One of the best places to be right now is outside—the weather is beautiful and there is plenty of space to spread out and enjoy nature. Some of the Chamber staff shared their favorite hikes and suggested the perfect picnic to bring along.
Location: Barn Island Wildlife Management Area
Why you like it: Nearby to me is Barn Island Wildlife Management Area Trail which is a 5.1 mile loop trail located near Pawcatuck, Connecticut that offers the chance to see wildlife and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
Picnic: Pick up something yummy from Buon Appetito and six pack from
Beer’d Brewing Co. on your way.
Location: Bluff Point State Park, Groton
Why you like it: I love the hiking trails with water views and exploring the rocks, flowers, and shells.
Picnic: An easy to carry sandwich from Jersey Mike’s with an iced tea.
Location: Haley Farm State Park, Groton
Why you like it: A well-marked trail brings you through forests, meadows, and waterfront marshes on this former Colonial-era farm. Depending on the season, you’ll spot deer, rabbits, and diverse birds, as well as butterflies, beautiful foliage and flowers. A pedestrian bridge connects to Bluff Point State Park, if you’re seeking a longer hike.
Location: Oswegatchie Hills, Niantic
Why you like it: The hike through the woods offers solitude and the chance to see the occasional bald eagle. There are a number of letterboxing finds hidden the woods. Visit letterboxing.org to get the directions. There are many intersecting trails so you can plan a path with the trail map available on oswhills.org. Vet’s Field has picnic table to accommodate your pizza before you hit the trails.
Picnic: Caesar Salad and a Monte Bianco pizza with mozzarella, blue cheese, speck, walnuts and sweet sausage from Il Pomod‘Oro in East Lyme.
Location: Harkness Park, Waterford
Why you like it: It has beautiful outlooks over the ocean and benches to rest and enjoy the fresh air with plenty of room for walking, running and biking.
Picnic: For lunch, pick up a delicious hot lobster roll and clam fritters from Captain Scott’s Lobster Dock in New London.
Why you like it: Beautiful half-mile walk around the Museum’s riverfront landscape and gardens. This property gives one a feeling for the artist’s life at the turn-of-the century in a way unlike any museum I’ve visited before.
Location: Lantern Hill, North Stonington
Why you like it: It offers moderate trails with beautiful views at top. It’s a hike that never disappoints.
Picnic: Grab a sandwich or premade salad from Stop & Shop in Pawcatuck.
Location: Fort Trumbull State Park, New London
Why you like it: This historic fort has beautiful, majestic views of the Thames River. On any given day, you can see a variety of boats, anything from sailboats, a Cross Sound Ferry, the U.S. Coast Guard Barque Eagle at its home port at the Fort, and if you’re lucky, a submarine leaving or coming home to the U.S. Naval Base. You can learn about the history by touring the Fort and visiting the museum. Both are excellent. In the summer, you can picnic, ride bicycles and walk the grounds. You may also take in a U.S. Coast Guard Band concert or a vintage baseball game played by the rules of the mid to late 1800’s.