Less than an hour's drive from Hartford, Norwich is a charming city by the confluence of Yantic, Shetucket, and Quinebaug Rivers in southeast Connecticut. Established in the mid-17th century by English colonists from Old Saybrook, "The Rose of New England" was carved out of land bought from the local Mohegan tribe led by their chief, Uncas. In time, improved landing facilities at the head of the Thames River (present-day location of downtown) enabled Norwich's shipping trade to flourish as goods were carried out from the interior to Long Island Sound and into other parts of the Atlantic seaboard and the world.
Norwich's rich Native American and colonial past is on full display in its many historic trails, museums, and stately mansions. This makes the city a fitting introduction to the many attractions this corner of New England is famous for. Find the best RV rentals in New London County today and experience the many delights that make this city and its surrounding area truly deserving of its nickname.
Discover New England’s Colonial Past and Natural Beauty
When you rent a motorhome in Norwich, you’ll find a wide range of trails that the city offers its residents and visitors. Go all the way back to when the town was occupied by its original inhabitants when you walk the easy two-mile Uncas Leap Trail. Or get to know the courageous characters who fought their way out of slavery and into freedom on the strenuous 1.5-mile Freedom Trail. Take a scenic walk as you follow the riverfront Heritage Trail hugging the Yantic River and connecting it to the stunning Norwich Harbor where you’ll see interpretive signs describing the historic Chelsea Landing.
Water enthusiasts only need to look around for the abundant recreational opportunities the many rivers of Norwich provide. Leave your RV rental in Norwich and cast off from the downtown waterfront's public launching ramp. Dip your paddle for a canoeing/kayaking trip upstream on the Yantic to reach the breathtaking cascading falls of the Uncas Leap, or follow the Thames downstream to reach the Trading Cove. Alternatively, you can choose a nice spot from Norwich's 10 miles of shoreline to reel in striped bass, bluefish, and white perch.
For some white-knuckle adventure on single-track trails, take your travel trailer rental from Norwich to Mooween State Park in Lebanon. A network of nearly 10 miles of mountain biking trails features flowing terrain for both beginner and intermediate riders and giant boulders and steep rollers for advanced bikers. Hikers seeking solitude will find the modest sloping hillsides and densely wooded setting of the park conducive to contemplative walks.
Where to Park Your RV
While no RV park or campground offers short-term stays in Norwich, one of the closest is only five miles out of town, in Preston. There are also a handful of campgrounds within 10 miles of town offering full hookup sites, restrooms, and showers. Within these limits, you can have a state park experience at Salt Rock Campground in a rural and wooded setting. There are full hookup sites here as well as showers, restrooms, and a dump station for your Norwich camper rental. Walking trails can be found nearby as well as river and fishing access.
A range of camping options opens up if you’re willing to go the distance. A number of them offer water, sewer, and electrical connections along with access to restrooms and showers. But if all you need is a place to rest for a night or two, you don't even have to leave town as there's a Walmart on Salem Turnpike, though it's best to get the store manager's approval for overnight parking.
The City Up Close: Getting to Know Norwich
Explore the 1.5-mile Millionaires' Triangle Trail to give you a sense of how prosperous the residents of Norwich were back in the day. Marvel at the extravagant mansions that make this affluent neighborhood an architectural showpiece. Greek Revival and Italianate villa style were some of the favored designs that some families adopted during this gilded age of Norwich.
The Slaters are one of those wealthy families celebrated today at The Slater Memorial Museum. Founded in 1888 in honor of John Fox Slater, a Norwich industrialist, the museum's permanent exhibits include more than 100 plaster casts of Greco-Roman statues. There also art and artifacts from five continents, and an exhibition on the Grand Tour the family took in 1894 through 1895 on their private steam yacht.
With your motorhome rental in Norwich parked somewhere safe, take the Southeast Area Transit or SEAT and see more of the city. Step inside the Mohegan Park and breathe in the scent of the city’s namesake when you enter the two-acre Rose Garden. Landscaped on gently sloping parkland, the enormous garden overwhelms your senses with more than 120 varieties of roses from about 2,500 bushes. Time your visit in June when the roses are at their full height or catch the last of their glory as they continue to flower through to the end of summer.
Norwich has a lively dining scene and tempts hungry travelers with a decent menu of homey American comfort food, Italian staples, and Asian fare. Mexican specialties are also on offer along with steaks/BBQ, seafood, and fast food. Everything else you might need can be found in the two dozen grocery and convenience stores throughout the city. There are more than a dozen gas stations in Norwich, so you can go wherever your taste buds lead you.
Let the natural beauty, Native American history, and colonial heritage of Norwich inspire you to discover more of New England. This Old World slice of northeast United States is not only one of the most scenic places in the country, but the oldest too. Book an RV rental in Norwich today for a journey far back in time and surprise yourself at what you’ll discover.