Connecticut's Litchfield region has fine state and local parks

Campsite - Kettletown State Park - Southbury, CT - Photo Credit P. Rojas
Kettletown State Park

1400 George's Hill Road (Off I-84 at Exit 15) Southbury, CT, 06488 Phone: 860-424-3200

Visitors can enjoy nature programs, fishing, hiking trails (including one for the handicapped), swimming and picnic areas. The adjacent Housatonic River and nearby Lake Zoar make this park popular for water sports and fishing. Also, Kettletown Campground offers 63 sites in both open and wooded settings. - Trail Map (PDF) - Camping Map (PDF)
Admission: Parking fee is $9 for state-registered vehicles and $15 for out-of-state vehicles.
Trail Marker - American Legion & Peoples State Forest - Barkhamsted, CT - Photo Credit Cara MacDonald
American Legion & Peoples State Forests

Between Center Hill Road (CT Route 181) and East River Road Barkhamsted, CT, 06063 Phone: 860-379-2469

These two adjacent state forests are located along the west branch of the Farmington River, named a wild and scenic river by the National Park Service. The two parks offer year-round outdoor activities, including trout fishing, canoeing, kayaking and tubing on the river; several extensive hiking trails around rocky formations and old mills; 30 campsites (at the American Legion Forest); and the Barkhamsted Lighthouse (in Peoples State Forest). There are lots of places for picnicking and field sports. Winter activities include cross country skiing and snowmobiling. - Trail Map (PDF) - Campground Map (PDF)
Kent Falls State Park - Kent, CT - Photo Credit CT DEEP
Kent Falls State Park

462 Kent Cornwall Road (Route 7) Kent, CT, 06757 Phone: 860-927-3238

Kent Falls is a series of waterfalls that descends in stages from a height of 200 feet to drain into the Housatonic River. Lots of interesting rocky stream beds to explore. The flow is heaviest in spring, but the falls are dramatic year-round. Great places for picnics. There is an authentic covered bridge to explore. Mapped hiking trails surround the area. Swimming prohibited. Alcoholic beverages prohibited. Park has bathrooms and grills and picnic tables. Park is open 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Parking fee weekends and holidays is $9 to $15. No charge to park on weekdays. - Hiking Map (PDF)
Housatonic Meadows State Park - Sharon, CT - Photo Credit Kaitlyn Tran
Housatonic Meadows State Park

US Route 7 Sharon, CT, 06069 Phone: 860-927-3238

Housatonic Meadows offers many outdoor activities, with an emphasis on fly fishing for trout and bass in the Housatonic River. A two-mile stretch of river (including the park shore) is limited to fly fishing. Camp sites are located in groves of tall pine trees. Housatonic Meadow Campground has 95 sites; the camping season begins in mid-May and ends September 30. Campground has bathrooms and showers. - Hiking Map (PDF) - Camping Map (PDF)
Squantz Pond State Park - New Fairfield, CT - Photo Credit Nemo Jones
Squantz Pond State Park

178 Short Woods Road New Fairfield, CT, 06810 Phone: 203-312-5023

This year-round recreation area is centered upon a cool, blue pond where visitors enjoy boating, fishing, swimming from a sand beach, picnicking, and, in winter, ice skating and cross country skiing. Hiking trails travel through the adjacent woods. - Hiking Map (PDF)
Beach - Hop Brook Lake Recreation Area - Middlebury, CT
Hop Brook Lake Recreation Area

4 Straits Turnpike Middlebury, CT, 06762 Phone: 203-729-8840

This nice day park is centered upon Hop Brook Lake. The lake has a sandy beach and is open for swimming, paddling, rowing, and fishing. Fishing may be done on the lake and its streams, which are stocked with brown, brook, and rainbow trout. Bass and panfish are also found in the lake. Hikers will find over seven miles of trails winding through the woods and meadows at Hop Brook Lake. An 11-hole disc golf course is also located within the park. Facilities include flush toilets, drinking water, ball fields, volleyball courts, and horseshoe pit.
Camping Dates & Fees: Open mid-May to mid-September. Check website for availability and fees.
Burr Pond State Park - Torrington, CT - Photo Credit CT DEEP
Burr Pond State Park

384 Burr Mountain Road Torrington, CT, 06790 Phone: 860-482-1817

Visitors can enjoy swimming from the beach, picnicking, hiking the perimeter of the pond, and boating at this pretty park. Visitors may rent canoes and kayaks. - Trail Map (PDF)
Beach at Mount Tom State Park - Washington Depot, CT - Photo Credit Mark Culp
Mount Tom State Park

Route 202 at Mount Tom Road Washington Depot, CT, 06794 Phone: 860-567-8870

This park is for two main purposes: fresh-water swimming, fishing, scuba diving, or non-motorized boating in the lake; and hiking to a lookout tower atop Mount Tom, 1,325 feet above sea level. Facilities: bathrooms, concession, change houses. - Park Map (PDF)
Admission: Parking fee is $10 to $15.
Lake McDonough Recreation Area - Barkhamsted, CT - Photo Credit CTVisit
Lake McDonough Recreation Area

Off CT Route 219 Barkhamsted, CT, 06063 Phone: 860-379-3036

Swimming, boating, fishing, picnicking, hiking on a Braille-marked trail (by reservation only); boat launch. Fishing allowed through November. Boat rentals are $5 per hour. The park is open daily, 10am - 8pm. Boating and shore fishing: late April- Labor Day.
Topsmead State Forest - Litchfield, CT
Topsmead State Forest

Buell Road Litchfield, CT, 06579 Phone: 860-567-5694

Topsmead has a mansion, the summer estate of Edith Morton Chase, set on 511 acres. During the summer the house is open for tours. The grounds are open year-round and feature hiking, sledding, cross country skiing, as well as picnic areas. Numerous trails and unpaved lanes are available for walking. In addition, the Edith M. Chase Ecology Trail offers a one-mile walk with interpretive signs. - Park Map (PDF)
Hours: The grounds are open from 8 a.m. to sunset.
Admission: Free
Beach - Black Rock State Park - Watertown, CT
Black Rock State Park

2065 Thomaston Road Watertown, CT, 06795 Phone: 860-283-8088

Black Rock offers excellent swimming, hiking, scenic views, and Indian legend all tucked into the scenic rolling hills of the western highlands of Connecticut. Black Rock Campground has 96 sites in a wooded setting. The camping season is mid-April through September 30. This is a designated trout park. Activities include picnicking, field sports, swimming, and pond fishing. Facilities: bathrooms, food concessions, picnic tables. - Hiking Map (PDF) - Campground Map (PDF)
Hours: Gates are open on weekends only, from the second Saturday in April until Memorial Day, 8am to sunset. From Memorial Day to October 1st, they are open daily between 8am and sunset.
Lake Waramaug State Park - Kent, CT - Photo Credit Eszter Minar
Lake Waramaug State Park

30 Lake Waramaug Road New Preston, CT, 06777 Phone: 860-868-0220

Beautiful lake for swimming, paddling (car-top boating), and picnicking

This beautiful blue lake welcomes visitors for water sports, including swimming and car-top boating. Dozens of campsites are situated in wooded and open settings at Lake Waramaug Campground. The campground has concessions, dumping station, bathrooms, showers. Pets not allowed. The camping season is from mid-May to September 30. - Camping and Park Map (PDF)
Admission: There is a weekend/holiday parking fee and a campsite fee at this park.