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Nestled beneath Talcott Mountain, Penwood State Park is a heavily wooded area overlooking the Connecticut River Valley. The park is just outside Bloomfield, CT, and half an hour away from Hartford. This state park is very popular among local runners and mountain bikers who make use of paved trails that go deep into the forest. Penwood State Park hides many secrets such as Lake Louise, and hikers may uncover them during their adventures.
Penwood State Park has a captivating history. The park was donated to the state of Connecticut by Curtis H. Veeder, a passionate outdoor enthusiast. He had just one request – to keep nature of this place completely intact. This means no campgrounds or campfires anywhere in the park. Curtis H. Veeder and his wife Louise were avid hikers, and they built some trails themselves. Today, Penwood State Park is a stunning place that welcomes hikers and mountain bikers all year round. Visitors who are interested in exploring Penwood State Park could search for an RV in Hartford County and start their unforgettable adventure.
Penwood State Park is known for the hiking trails that loop around the forest. Each trail is color-coded, making it easy to explore this state park. One part of the Blue Metacomet Trail System goes through Penwood State Park as well. The terrain here is not entirely flat, but novice hikers could still easily conquer the trails. Scenic overlooks are marked with a sign, and hikers who want to view the area from a higher point could take a break from their walk and enjoy the views. In winter, this state park is a popular destination for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
There are several picnic areas near the trails where visitors could sit down and relax. Nature here is simply magnificent, especially in spring, when wildflowers are in full bloom. Dozens of picnic tables are located near wide meadows, allowing visitors plenty of space to run, play, or engage in sports. The woods around the picnic areas are great for birdwatching, so don’t forget to pack a pair of binoculars into your RV rental.
Since Penwood State Park doesn’t have a camp, potential campers could stay at nearby Austin Hawes Campground. This campground is just a short drive away, and you could be at Penwood State Park in no time. The campground itself has basic amenities that will make your stay here as comfortable as possible. Campers will have access to hot showers, restrooms, and picnic areas. There are 30 RV sites at this campground, but it doesn’t have any hookups available.
The campsites can accommodate RVs that are up to 30 feet long. Additionally, campers may use a dump station. Every site at this quiet campground has a picnic table, a fire ring, and a grill. Pets are welcome here, but owners need to keep them on a leash while they are out. Outdoor enthusiasts who are interested in motorhome camping at this place could make a reservation in advance. They may do so either online or by phone. It is worth mentioning that this is a seasonal campground open from May to September.
The community of Bloomfield has that small-town charm that attracts visitors who pass through this part of Connecticut. Streets are lined with greenery, and there are parks on almost every corner, making this place even more magical. Penwood State Park campers could spend a day exploring this city and uncover many fascinating landmarks. One of them is the Francis Gillette House. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this stone house was once the home of Francis Gillette, a prominent abolitionist. Before the start of the American Civil War, Gillette was firmly against slavery. Some documents even suggest that he used this house to hide runaway slaves.
Located on Park Avenue, Old Farm Schoolhouse is a museum ran by the local historical society. The school was constructed in the late 18th century and was used until 1922. The brick structure stands even today, with some original furniture still in the classrooms. Visitors could tour this building and experience how it was for the students centuries ago. The historical society did a great job preserving this place, as well as the artifacts that can be found inside.
Bloomfield has several diners, and most of them offer local cuisine. Of course, there are a couple of international restaurants for those who prefer Italian or Thai food. Craft breweries are also huge here, and they are worth a visit.
When you are eager to see more of Connecticut, don’t forget to fill up the tank of your rental RV at one of the gas stations next to the main roads. Then head southwest to Waterbury, a city known for watch manufacturing and exquisite architecture.