Connecticut is expecting one of its brightest fall foliage seasons in recent memory, and it is also offering visitors more ways to create fall memories with friends and family.
This year, Connecticut is offering leaf-peeping excursions by ski lift, a wider selection of wine, beer and cider-related experiences, new hiking and biking trails, deals on lodging and can’t-miss events.
“Due to one of the wettest Augusts in recent memory, Connecticut trees and forests are primed to present an amazing array of fall colors,” said Christopher Martin, director/state forester, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. “Fall foliage seekers will find Connecticut offers some of the most diverse tree species in all of North America.”
Travelers hoping to get a head start on planning the perfect New England fall foliage getaway to Connecticut can use the “Find Fall Faster” resources on www.CTvisit.com, which include the Fall Foliage Finder, seven scenic driving routes and 20 pre-planned getaways.
This fall, travelers to Connecticut can:
Settle in at a bucolic B&B or seaside inn offering special fall packages. The Inn at Harbor Hill Marina in Niantic is offering a two-night stay with first class tickets to the Essex Steam Train & Riverboat, a gift certificate for dinner, and seasonal treats at B.F. Clyde’s Cider Mill in Mystic — the oldest steam-powered cider mill in the United States.
- Stroll tree-lined streets in charming towns filled with shops, restaurants, antiques and historical and cultural landmarks, including New Milford, East Haddam, Putnam, Old Lyme and New Canaan — home to Grace Farms.
- Leaf peep from new vantage points, including atop a ski lift at Powder Ridge Mountain Park & Resort in Middlefield, or by boat on the RiverQuest in East Haddam or Argia in Mystic.
- Hit the trails in Sherman, where there’s now more than 10 miles of hiking at Deer Pond Farm. Or, use a newly released interactive trails map to explore the scenic vistas, challenging climbs and rolling valleys of Northwest Connecticut.
- Visit an orchard to pick your own apples, pumpkins or get lost (and found) in a corn maze. The Railroad Museum of New England in Thomaston and the Connecticut Trolley Museum in East Windsor also offer kid-friendly pumpkin patch trains rides.
- Discover your inner lumberjack at any one of three new axe throwing venues, including Blue Ox in Wallingford, Montana Nights in Newington and Pine & Iron in Hartford.
- Sip hard cider at New England Cider Company in Wallingford, Spoke & Spy Ciderworks in Middletown or Crazy Cook Cider in Stafford Springs. Or, explore the Connecticut Wine Trail and Connecticut Beer Trail — now featuring Athletic Brewing Company in Stratford, Connecticut’s first brewery specializing in non-alcoholic beer.
- Get in the Halloween spirit with a visit to Hartford for “Graveyard Shift Ghost Tours” at the Mark Twain House and Museum. Or, head to the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion in Norwalk for “Ghosts from the Civil War” Halloween tours.
“Connecticut visitors can combine a variety of experiences to build the perfect New England fall foliage getaway,” said Randy Fiveash, director of the Connecticut Office of Tourism. “Whether on the hunt for foliage, a new adventure or historical experience, it’s all just a short trip away in Connecticut.”