Hidden Gems To Visit In Connecticut This Winter
Connecticut is home to endless hidden gems and outdoor destinations that will blow your mind. We've put together a list of OUR favorite places to explore during the winter months in CT- waterfalls, hiking trails, historic bridges, and a few of our favorite spots to stop for lunch along the way!
If you have a suggestion for us to check out-- leave it in the comments! We're always up for a new adventure. 

Steep Rock Railroad Tunnel: Washington, CT

Connecticut Hidden Gems Steep Rock Railroad Tunnel

This unique trail offers a nice adventure in the outdoors, as well as a Railroad tunnel! Constructed in 1871 and 1872, the Steep Rock Railroad Tunnel still has remains on the 998 acre preserve! At the summit, there is a view over the Shepaug River Valley! 

Lovers Leap State Park: New Milford, CT

Lover's Leap New Milford CT Hidden Gems

Located on the Housatonic River, Lover’s Leap State Park offers over 160 acres of parkland. Some favorite locations are the gorge and the iron bridge that was restored in 1895. The bridge is located on the narrow gorge which empties out to Lake Lillinonah. 

Comstock Bridge: East Hampton, CT

Comstock Bridge East Hampton CT hidden Gems

Comstock's Bridge, or Comstock Covered Bridge, is one of three historical covered bridges in the state. The gem, built in 1840, is located in East Hampton, Connecticut and spans the Salmon River. 

Saville Dam: Barkhamsted CT

Saville Dam Barkhamsted CT Hidden Gems in Connecticut

Saville Dam is one of the most picturesque spots we’ve ever been! Located on the eastern branch of the Farmington River in Barkhamsted, Connecticut. This massive Dam is the main water source for Hartford, CT and home to some of the most beautiful views around. Pro Tip- If you plan to stay a while, stop in town for food or pack a lunch (there are no restaurants close by). 

Studio 80 & Sculpture Grounds: Old Lyme, CT

Studio 80 & Sculpture Grounds: Old Lyme, CT

With over 100 sculptures woven throughout different gardens and courtyards, this open air art experience allows visitors to enjoy incredible large-scale contemporary sculpture on 4.5 beautifully landscaped acres. While their studio and indoor facilities are currently closed to the public— exploring the grounds is not only allowed, but encouraged! This unique experience is completely free and is the perfect place for those who love art, history, or just the outdoors! 

Cathedral Pines: Cornwall, CT

Cathedral Pines: Cornwall, CT

Did you know that Cathedral Pines in Cornwall CT was home to ​​New England's largest stand of old-growth white pine and hemlock trees until 1989. Unfortunately three tornadoes devastated the land in July of 1989, but the existing trail at Cathedral Pines traverses the remaining intact portion of the standing trees- and the sights are incredible. This 42-acre nature preserve is a breathtaking Connecticut gem that can be enjoyed all year round. 

West Cornwall Covered Bridge: West Cornwall, CT

West Cornwall Covered Bridge: West Cornwall, CT

This is the perfect place to fulfill your dreams of getting the perfect picture in front of an iconic New England bridge :) The picturesque bridge is one of the only covered bridges in the state and it is absolutely beautiful! In the warmer months bring a picnic and set up right beside it! Heading there this winter? Stop by the Cornwall Country Market for delicious eats and a great cup of coffee! 

Hidden Valley Preserve: Washington, CT

Hidden Valley Preserve: Washington, CT

Hidden Valley preserve consists has 700 acres and 17 miles of trials for you to explore! The grounds are filled with hiking trails, running trails and amazing views. Our favorite trail at Hidden valley (pictured above) is the Bee Brook Loop which is a 2 mile loop trail that is an easy hike for all levels. On this hike you have access to Memorial Bridge and Thoreau Bridge. Thoreau Bridge spans 134 feet over the Shepaug River.  providing universal access to nature trails on the north side. We absolutely love this spot after a fresh dusting of snow! 

Essex Steam Train: Essex, CT

Essex Steam Train, Essex Connecticut

Essex is one of our favorite places to visit, especially on a Sunday. We love checking out the Essex Steam Train and never leave without doing some shopping down town. Our favorite spot to have lunch is, hands down, the Tap Room at the Griswold Inn! One of the coolest pubs around! 

Silvermine Connecticut: New Canaan, CT

Silvermine Connecticut

We love driving around the Silvermine area of New Canaan, the stone walls, old barns and winding roads are some of the most beautiful in CT. If you are looking to treat yourself, stop by Grey Barns for the coziest ambiance and one of the best meals you'll ever have!  

Devil’s Hopyard State Park (Chapman Falls): East Haddam, CT

Devil’s Hopyard State Park (Chapman Falls): East Haddam, CT

The Devil’s Hopyard State Park in East Haddam is the perfect place for a quick trail to beautiful waterfalls. The 2.6 mile trail leads you to Chapman Falls, which is where it said that the devil was seen playing the fiddle! There are several tales around how this stunning location received its name– some say the devil passed through the area and created the pot holes with fire…  Other’s believe that the name comes from the surrounding farms having hopyards to brew beer. Check it out and let us know what you think! 

Putnam Memorial State Park: Redding, CT

Putnam Memorial State Park: Redding, CT

This park has got all of us excited because of the amazing American history on these grounds! The park was named after Israel Putnam, an American Revolutionary War general. He camped with his troops in the winter of 1778-1779 after scoping it out with Aaron Burr during the Revolutionary War. This park is now named after Putnam and holds all of the history about this historical site in its museum and visitor center! 

Meshomasic State Forest: Portland, East Hampton, Glastonbury 

Meshomasic State Forest Hidden Gems in Connecticut

Meshomasic State Forest began as 70 acres and was acquired in 1903 for just $105.00!! It is now over 9,000 acres and spans through Portland, East Hampton, Glastonbury, Marlborough, and Hebron.Fun fact- Meshomasic State Forest was the very first State Forest in Connecticut AND the very first in New England!

Mystic Harbor Light House, Mystic CT 

Photo Credit for Mystic Light House Mindy Briar! 

Mystic Harbor Light House, Mystic CT

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