October 28, 2018 – Gillette Castle State Park – Connecticut

Today we Adventured to Gillette Castle State Park in East Haddam, Connecticut. This was our second trip to the Gillette Castle. Gillette Castle was once the estate of William Gillette, a famous Actor in the early 1900’s. It was later bought by the state of Connecticut. The Park includes a visitor center, museum, hiking trails, and picnic area. There are even live theater events and walking tours available to visitors.

We had an intriguing Adventure to Gillette Castle State Park. Our first visit was in August 2018, on a warm day, while today was a overcast, almost chilly Fall day. Gillette Castle State Park is a magical experience, transforming visitors back into medieval time, or sensing an escape on a journey abroad. We greatly enjoyed our visit to the Castle, circling the grand structure many times so as not to miss an inch. Shadow enjoyed some rolls in the grass, while Wilma jumped up high to climb along the rock-like fence, posing for photos. Not only is the Castle itself just breathtaking, it is located on the beautiful Connecticut River vast with Fall foliage. Just gorgeous from every direction! Today the Castle was mobbed with visitors, dulling the experience a bit, but really that cannot take away from the brilliant beauty of the Castle.

After visiting the Castle we wandered the trails on the side of the Park, and headed down to the water. Shadow and I were a bit tired from our earlier Adventure so we decided not to engage in any strenuous or lengthy hiking. The trails were not labeled, so we just sauntered around for a bit. We were thrilled to locate three adorable walking bridges along the way, adding some charm to the trails. From the trails we walked around some spots along the main road, finding a gorgeous stone bridge, a leaf filled pond, and several other small features along the way. We of course had to have one last visit to the Castle before finishing up our day. Although I wish we could have had this spot all to ourselves (haha), we still cannot say enough about the spectacular Gillette Castle State Park. I expect we will be back again in the future (Rating: 5).

October 2018

August 2017

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October 28, 2018 – Wadsworth State Park – Connecticut

Today Shadow, Wilma, and I Adventured to Wadsworth State Park in the towns of Middlefield and Middletown, Connecticut. The park is a 285 acre park filed with trails, fishing, swimming, mountain biking, and two waterfalls. It is located on the Coginchaug River. Clarence Wadsworth, a well known Colonel, linguist, and scholar developed the land in order to preserve it for all citizens, therefore earning the name.

We had a delightful Fall Adventure to Wadsworth State Park. Although the day was dark from previous rain, and the temperature crisp, it was just perfect for a hike. We were excited to explore a Park in Connecticut, a place we have not frequented as much as the remaining New England states. Upon exiting the car we could immediately hear the roaring of the “Big” Falls. Although I had printed a map, we quickly found a large map which we viewed before heading straight to the “Big” Falls. The “Big” Falls was thunderous, and quite spectacular. It is hard to know what to expect when you plan a visit to a waterfall as sometimes they can be practically non-existent, especially in off season. The “Big” Falls, however did not disappoint, as it was heavy flowing, and music to our ears. The ground was covered with gorgeous Fall leaves adding the perfect touch to the lovely scene.

After viewing the “Big” Falls we searched for the trailhead. It took us awhile to finally find this location as we had to walk down the main street before eventually coming to the sign. A brief moment of frustration, but we soon were off on our way. We hiked all over this magnificent Park, the leaves yellow, red, and brightly patterned. There were numerous trails and turns, requiring constant peaks at the map. So lucky I had printed the map so we did not miss any highlights, and could not worry about getting lost. So with this map we headed to the “Little” Falls, which was less then a mile down the orange trail, and off onto the blue trail. Another marvelous waterfall this one had less flow, and more rocks, yet gorgeous in its own way. We spent a bit exploring the “Little” Falls, while the pups enjoyed some fresh flowing water.

From there we followed different colored trails attempting to find the various highlights on the map. There were shallow streams, a pond from afar, and even a “Giant Laurel” tree. I was humored by even locating a “Purple” trail, which might have been a first on our many Adventures. We spent about three hours hiking, seeing other friendly visitors here and there along the way. Definitely an enjoyable afternoon at the Wadsworth State Park (Rating: 4)

April 22 and 23, 2018 – Getaway to Connecticut

My first blog starts as we journey into Connecticut for a two day getaway.  On our drive to Connecticut we broke up the trip with a visit to the Westville Dam Recreation area in Sturbridge, Massachusetts.  This Dam was designed and constructed by the US Army Corps of engineers, and was completed in 1962.  We traversed around the Quinebaug Lake on the 1.8 trail loop.  It was a beautiful morning the sun was streaming through the trees, the water sparkling, and the beginning of blooming buds in view.  This trail varied from a feel of natural beauty, to a more commercial feel.  This short trail was a favorable way to stretch our legs.  (Rated:  2)DSC05487

 

 

 

 

 

We then arrived at our first stop in Connecticut, the West Cornwall covered Bridge in West Cornwall, CT, spanning the Housatonic River.  Although this bridge was last modernized in 1973 it is estimated that it may have been in this location as early as 1762.  Wilma’s agile frame jumped from rock to rock, while Shadow enjoyed wading in the cool River water.  We stopped to take some photos, and enjoyed a stroll along the river.  (Rated:  4)

 

 

 

 

Next we journeyed to the Kent Falls State Park in Kent, CT.  Pulling into the parking lot my eyes were promptly drawn to Kent Falls, a massive waterfall, plunging 250 feet in less than a quarter of a mile.  As we wandered toward the Falls we walked beneath the Kent Falls covered bridge, a lattice bridge, spanning just 37 feet across.  We then followed the Housatonic River directly to the bottom of Kent Falls.  The waterfall provided several opportunities to climb, with various cascades streaming down.  Although a beautiful waterfall I found this site to be very touristy, which seemed to dampen my excitement in this brilliant site.  There were several trails in this park, but I decided to keep moving, as we had many appealing sites planned.  (Rating:  3)

 

 

 

 

Next we journeyed to Bull’s Bridge in Kent, CT, spanning  the Housatonic River.  The first instance of this bridge was in 1760, while the current bridge was built in 1842.  This stop was a nice surprise as in my hasty research I located a bridge, neglecting to see all the other brilliant sites.  Our hike in this area led us to rushing river rapids, a dam, and numerous trails with stunning views.  This was one of those locations that we really could have explored for the day.  (Rating:  3)   DSC05544DSC05559DSC05573DSC05590

 

 

 

 

Our last stop of the day was at Macedonia Brook State Park in Kent CT.  This park has trails that lead to the mountain peaks, offering views of the Catskills and Taconics.  Our visit to Macedonia Brook Park was short, as dusk was upon us, and we did not traverse the mountain trails.  We wandered briefly, and enjoyed the sounds of the babbling brooks, and an adorable “must-photograph” bridge.  I think this photo of Shadow and Wilma became my favorite picture of the day.  A peaceful and quiet place to wrap up Day One of our getaway.  (Rating:  3)

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