10 Outdoor Adventures in Connecticut
Updated: Sep 28, 2022
By Roxy Brinton
Enjoy some fresh air and fun in Connecticut with some of our favorite activities. Connect with nature and your partner while having fun.
1. White Water Rafting
If you are looking for a thrill on the river, white water rafting is for you. Connecticut offers plenty of runs from the Housatonic River to the Farmington River. You will definitely be able to find rapids that match your experience. Clarke Outdoors is a top rated rafting company on the Housatonic River that will guide you and your group through the rapids. They provide paddles, life vests, and a shuttle service to the starting point. You can choose your experience on the river with options of a 6 mile run or a 10 mile run. The best time to hit the river is in May or June and make sure to book a raft ahead of your trip.
2. Zip Lining
Fly through Connecticut's treetops at Tree Trails. Whether you are interested in tree climbing, ziplining, or even zip racing, there are courses for everyone to enjoy. The ropes range in difficulty and after getting a harness then going through safety training, you are ready to go. This activity is fun for people of all ages and is a great way to get kids excited about exploring. Bring your friends and family to make some memories. Tree Trails even has a course under the night sky where they light up the ropes and you can climb with your surroundings glowing. You can even come in October for a spooky climb.
Experience this unique yoga class right next to the beach. A 75 minute flow is just what you need to get moving and relax at the same time. WalkAboutYoga provides an enriching practice of balance, endurance, strength, and flexibility. Whether you are a long time Yogi or a beginner, this class is for you. WAY uses the foundation of vinyasa practice, emphasizing safe alignment and breath-work. With steady yoga practice you will not only notice a difference in your body, but in your mind. Yoga helps reduce inflammation and releases stress. Awaken your soul and make the jump to healthy living.
4.Electric Bike Tour
Riding on an electric bike is exhilarating. It is a fantastic way to experience the outdoors at the perfect pace and you can go until your bike’s battery runs out. The scenery in New England is beautiful and every season offers different colors. Experience fresh florals in the spring, gorgeous foliage in the fall, and get some sunshine in the summer. Choose whether to get a workout in with pedal assist or go full throttle ahead. Some bikes can reach up to 25 miles/hour. Ride through hills, dirt roads, or through the local towns, wherever you go you will have a wonderful experience.
5. Visit the Botanical Gardens
If you like nature, you will love going to a botanical garden. The Bartlett Arboretum and Gardens have a wonderful selection of different plants for your viewing. Admission is free and the garden is open from dawn to dusk. The property was originally used for the FA Bartlett Tree Expert Company in 1913, but has expanded over the years as a laboratory and now is available for public enjoyment. The mission of the Arboretum is to provide an inclusive area to promote conservation of the plants of the region. You will have a fun, educational experience and you will be contributing to a community that inspires.
6.Rocky Neck State Park
White sand beaches, beautiful picnic areas, and diverse trail systems are all features of Rocky Neck State Park. Located on the Long Island Sound in East Lyme, this state park offers over 160 campsites and cabins. There is something for everyone to enjoy from salt marshes and fishing to caves and saltwater bathing. In 1931, some conservationists used their own money to purchase the land for the public to use and it has become quite popular ever since. The park has a wide array of geological features, perfect for exploring. If you like long walks on the beach or hiking there are beautiful landscapes everywhere you look.
Show off your balance and strength on the water by going stand up paddle boarding, or SUPing. Paddleboarding is a great way to get low impact exercise and relieve stress. This activity has increased in popularity as companies make blow up paddle boards that you can bring with you anywhere. If you are not ready for that level of commitment, there are places to rent boards at most popular bodies of water. In Connecticut, there are a plethora of spots to choose from, lakes and rivers alike. At some rental spots, you can go with a guide who will show you remote spots you can only get to on your board. If you are lucky you might even spot some wildlife.
8. Gillette Castle State Park
This medieval looking fortress is a popular place to visit. William Hooker Gillette, famous actor, director, and playwright, built the castle in 1914. It took 20 men 5 years and the woodwork is all southern white oak. The property has 47 doors and each has an intricately carved handle. Built in, movable couches are another cool feature. A walking path was constructed around the main house, complete with stone-arch bridges, steep stairs, and wooded trestles. You can hike, picnic, and camp by the river and take in the scenery. This is an awesome place to explore and experience rich history and beautiful architecture.
9. Mountain Biking
See what Connecticut is like at remote heights through mountain biking. There are plenty of trails to choose from at every level. If you are from out of town, look into renting a bike so you don’t miss out. Mountain biking improves heart health and reduces stress. It’s a full body workout and will help you sleep better at night. Getting up early to hit the trails helps you have a great start to your day. If you feel confident in your skills, you might even start competing in races. Mountain biking is a great way to stay active and have fun.
10. Studio 80 Sculpture Grounds
Experience art culture outside at the sculpture grounds. Located in Old Lyme, this property is made for you to not just view, but touch and explore art. The owner of this gallery, Gilbert Boro, believes that art brings people together and he wanted to create a space where that was possible. Art is powerful and something everyone should have access to, admission is free all year round and Gilbert encourages you to bring your loved ones to explore with you. There are many different artists who place their sculptures in between the trees to combine man made art with that of nature.