington D.C, and Virginia.