Best winter walks (and more) with children: Connecticut

We’ve been hearing from AMC volunteers and staff about their favorite winter walks, hikes, and other outings for families throughout the Northeast. We started in the White Mountains, then inscribed a suburban semi-circle around Boston. Continuing south, we explore winter outings in Connecticut, where Debra Rich organizes family trips for AMC’s Connecticut Chapter.

Jump Hill Preserve, Easton. Rich and her family like to walk the forested trails of this 117-acre preserve (2.6 miles). The preserve is dotted with reminders of Ice Age glaciers — and those boulders make for great exploring in all seasons. Another Connecticut Chapter family trip leader, Eric Stones, is leading a walk around Jump Hill on Sunday, February 21.

Sleeping Giant State Park, Hamden. Rich and her 8-year-old son, Zachary, visit this park several times a month, year-round. “It’s one of our favorite places to go,” Rich says, and the castle at the top of the Tower Trail is a “great motivator” for kids. The trail can be icy in winter, so Rich bought traction devices for Zachary to put on his boots. Watching her son explore familiar ground again and again, Rich has learned that kids don’t necessarily need new places all the time. In fact, some of the pleasure for both of them comes in noticing what’s changed.

Brooksvale Park, Hamden. This park occupies a corner of Naugatuck State Park. Rich is leading a “Sugar Maple Hike” for the Connecticut Chapter on Saturday, February 27. She's planned a 45-minute hike that starts and ends near an operating sugar shack — and there’s a barnyard zoo, too!

Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center, Mystic. The nature center offers a number of winter programs for families and children, including nature discovery for young children and wildlife programs for older children.

For the final post in this series, we will explore winter walks with children in the Delaware Valley. We’d love to hear how your family spends time outside during the winter, regardless of where your outings take place.

Learn more
- Read 5 tips from AMC family trip leaders for winter outings.
- 3 “Best Winter Walks” in the White Mountains
- 5 “Best Winter Walks” in Boston’s western suburbs
- 6 "Best Winter Walks" in Boston's southern metro area

Great Kids, Great Outdoors” is an AMC Outdoors blog, written by Kristen Laine.

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