A couple of years ago we put together a list of all of the walking/jogging/hiking trails we had visited. Well, when we published that list we got soooooo many new suggestions from readers about places we needed to check out (the phrase “take a hike” was truly a positive comment!). And since then we have covered a lot more ground (pun intended!). So it seems like an updated list is definitely in order. And since spring is the perfect time of year to enjoy the outdoors with a lovely hike or leisurely stroll (pay no attention to the snow in the forecast!), today I bring you the latest and greatest edition of “Out and About Mom’s Trail Guide.”
Penwood State Park–Penwood State Park boasts beautiful trails including two paved and stroller-friendly paths. The kids will love checking out all the wildlife including birds, bugs, chipmunks and more. And everyone will love the gorgeous views. (Bloomfield) FREE
The Farmington Canal Heritage Trail–The Farmington Canal Heritage Trail runs from New Haven, Connecticut into Massachusetts. It covers over 56 miles of paved pathways in Connecticut and over 20 miles of pathways in Massachusetts. And we think it makes the perfect place for a family bike ride. (Multiple access points; we chose Avon) FREE
Wadsworth Falls State Park–Take a short, kid-friendly walk to the beautiful Wadsworth Falls. There is lots to explore plus a viewing area atop the falls. And if you want to get even more wet, there’s a swimming area there too. (Middletown) Trails are FREE; Swimming is FREE on weekdays
Air Line State Park Trail–The Air Line State Park Trail is 50 miles long and winds its way through the eastern part of Connecticut. Part of the “Rails to Trails” initiative, this path was once the site of a bustling railroad line. It’s stroller-friendly, and there are many convenient access points that offer plenty of free parking. (Multiple access points; we chose Hebron) FREE
Fisher Meadows–Check out these wide and flat trails with stunning views of the pond, plus so much for the kids (and the adults) to explore! The trail is stroller-friendly and there is even a well-placed picnic area where you can enjoy lunch or a snack. (Avon) FREE
Chatfield Hollow State Park–Check out Indian caves, waterfalls, bridges, a boardwalk and more as you hike through the varied terrain at Chatfield Hollow State Park. There are short, interesting hikes that are perfect for your little ones, plus a beach area for swimming. (Killingworth)
Dinosaur State Park–The Dinosaur State Park Nature Trails feel like a real hike in the woods, but they’re kid-friendly enough for little ones. The Red Trail is even stroller-friendly. Plus, after your walk, you and the kiddos can check out the Exhibit Center and see hundreds of real dinosaur tracks. (Rocky Hill) Trails are FREE; Exhibit Center requires a small fee
Glastonbury Multi-Use Trail—The Glastonbury Multi-Use Trail is a scenic, short (1 mile), and fully paved trail that’s perfect for pushing a stroller. There’s plenty of parking, and even some picnic tables where you can enjoy a post-stroll snack. (Glastonbury) FREE
Nevers Park–The Nevers Park Walking Trails are a series of intersecting loops of varying lengths that wind through trees and circle around the park’s vast green spaces (and even the amazing Boundless Playground). Fun (if not fully functional) “exercise stations” make great entertainment for active wee ones. (South Windsor) FREE
Roaring Brook Nature Center Trails–These trails are free and open to the public (there is a fee to enter the Nature Center), and there are all kinds of fun things to discover like a Butterfly Garden, a Birds of Prey exhibit featuring several different types of birds (like owls), bridges to transverse and lots of ground to explore. (Canton) Trails are FREE; Nature Center requires a fee
Elizabeth Park Walking Trails–The Elizabeth Park Trails are a great way to enjoy the outdoors. Winding around and through beautiful Elizabeth Park, you’ll pass a historic rose garden, a duck pond, open green spaces, and even a playground. Bring the kids in a stroller and enjoy either a casual stroll or a more rigorous walk or run. (Hartford) FREE
Colchester RecPlex Walking Path–If you’re looking for some exercise for you and some entertainment for the kiddos, check out the walking path that circles around the Colchester RecPlex. It’s an easy loop to push a stroller and afterwards the kiddos can get some exercise for themselves at the playground or (in the summer months) cool off at the spray park. (Colchester) FREE
West Hartford Reservoir–The West Hartford Reservoir Trails are great for serious walkers or runners, with the main, paved trail measuring over 3 miles (and it’s stroller-friendly too!). It’s one of the most beautiful and scenic trails we’ve documented. (West Hartford) FREE
Wickham Park–The Wickham Park Fitness Trails offer a chance to explore the beautiful grounds of Wickham Park and burn a few calories in the process. Don’t bring your stroller for this outing, but do bring a carrier for any non-walkers in you crew. The trails have some steep hills and the footing is a bit bumpy, so be prepared for a workout. After the trails, plan time to enjoy some of the other activities at the park. The playgrounds, aviary, nature center, and sensory garden would be a wonderful addition to any trip. (Manchester)
Westmoor Park–The Westmoor Park Trails may not be the most rigorous, but they’re perfect for a scenic stroll. The main loop is stroller-friendly (though we would recommend a jogging stroller) and the length is perfect for toddlers that want to walk (~1 mile). Combine your trail adventure with a stop at the animal barns on the same property for a fun and free outing. (West Hartford) FREE
Wintergreen Woods–The Wintergreen Woods Bike Path and Trails offer two options for a little exercise. Take your stroller on the bike path or let your little one walk on the standard trail. Either way, just make sure you check out our post before you go as getting there can be a bit tricky! (Wethersfield) FREE
Of course, our list is ever-growing, so we’ll do our best to keep it up-to-date with our latest finds. In the meantime, whether you’re looking for some serious exercise or some not-so-serious fun (or both!), hopefully these outing ideas will inspire you to break out the bikes, the stroller, your walking shoes and head outside to enjoy some of the best family-friendly entertainment around–nature! 🙂
Where is your favorite place to get out and about for a walk? Let us know by commenting below.
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