TOP 10 PLACES TO VISIT IN CONNECTICUT BY BIKE

TOP 10 PLACES TO VISIT IN CONNECTICUT BY BIKE

Adrian Ciocirlan

It’s is such a big advantage to be out of the blocked traffic, and access all the chic places in such a short amount of time. Ride on!

 

1. Mystic Seaport

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A quintessential New England experience, Mystic Seaport offers visitors of all ages a unique link to our seafaring past and endless, year-round opportunities to immerse themselves in new worlds of hands-on history.

Mystic Seaport is a recreation of an historical seaport village and a major nautical museum in the United States.

The places you must see and things you must do to earn your sea legs. The crown jewel of their National Historic Landmark watercraft is the sample of the 19th-century village, and awe-inspiring exhibits you wouldn’t want to miss.

The spot’s highlights?

First is the Draken: Viking Longship, a clinker-built Viking longship, a reconstruction of what the Norse Sagas refer to as a “Great Ship.” Then, Charles W. Morgan: Whaleship, and the “crown jewel” of the Mystic Seaport collection. The Charles W. Morgan, has outlived all others of her kind. Built in 1841 in New Bedford, the Morgan is America’s last surviving wooden whaleship and a precious piece of maritime history. Throughout the Museum’s 19 acres you will find a diverse collection of gardens, trees, and shrubs which are labeled indicating both the common and botanical name. The gardens contain hundreds of different varieties of plants that accentuate the beauty and historical context of the Mystic River, ships, and 19th-century village.

What is more fascinating here, is that you have many rare and historic boats you can climb aboard at Mystic Seaport. Some you can ride aboard or pilot yourself!!! Others you can charter for a few hours, a full day, or an overnight. Very cool!

 

2. Wadsworth Falls

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It’s been a while since we forgot about our mountain bike, but here we are in one of Connecticut’s most beautiful natural locations where you can ride it on.

Enjoy hiking or biking the varied trails of the park or spend some time enjoying the beautiful falls.

 

3. Greenwich

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The largest town on Connecticut’s Gold Coast, Greenwich is named after a borough in London and has previously been named among the Best Places to Live in the United States.

Just 40 minutes away from New York City lies the affluent and picturesque town of Greenwich, Connecticut. What to do here? You can go by bike to Bruce Museum, or if you may miss the outdoor activity, go to Greenwich Point Park, a beautiful site offering a large sandy beach and walking trails. Or you can switch it to Greenwich Audubon Center, encompassing nearly 300 acres on its central property alone (there are 7 sites in Greenwich), and 7 miles of hiking trails that meander through wetlands, meadows, hardwood forest and other habitats.

Unfortunately, they advice us to leave bikes, pets, and horses at home. Too bad, then, better to hop on the bike and go to Meli Melo to enjoy buckwheat crepes ($7.50-$15.50), homemade soups and the best fresh-mint-chocolate chip ice cream ever ($4 for one scoop).

 

4. Gillette Castle Park

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It looks just like a medieval fortress and it is certainly one of the most visually interesting buildings to see in the state of Connecticut.

Atop the most southerly hill in a chain known as the Seven Sisters, William Hooker Gillette, noted actor, director, and playwright, built this one hundred and eighty-four acre estate, the Seventh Sister. The focal point of his effort was a twenty four room mansion reminiscent of a medieval castle.

The tour of the castle won’t take long than one hour, and after you can take on Gillette Castle Trail, a 2 mile loop trail located near East Haddam, Connecticut that offers scenic views and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Things are easier if you have a comfortable bike to ride all day. So choose your comfy saddle for women or a saddle for men, from all our comfortable options. 

 

5. Old Saybrook

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Beautiful shores, vistas, marinas and an eclectic collection of shops and restaurants on Main Street, this is Old Saybrook.

There are also two public beaches and several parks within the town, and a mini-golf course. Start your ride with The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center where you can see some fabulous artists that still can’t fill a stadium, but they will for sure in the future. Another attraction here is the General William Hart House & Museum which is one of the earliest houses in Saybrook, the first settlement on the southern shore of Connecticut. Built more than two centuries ago in 1767 for Esther Buckingham, the bride of William Hart.

For outdoor recreation, Fort Saybrook Monument Park is a great place to pay a visit to.

The 17-acre park with storyboards depicting the history of the Saybrook Colony, founded in 1635, offers panoramic views of the mouth of the Connecticut River.

 

6. Stonington

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Stonington is the only Connecticut town facing the Atlantic Ocean. 

Located on Connecticut’s beautiful coastline, Stonington is a great place to visit to get away from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

Fishers Island and Long Island, New York, can be seen to the southwest and Block Island, Rhode Island to the southeast. The rocky shoreline has many peninsulas, islands, coves, and marshes.

We advice you to start your day as locals, with blueberry pancakes from Noah’s, a business that lasts for 35 years and when you’re done with the sugar rush, head out for a walk along Stonington Harbor. You can pick up the path at the waterfront gazebo in front of Stonington Commons on Water Street. Dodge Paddock, the site of a former pottery factory at the end of Wall Street is another popular destination. There are spectacular views of the coast as you meander along the short nature walk. Though, you can’t leave town without visiting the Old Lighthouse Museum at the end of Water Street.

The Lighthouse lawn overlooking Little Narragansett Bay is a favorite place for the locals to sit and watch the boats go by.

If the weather is nice head to DuBois Beach, located at the tip of the peninsula.  If you’re here for an extended stay you can buy a summer beach pass, but for shorter visits, you can buy a day pass right at the beach. There are no fees during the off season.

 

7. Saville Dam

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Saville Dam at Barkhamsted Reservoir has a case to be named the most beautiful man-made structure in the state of Connecticut.

If you are coming to the Saville Dam, just to look at the dam itself, you will be excited. The place is breathtaking. Visitors can walk along a loop road and get a sense of the work it took to create this dam looking up at the earthen impoundment. Off to the east, a stream flows over a series of scenic waterfalls into the lake.

The place is calm, serene, a scenic location to visit with family or friends.  

 

8. Yale University

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This is the place you would of wanted to meet your girlfriend/ boyfriend/ wife/ husband. Too late, we suppose. Ok, then, let’s move on to a less superficial approach. Don’t let you bike be bored, because Yale takes a silver in cycling! 

The League of American Bicyclists announced their picks for Bicycle Friendly Universities (BFU) elevating Yale from a Bronze to a Silver designation. Don’t have your bike with you? No problem. 50 shared-use bicycles are available in several locations on campus through the university’s partnership with Zagster, which provides city cruiser-style bicycles, registration and reservation software and maintenance services.

There are a lot to do here, you can take a guided tour, attend a concert, or stroll through the scenic and historic Old Campus. Now, that you have a bike, you must visit New Haven, home to award-winning theaters, also the host for the annual tennis tournament and the International Festival of Arts & Ideas.

 

9.  Kent Falls State Park

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It is often called “The Jewel of the Inland Parks” with its scenic view of 17 different waterfalls. The falls are fed by wetlands which are located in Warren, and empties directly into the Housatonic River, which is across the street from the park.

A trail winds a quarter of a mile up along the falls and although it is not difficult to walk it is steep, rising 250 feet (76 m) in just a quarter mile. The park is designated as a Trout Park and is stocked with trout from the state's hatcheries. Due to the Trout Park designation the daily creel limit in the park is two fish.

Cyclists will now have even more reason to come to Litchfield County, aside from the region’s breathtaking geography, fine restaurants and covered bridges. The Kent-Cornwall area is an ideal place for cycling, as, in addition to the scenery and quiet side roads, the bike trail is the only one in the state with two active covered bridges.

There are five bike routes currently charted out on the rough draft of the map, ranging from easygoing routes for beginners to grueling ones recommended only for seasoned athletes. If you ask someone where is the bike trail, they will answer: where isn’t?

 

10. Guilford

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Arriving in this small town located in New Haven County on the Long Island Sound, you will be more than charmed by the chic and intimacy of the place.

You can start exploring this lovely town with the Faulkner’s Island Lighthouse. Built in 1802, Faulkner’s Island Lighthouse is Connecticut’s second oldest lighthouse tower and is the only active light station on an island in the state.

Faulkner’s Island is about three and one half miles offshore from Guilford. Or explore 375 years of Guilford’s history on a guided walking tour led by volunteers. If you like to be entirely on your own, you can take a self-guided tour by scanning the QR code on the city website. Don’t leave the town before going to The Bluff Head Preserve which is, perhaps, the Guilford Land Conservation Trust’s crown jewel. Not only is it one of the most beautiful places in Guilford – so voted in a recent town-wide survey of natural resources – but it is also geologically one of the most significant places in south central Connecticut.

How do you find Connecticut? Exciting or boring? We are so curious what you think about it! Let’s chat a bit before we go on our next trip!