Best Places to Walk in Connecticut


Saint Marys By The Sea Bridgeport
Saint Marys By The Sea Bridgeport
Connecticut has a driving culture; but there are still a few places reserved for pedestrians only. Walking is a great activity for health and wellness, or just for filling the time. It can also be the main activity in a day trip - a reason to go out somewhere new. Usually, I write about hiking - which is a different activity altogether. A good walk is flat and easy - something anyone can do - even with a cane or in a wheelchair. Today, I've chosen ten of my favorite walks in The State. And, I've ranked them according to their walkability, amenities, and scenery. If you are looking for a great afternoon walk by the sea or in the woods try one of these out.


#1 Silver Sands State Park - Milford
 
Silver Sands State Park
Silver Sands State Park
County: New Haven
Amenities: Boardwalk, Portable Restrooms, Free Parking Lot, Picnic Areas, Beach

Silver Sands features a wide and beautifully constructed boardwalk which meanders along the shore of Long Island Sound between Silver Sands State Park and Walnut Beach in Milford. If you go at dead low tide you have the opportunity of hiking out to the thrice cursed island - Charles Island - along a tombolo which is submerged at high tide. The atmosphere here is perfect for an afternoon walk. And, it is long enough to get some real exercise. Free parking adds to the allure.


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#2 Great River Park - Hartford
 
County: Hartford
Amenities: Paved Path, Restrooms, Free Parking Lot, Picnic Areas, Fishing Pier, Boat Dock, Amphitheater

Great River Park has everything I am looking for in a walking trail. I haven't written an article about this park yet because I didn't take any photos. But, I'll go back to capture it. It is a serene setting and well constructed with wide pathways.  

LINK TO GREAT RIVER PARK WEBSITE



#3 Bluff Point State Park - Groton
Bluff Point State Park
Bluff Point State Park
County: New London
Amenities: Crushed Stone Roads, Portable Restrooms, Free Parking Lot, Picnic Areas, Beach

Bluff Point's roads crisscross through a state park that has a location hard to beat. Mainly used as a dog walking area, the park also features a nice beach ... but you'll have to walk there. There are some hills to walk up, but they are gentle and wide.

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#4 Harbor Point & Kosciuszco Park - Stamford
 
Harbor Point in Stamford
Harbor Point in Stamford
County: Fairfield
Amenities: Boardwalk and Crushed Stone Roads, Restrooms, Free Parking Lot, Picnic Areas, Retail and Restaurants, Free Water Taxi

Harbor Point is a new development in Stamford alongside a harbor and shoreline. As part of the deal to build luxury apartments the developer created an impressive public boardwalk. You can stop and linger with a beer at the outdoor beer garden. Or walk right up to luxury sailboats docked at their slips. The walk continues in the adjacent Kosciuszco Park which encompasses a peninsula in the busy Stamford harbor. Stamford has really connected the dots here. Retail adds alot to the boardwalk experience.

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#5 The Farmington River Trail - Unionville
 
Farmington River Trail
Farmington River Trail
County: Hartford
Amenities: Paved Path, Restrooms, Free Parking Lots

Such great scenery that it has been preserved as a National Scenic Waterway. This trail is primarily a bike trail - but that depends on who you ask. Walkers often outnumber bikes. The paved trail is wide enough to accommodate everyone, and there is plenty of grassy shoulder on each side of the path. My favorite section for walking is between Unionville and Collinsville along Route 4.



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#6 Saint Mary's By The Sea - Bridgeport
 
Saint Marys by The Sea Bridgeport
Saint Marys by The Sea Bridgeport
County:Fairfield
Amenities: Paved Path

Don't count Bridgeport out. This walking path is safe and clean. It offers superb views of Long Island Sound and 3 lighthouses. The path is for walkers only - no bikes. If you walk the  full distance it is a couple of mile one way. You can't park here if you are not a resident and have a paid parking sticker. Come on Bridgeport! Wake up! - getting people into your city for recreation could change your tarnished image. I digress. For out-of-towners try parking on Balmforth Street.

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#7 White Memorial Foundation - Litchfield
White Memorial Foundation
White Memorial Foundation
County:Litchfield
Amenities: Crushed Stone Roads, Restrooms, Nature Center, Free Parking Lots

White Memorial Foundation offers flat, wide, and  easy walking trails that traverse thousands of acres of pristine wetlands and forests. There are numerous parking lots to access different sections of trail. A day trip into Litchfield is always wonderful, add a walk at White Memorial Foundation and it will be great. You'll share the trail with bikes and horseback riders. 

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#8 Savin Rock Boardwalk - West Haven 
 
Savin Rock West Haven
Savin Rock West Haven
County:New Haven
Amenities: Paved Path, Restrooms, Beach, Parks

Savin Rock was formerly an amusement park and the whole shoreline of West Haven a tourist destination. Some few vestiges of those days remain. But, most of the waterfront has been turned into public beaches and parks with a linear pedestrian trail connecting them. You can't park here if you are not a resident and have a paid sticker. Dumb! But, I can recommend parking at the Skate Park or at the High School nearby. 

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#9 Pequonnock River Valley Greenway - Trumbull 
 
Pequonnock River Greenway - Trumbull
Pequonnock River Greenway - Trumbull
County:Fairfield
Amenities: Crushed Stone Path, Free Parking Lots

The portion of the Pequonnock River Valley Greenway that travels through Trumbull makes for fine walking. It is flat and easy. The trail is meant for bikes, but walkers and runners far outnumber the bikers. That doesn't mean that you should walk four abreast and take up the whole trail. But, bikers are very aware of walkers on this trail. You can hike from park to park and all the way to Newtown if you wish. 

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#10 Putnam Memorial Park & Huntington State Park - Redding
 
Putnam Memorial Park
Putnam Memorial Park
County:Fairfield
Amenities: Crushed Stone Roads, Restrooms, Picnic Areas, Museum, Welcome Center, History, Free Parking Lots

I group Putnam Memorial and Huntington State Parks together since they are neighbors. You will have an easy time walking at both. Restrooms at Huntington are pits and infrequent. There are several nice ponds to walk around at both. These are popular dog walking parks and some people let their dogs off the leash - what can I say - you've gotta love the negligently self absorbed people of Fairfield County. Also, there is horseback riding at Huntington Park, and cars can drive on the crushed stone roads at Putnam, but rarely do.

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