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Best Outdoor Activities in Connecticut | 2013 Editors' Choice Awards

Best Outdoor Activities in Connecticut | 2013 Editors’ Choice Awards
1 vote, 5.00 avg. rating (89% score)
by in May 2013

The Constitution State has plenty to offer in the Great Outdoors. Read our picks for the best outdoor attractions in Connecticut for 2013.

BEST HISTORY, FRESH AIR & EXERCISE
MINE HILL PRESERVE, Roxbury
Easy walking trails pass a pond, brook, and bridge, as well as industrial ruins and mineshafts. Once a bustling site, now a soothing respite from modern technology. Mine Hill Road (off Route 67). 860-350-4148; roxburylandtrust.org

BEST PEONY GARDEN
CRICKET HILL GARDEN, Thomaston
They call it “Peony Heaven.” With sunlight streaming over the terraces here, it’s definitely celestial. Add Mundy Hepburn’s ethereal glass sculpture and you’re likely to get swept away. Best blooms in May and June. 670 Walnut Hill Road. 860-283-1042; treepeony.com

BEST RIVER WALK
WINDSOR LOCKS CANAL STATE PARK TRAIL, Windsor Locks
Rich in birdsong as rapids ripple down the Connecticut River, the canal’s 4.5-mile former towpath is well suited for bikers and hikers. Eagles nest here, herons fly, and a fishing pole comes in handy. Jct. Routes 140 & 159. 860-242-1158; ct.gov/dep

BEST NATURE SANCTUARIES
TRAIL WOOD & BAFFLIN SANCTUARY, Hampton & Pomfret Center
Two peaceful parcels are connected by a 7.5-mile trail through Air Line State Park. Trail Wood hosts a museum honoring naturalist Edwin Way Teale, while Bafflin beckons birdwatchers. Trail Wood, 93 Kenyon Road, Hampton. Bafflin Sanctuary, 218 Day Road, Pomfret Center. 860-928-4948; ctaudubon.org/sanctuaries/trail-wood

BEST FAMILY FUN
EARTHPLACE: THE NATURE DISCOVERY CENTER, Westport
62 acres of trails, plus raptor rescue center and playground. Free! (Admission charge for the Center’s natural-history museum.) 10 Woodside Lane. 203-227-7253; earthplace.org

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