Now that the state is starting to thaw out a bit, the sunny afternoons are a great time to get the little ones outside for some fresh air. Connecticut has hundreds of great hiking trails, but not all of them are suitable for children. Little legs and feet have a harder time when there are jutting roots and big rocks to traverse, so If you have little ones, you’ll want a trail that is relatively flat and well groomed. We’ve uncovered these ten kid-friendly hikes all over the state and there is bound to be one that is just right for your family.
1. Stratton Brook State Park, Simsbury
There are a good amount of trails criss crossing this state park. You can walk for as little as 1/10th of a mile on the linear trail or take a longer excursion into the wooded areas. The scenery is delightful with the covered bridge, white pines, and pond. There is a picnic area and swimming is permitted in the summertime.
149 Farms Village Rd., Simsbury, CT
2. Lake Mohegan, Fairfield
Lake Mohegan has some great nature trails and you can choose to do short or longer hikes. The surroundings are beautiful and there are small waterfalls, bridges, and other things along the way to keep young ones interested. Lake Mohegan also has a swimming area, picnic area and small splash pad which makes it the perfect afternoon getaway during the summer months. No matter what time of year, the trails are well maintained and dogs are welcome to join you.
960 Moorehouse Hwy., Fairfield, CT
3. Tarrywile Park, Danbury
The 1 mile hike around the pond is a short stroll that anyone can enjoy at Tarrywile Park. There are additional trails if you are looking for a longer trip. The kids will love the restored silo and barn and there is even a garden for the young ones too. The mansion is magical here and beautiful to look at along with the other scenery at this amazing park.
70 Southern Blvd., Danbury, CT
4. Rocky Neck State Park, East Lyme
There are quite a few trails tucked away at Rocky Neck State Park. You can hike for as little as 1/10th of a mile or combine multiple trails to extend the length of your journey. In addition to the hiking trails, you and your kids will want to explore the fantastic sandy beach. Make a day of it and bring along a picnic lunch that you can eat at the stone pavilion.
244 West Main St., East Lyme, CT
5. Harry C. Barnes Memorial Nature Center, Bristol
People of all ages just love the Harry C. Barnes Memorial Nature Center. It has interactive exhibits, live reptiles and amphibians, as well as birds of prey. There is a short hiking loop at through the woods near the nature center as well as longer wooded trails to explore.
175 Shrub Rd.,
6. Roaring Brook Nature Center, Canton
There are five different trails under one mile to hike at Roaring Brook Nature Center. Explore the woods and wildlife before stopping by the nature center. There are also outdoor gardens, a beaver wetland exhibit, a small collection of live animals, and a nature store. There are plenty of activities to keep the whole family busy at this spot.
70 Gracey Rd., Canton, CT
7. Westmoor Park, West Hartford
Best known as a small working farm with animals, Westmoor Park also has four hiking trails that are under one mile. Explore forests, ponds, meadows, and more along your walk. A visit to the animals will surely delight children. This gem of green space is a blessing in a very populated area.
119 Flagg Rd., West Hartford, CT
8. Wharton Brook State Park, North Haven
The trail around the pond at Wharton Brook State Park is a flat, short hike. There are picnic tables available and the pond is open for fishing year round and swimming in the summer time. This scenic property is mostly shaded which is great during the warmer months.
175 Washington Ave., North Haven, CT
9. Northwest Park, Windsor
The trails at Northwest Park are very easy on the little ones legs. You can walk for as long or as short as you wish. In addition, this spot also has a nature center and live animals. Visit the sheep, cows, chickens and more at this little gem of a park.
145 Lang Rd, Windsor, CT
10. Kent Falls State Park, Kent
This last hike is only 1/4th of a mile, but it is steep. We've included it on our list of kid-friendly hikes simply because the views of Kent Falls are well worth the steeper climb. Wander across the covered bridge and hike along the falls for a wonderful experience. This hike will bring all your senses to life as you hear the roaring of the water and feel the mist on your face, children will be enchanted by this natural wonder.
462 Kent Cornwall Rd., Kent, CT
Do you have any more kid-friendly hikes that should be added to this list? Have you taken any of the above hikes before? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.