Connecticut has numerous recreational facilities. Swimming, boating, and other water sports are popular along the coastal beaches and at lakes. Facilities for hiking, camping, and other activities are provided in a statewide system of public parks and forests, and skiing and other winter sports are popular. The Connecticut Forest and Park Association, a private organization, maintains miles of hiking trails.
American Impressionist painter J. Alden Weir summered at what is now Weir Farm National Historic Site. The 24-hectare (60-acre) park includes Weir’s home, studio, barns and outbuildings, a visitor center, and a second studio built by sculptor Mahonri Young. The Appalachian National Scenic Trail traverses the northwest corner of the state.
There are many state parks in Connecticut as well as dozens of parks and historical sites maintained by municipalities. While not all of the state’s parks are developed, there are recreational facilities in every region. Hammonasset Beach State Park is the largest of the parks that border the shore of Long Island Sound. On a clear day, a person can see four states from Heublein Tower at Talcott Mountain State Park in the heart of the Farmington River Valley. Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park preserves the site where in 1781 British troops massacred American troops. A stair pathway adjacent the Kent Falls makes this state park a popular picnic site. Dinosaur tracks about 185 million years old are housed under a giant geodesic dome at the Dinosaur State Park, in Rocky Hill. Pine Knob Loop Trail at Housatonic Meadows State Park joins the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.
Most of Connecticut’s state forests do not permit camping but almost all are open for fishing, hiking, and other daytime activities.
Connecticut has many places of historical interest. At Webb House, at the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum in Wethersfield, George Washington met with the French General Jean Baptiste de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau during the American Revolution to plan the strategy that led to the Yorktown campaign. At Lebanon is the Revolutionary War Office, where Governor Jonathan Trumbull conferred with Washington, Benjamin Franklin, the Marquis de Lafayette, and other leaders. The Fundamental Orders and one of the two original copies of the 1662 charter are on display at the Connecticut State Library in Hartford. Mystic Seaport, a re-created village, features a restored seaport street of the early 19th century and the last of the old-time whaling ships.
Other places of historic interest in Connecticut include Keeler Tavern, in Ridgefield, where a British cannonball fired during the revolution is embedded in the wall; the Old State House in Hartford, where Connecticut’s early legislature met; the Tapping-Reeve House and Law School, in Litchfield, where America’s first law school was founded in 1773; and Old New-Gate Prison, a prison dating from the revolution, in East Granby. "Connecticut" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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