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Connecticut State Parks

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USA Parks
River Valley Region
Penwood State Park
Robin ©
Campfire and Hotdogs ©
Roasting hot dogs over an open fire.
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57 Gun Mill Road
Bloomfield, Connecticut   06002

Phone: 860-242-1158
Toll Free: 866-287-2757
Penwood State Park offers almost 800 acres of four-season fun just a short drive from the Capitol City.
History of the Area
A long wooded ridge dominates the sunset-side of the Connecticut River Valley in the vicinity of Hartford. Crested atop the northerly portion of the Talcott Mountain Range lies a sizable portion of the public domain, Penwood State Park. With this gift in 1944 to the citizens of Connecticut of nearly 800 acres, Curtis H. Veeder wished only that his beloved hilltop, "be kept in a natural state so that those who love nature may enjoy this property as I have enjoyed it."

Veeder was an industrialist, inventor and outdoorsman. Early maps of Penwood evidence Veeder's engineering skill and demand for precise accuracy. Surveying, often after dark, he used a complex theodolite instrument and a flashlight to establish a true meridian line from the exact position of a star.

Ardent hikers, Veeder and his wife, Louise, built many trails from which to more intimately observe the wildlife, woodland phenomena and scenic vistas surrounding the mountain. Appropriately, a section of Connecticut's Blue Blazed Trail system, the Metacomet, now traverses much of Penwood.

In April, as the snow recedes, colorful wildflowers carpet gravelly pockets of soil. The trillium is common as are dutchman's breeches, hepatica, bloodroot, and trailing arbutus. Occasionally the hiker may glimpse the flight of a pileated woodpecker, turkey vulture or bald eagle.

Honoring the donor's request, ground-fires, horses and camping are excluded from the activities at Penwood.
Connecticut has made state parks, forests, trails, historic sites and beaches more accessible to our residents so they can enjoy the many attractions and beauty they offer. Under the Passport to the Parks program, parking fees are now eliminated at Connecticut State Parks for those with Connecticut registered vehicles. You can view the CONNECTICUT PASSPORT TO THE PARKS web page to learn more.

Most hiking trails start and end in the main picnicking area. Each trail is a color-coded loop with the exception of the Nature Trail built by the Youth Conservation Corps. This trail encircles Lake Louise and passes by the pinnacle overlook.

An extensive trail system is maintained in cooperation with the Connecticut Forest and Park Association, which provides volunteer assistance. For information on volunteering for trail activities throughout the state contact the Connecticut Forest and Park Association, 16 Meriden Road, Rockfall, CT 06481; Telephone: (860) 346-2372.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
November 22 a nice surprise by lesley
park review stars; one to five i loved this almost the same view as talcott mountain but with less people. it was a nice hike. i definitely recommend it.
October 26 Mindblowing Place... by Sreedhar
park review stars; one to five I visited this place by chance turned out the best. We had a great time to spend around especially in this fall time. Amazing place.
November 24 Really Nice Walk! by Nathan Testerman
park review stars; one to five This park is one of my favorite places to go mountain biking. This park has a lot of trails for hiking, biking, or for a peaceful walk. In the middel of the park there is a large pond and a 20ft waterfall, there is also a very large picnic area that is along side a small river. This park sits between Simsbury and Bloomfield. The views are pretty nice as well. Great place to bring the family!
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Area Campgrounds
White Pines Campground
232 Old North Road
Barkhamsted, CT
Nearby Hotels

From I-91 North or South: take Exit 35B which is the Bloomfield Route 218 exit. This road is also known as Cottage Grove Road. Follow Cottage Grove Road heading west until you reach Route 185. Follow Route 185 heading for Simsbury. At the top of the hill, the entrance to Penwood will be on your right.

From I-84 East or West: take the Route 44 Exit. Follow Route 44 heading west until the junction of Routes 10 and 202 in the town of Avon. Follow Route 10 north until you reach Route 185 in Simsbury. Follow Route 185 heading for Bloomfield. At the top of the hill, Penwood is on your left.

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Connecticut State Parks