The 10 Best Parks in Connecticut!

From scenic forests to seaside getaways, Connecticut has some extraordinary parks. Immerse yourself into wild nature or prim, manicured gardens and spend a day outdoors while soaking in the sun. Don’t forget to check for ticks after returning home from a great day outside!

1. Elizabeth Park, Hartford, CT

This gorgeous inner city park provides a green lung for Connecticut’s capital city. The highlight of Elizabeth Park is its massive rose garden and its large walking loop, providing a nice path for runners and dog walkers. Children and athletes will be happy to hear that Elizabeth Park also has two baseball fields, two basketball courts, and a playground.

2. Harkness Memorial State Park, Waterford, CT

With a mansion, manicured gardens, picnic tables, and a beach, Harkness Memorial State Park really has it all. In the summer, the Harkness mansion can be toured, and those visiting for the first time should consider taking a tour as the interior is just as impressive as the stone exterior. Harkness is also very popular for weddings, so there is a good chance you’ll spot couples exchanging vows or taking photos.

3. Sleeping Giant State Park, Hamden, CT

Sleeping Giant is another of Connecticut’s wonderful state parks due to the picturesque views it provides from the top of the overlook on Mt. Carmel. After a leisurely hike, Sleeping Giant State Park is perfect for a picnic a spot of fishing or some additional hiking on nature trails.

4. Hammonasset Beach State Park, Madison, CT

Hammonasset Beach State Park is one of the most popular beaches, campgrounds, and parks in Connecticut—and once you visit, it is easy to see why. The soft sand beneath your toes is perfect for kids to build sandcastles, and the long boardwalk is a great option for a sunset walk. Hammonasset Beach State Park also has a really excellent playground, a butterfly garden, and a natural education center.

5. Chatfield Hollow State Park, Killingworth, CT

Chatfield Hollow State Park is a good option for both nature lovers and those interested in Native American history. Many pre-Colonial Native American artifacts have been found near the Indian Council Caves, which is where gatherings were perhaps held. The park also features a brook and pond where fishing and swimming is permitted.

6. Pachaug State Forest, Voluntown, CT

The largest state forest in Connecticut, Pachaug State Forest encompasses several different habitats and spans five towns. The Chapman Area features a beautiful rhododendron swamp and a 58-mile-long motorcycle trail. Mt. Misery Overlook provides a great view of the expansive forest and fishing is allowed in some ponds.

7. Barn Island, Stonington, CT

Barn Island is a stunning park and coastal Wildlife Management Area. The birding here is great and occasional signs detail organisms you might pass by. Note that hunting season is allowed in-season, so visitors might consider wearing bright colors at that time.

8. Salem Land Trust, Salem, CT

Located in the small town of Salem, the Salem Land Trust is a really nice green space that is great for nature walks. In the right season, you’ll see evidence of monarch butterflies. At the Salem Land Trust, there are several loops and out and back again trails as well as some wetlands.

9. Sherwood Island State Park, Westport, CT

Sherwood Island State Park was the first state park in Connecticut and remains a favorite to this day. Swimming, picnicking, and fishing are all welcome at Sherwood Island. Additionally, naturalists of all ages can visit the nature center and saltwater marsh nature trail. 

10. Nehantic State Forest, Lyme, CT

Nehantic State Forest is a great natural park for outdoor activities. Featuring lakes for canoeing, kayaking, fishing, and swimming, all those interested in water sports will find a fun activity. Nehantic State Forest is also a prime hiking location and features numerous loop and out and back again trails of varying distances. Hunting is also allowed in designated seasons.

Connecticut Search
View more Connecticut Parks.
Find Parks Near You
Find Parks Near You
75 Mill Plain Road, Fairfield, CT
About Us: The Fairfield Parks & Recreation Commission is a volunteer advisory board established according to the Town Charter. The Commissio... Read More
123 Glenwood Avenue, Bridgeport, CT
9.5 Acres, which includes tennis courts and the Ice Skating rink Wonderland of Ice.  Read More
100 Pocono Road, Brookfield, CT
Brookfield Parks and Recreation benefits are be happier, build family unity, feel great, take care of latch key children , reduce unemployment, in-... Read More
677 South Avenue, New Canaan, CT
Mission Statement It is the mission of the New Canaan Recreation Department to enhance the quality of life for New Canaan residents by utilizing al... Read More
Reef Road and Edward Street, Fairfield, CT
Softball Field, Play lot, Bocce Courts, Tennis Courts  Read More
500 Candlewood Lake Road, Brookfield, CT
About Us: Cadigan Park is located on 500 Candlewood Lake Road and is situated on 14 acres offering baseball, football, softball & soccer field... Read More
735 Nod Hill Road, Wilton, CT
In the summer of 1882, American Impressionist painter J. Alden Weir boarded a train from New York bound for his modest farm among rolling hills in ... Read More
1561 Asylum Avenue, West Hartford, CT
The area which is now known as Elizabeth Park was once owned by Charles H. Pond. Mr. Pond was a wealthy industrialist and statesman whose career in... Read More
145 Lang Road, Windsor, CT
About Us: The Friends of Northwest Park is a volunteer, not-for-profit corporation formed in 1981 to play a leading role in development of a natur... Read More
400 West Street, Rocky Hill, CT
If you like dinosaurs, you'll love our 200 million-year-old fossil trackway, interactive exhibits and the chance to cast your own dinosaur footprin... Read More
Elm Drive, Newtown, CT
Located on scenic Elm Drive in Newtown, this park was dedicated to former Newtown first selectman A. Finn Dickinson in 1955. This park is open to N... Read More
3 Main Street, Newtown, CT
About Us: Offering a total scenic package, this park is located at the end of Hanover Road in Newtown, on Lake Lillinonah.  In addition to a ... Read More
100 Pocono Road, Brookfield, CT
It is situated on 139 acres of wooded land. Access to the park is beyond the soccer field to the left of the Brookfield Municipal Center.Linear Par... Read More
100 Pocono Road, Brookfield, CT
It is situated on 4.5 acres and offers the following facilities: Bocce, Fitness Trail, Hiking Trails in Linear Park, Little Leage Field, Picnic Tab... Read More
185 Whisconier Road, Brookfield, CT
Williams Park is located on 185 Whisconier Road.  It is situated on 20 acres and offers fishing, hiking trails, picnic tables and parking.Tenn... Read More
16 Shelter Rock Road, Bethel, CT
This park has a pond, pavilion, picnic areas, playground, volleyball net, bike/walking trail, and bathhouses. In the playground area, there is a ba... Read More
14 Shelter Rock Road, Bethel, CT
8 AcresThis park has a pavilion with kitchen facilities, tot playground, a bocce court, horseshoes and a pond for fishing. The pavilion and kitchen... Read More
31 Nashville Road, Bethel, CT
38 AcresThe park consists of walking trails and six campsites. A permit from the Parks and Recreation Department is required for use of the park. B... Read More
Show More
Select a Connecticut town to find
the Best Things-To-Do and Places To Go around you