The air is crisp, the leaves are changing color – what better time is there to soak in the last bit of the great outdoors before its time to hibernate for the winter. These hiking trails offer some of the best family friendly locations in the FC.
If you are looking for some fun learning activities to take with you when you hit the trail, make sure to check out this Autumn Nature Walk Guide!
Have fun exploring the five miles of hiking trails that the Bartlett Arboretum has to offer. Pick up a map at the Visitor’s Center before you head out on the trails. We’ve enjoyed walking the Pond Trail and the boardwalk along the Wetland Walk.
Nine times out of ten, we are so exhausted by the time we’ve walked around Heckscher Farm and played in the playground, we are zonked. But, if you can persuade your child away from the farm and towards the Overbrook Nature Center, you can enjoy miles of hiking trails. There is even a Wheels in the Woods Trail that is universally accessible.
Cranbury Park in Norwalk is perfect for when I want to feel like I am getting lost in the woods. This park consists of 227 acres surrounding the historic Gallaher Mansion and offers a series of winding trails that weave in and out of the woods. Although its not stroller friendly, these trails are the perfect place for your budding naturalist to fall in love with the great outdoors.
Mianus River Park, a nearly 400-acre urban forest is sandwiched between Greenwich and Stamford. The trails follow the winding Mianus River. Friends of Mianus River have also created a “Nature Trail in the park with 13 points of interest. The Nature Trail is about two and a half miles long and takes no more than two hours at a leisurely place.”
I have never been here, but moms in the know tell me that its one of those, “too good to be true” places. Better yet, its FREE! The Webb Mountain Discovery Zone has “Three trails that lead you through an intricate outdoor Scavenger Hunt, created by two of the state’s leading experts, with 27 learning stations featuring interpretive signs that encourage explorers young and old to find clues and evidence of how the land was used by people and animals past and present.”
We always start at one of the Nature Center’s two observation towers to get a lay of the land. If you listen carefully, you can hear the bullfrogs croaking in the marsh below. The New Canaan Nature Center has a 350 foot marsh boardwalk that provides the perfect setting to get up-close to marsh wildlife. You can even borrow a net from the Visitors Center and try your hand at catching a frog!
Weir Farm is Connecticut’s only National Park. It is also the only National Park dedicated to American painting. This place is full of artistic history, and naturally provides a beautiful setting for a little nature walk. Grab a map at the visitor’s center and head down to the Weird Pond Loop Trail. A leisurely walk around this scenic pond will certainly fulfill all your senses.