Mt Tom State Park
Litchfield, CT 06759
One of the oldest parks (1915), it bears the name of the mountain that sits within its perimeter. The stone tower atop is a hiker’s dream destination. The 1,325-foot summit yields memorable 360-degree views of Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts, especially in autumn. The park also offers lake swimming, boating, fishing and scuba diving. Enjoy a picnic before tackling the mile-long trail up to the summit.
33 Branford Road
North Branford, CT 06471
For over five centuries, the Rose family has farmed the land. The farm has changed its identity from orchard to dairy farm to orchard again. Offerings include vegetables, tomatoes, hanging baskets and bedding plants. Maple syrup, made onsite, is available for sale. The creamery serves soft frozen custard and the bakery is full of delicious-smelling goods. Rose Orchards’ mission is to expand into agri-tourism. It provides pure family fun in a beautiful environment in an authentic setting. There are animal-petting enclosures, a hay maze, scenic hayrides, a covered bridge and the surrounding woods.
Connecticut Antiques Trail
Woodbury, CT 06798
Connecticut is rich in history – from picturesque villages of fine 18th-century houses and ancient stonewalls surrounding inviting gardens, to museums and historic landmarks. This accounts for the intense interest in antiquing, not only among Nutmeggers, but antique-hunters from the surrounding states too. The Connecticut Antiques Trail winds from the old shoreline towns of Stonington and Essex to the gentle rolling hills of Litchfield County. The south end of the Trail crosses the sleepy hamlet of Woodbury. More than 35 shops exhibiting diverse wares are to be found here, along with great local restaurants, historic museums and gardens.
Merritt Parkway Foliage Drive
Since 1938, the Merritt Parkway has provided both a safe, pleasant commute to New York State and a beautiful scenic drive for pleasure, especially in the fall. Its southern limit is at the Hutchinson River Parkway in Rye Brook, NY. It undergoes different versions: from US 7 in Norwalk, Route 8 in Trumbull, to Route 15/Wilbur Cross Parkway to its northern border in Milford, CT. Verdant trees on either side and the central meridian boast indescribable color in the fall. This historic driveway is a National Scenic Byway, which traverses charming towns, centuries-old farms, quintessential New England history and culture and sophisticated, affluent urban centers.
Connecticut’s Barns Trail
Connecticut caters to every taste and interest. You can find guides, maps and areas to explore just about anything. The Connecticut Barns Trail is the newest. It focuses on spreading awareness and interest in these disappearing iconic symbols of a bygone way of life, when farming was the main way to earn a livelihood. Seven different trails around the state guide you on scenic drives past working farms offering fresh produce, orchards, wineries, guided tours of passing landmarks, exhibits and history. Each ultimately leads to a barn that is open to the public. The variety of barns is amazing and engenders knowledge and respect for the demanding life of a farmer.
Bina Joseph, a resident of Glastonbury, CT is a freelance writer covering all things travel-related in Connecticut.
A passionate veteran of the travel industry, Bina has visited more than 40 countries, giving her a unique, global perspective. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.