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National Parks of Connecticut

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 (Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine).

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.

Things to do in Appalachian National Scenic Trail: Hiking, Wildlife Viewing, Scenic Views

How to get to Appalachian National Scenic Trail: There are multiple access points along the trail. Many of which are driveable.

Where to Stay in Appalachian National Scenic Trail: Along the trail, there are numerous shelters and backcountry campgrounds. Hotels are available in towns along the trail.

Appalachian National Scenic Trail Entrance Fee: There is no entrance fee for the Appalachian Trail but the trail passes through numerous state and national parks, forests and public lands which may charge an entrance fee or have overnight permit fees.

Appalachian National Scenic Trail Official Website: Click Here

Map of Appalachian National Scenic Trail: Download

National Parks of Connecticut - Appalachian Trail

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.

Things to do in Weir Farm National Historic Site: Boating, camping, fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing

How to get to Weir Farm National Historic Site: Weir Farm is located at 735 Nod Hill Road, Wilton, CT 06897. The park is off Route 7.

Where to Stay in Weir Farm National Historic Site: There are plenty of lodging options in West Redding.

Weir Farm National Historic Site Entrance Fee: Free

Weir Farm National Historic Site Official Website: Click Here

Map of Weir Farm National Historic Site: Download

Weir Farm National Historic Site
National Park Service Photo

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.

Things to do in New England National Scenic Trail: Hiking, Rock Climbing

How to get to New England National Scenic Trail: There are multiple access points along the trail. Many of which are easily accessible from the road system.

Where to Stay in New England National Scenic Trail: There designated campsites along the trail. There are plenty of hotels

New England National Scenic Trail Entrance Fee: Free but some overnight sites have a suggested donation.

New England National Scenic Trail Official Website: Click Here

Map of New England National Scenic Trail: Download

New England National Scenic Trail
By EricshawwhiteOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

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.

Things to do in The Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor: Boating, camping, fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing

How to get to The Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor: There are no roads to Alagnak Wild River. Alagnak Wild River can only be reached via air taxi. Please check the list of authorized air taxis.

Where to Stay in AThe Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor: There only lodging in Alagnak is Alaska Trophy Adventure Lodge and Alagnak Wilderness Camps. There are several other wilderness lodges in the surrounding area. Lodging is available in King Salmon.

The Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor Entrance Fee: Free

The Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor Official Website: Click Here

Map of The Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor: Download

The Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor
Photo Credit – JJBers CC BY 2.0

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. Rhode Island sites include the Joy Homestead.

Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail passes through Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Washington D.C, and Virginia.

Things to do in Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail: Auto touring, bicycling, walking, historical tours, guided tours, museums

How to get to Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail: There are major airports all along the route.

Where to Stay in Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail: The trail follows major highways and lodging is located along the route.

Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail Entrance Fee: Free, but some of the federal, state, and privately managed buildings along the trail may have an entrance fee.

Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail Official Website: Click Here

Map of Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail: Download

By DaderotOwn work, Public Domain, Link

View all the National Park Service Sites in neighboring states:

Final Thoughs on CT National Park

Connecticut may only have two national parks but its parks are worth exploring. I hope you have enjoyed learning about the National Parks in Connecticut. If you need any advice on outdoor gear for your national park adventures check out these guides

If you are looking for advice on other types of outdoor gear specific guides:

Here are some other National Park gear you might like:

Pin for Later: National Park in Connecticut

Heading to Connecticut and want to visit its amazing national park: Weir Farm National Historic Site. Weir Farm is dedicated to visual arts. #findyourpark #nationalparkobsessed #connecticut

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