17 Best Walks, Including Harkness Memorial State Park, Waterford, Connecticut

Harkness Memorial State Park, ConnecticutConnecticut’s extensive network of Blue-Blazed hiking trails weave across relatively flat terrain, creating one of the best walking systems in the Northeast. The trails are all inland, through forests of maples, oaks, and birches. However, there are several coastal walks not associated with the blue-blazes that are worthy of a visit like the 234-acre Harkness Memorial State Park, a gem in Waterford. Bequeathed to the state in 1952, the 42-room Italianate mansion, manicured lawns and gardens are a perfect place for a stroll or picnic. Tour the house and then head outside on small stony paths that snake through the gardens. In May, this is quite a treat with many of the perennials in bloom. The great expanse of lawn slopes down to the shores. In the summer, a concert series brings well-known performers to the grounds.

This entry is excerpted from my latest book, New England in a Nutshell. The book/ebook is slated to published on July 2nd and you can pre-order now at Amazon or at the independent bookstore, Northshire, located in Manchester Center, Vermont and Saratoga, New York. The ebook includes all hyperlinks to listings. The paperback includes front and back cover illustrations from Manhattan-based artist, Sarah Schechter, and a small sampling of photos from Lisa Leavitt, who accompanied me on many of my assignments, resulting in published work for the Boston Globe.