EAST WINDSOR, CT (WFSB) -
Since childhood, my love of the outdoors has always been a part of me. And as an adult, I hope to share that passion with my own children.
So, I offered this challenge to my family, to join me in exploring the hidden treasures and more popular gems Connecticut and the surrounding region have to offer.
From hiking to biking to kayaking, I hope my window into the outside world inspires you to explore as well.
SCANTIC RIVER STATE PARK THE RIVER LOOP
Tucked away at the end of a dead-end street in East Windsor sits the entrance to a vast and wooded landscape. Known as the Scantic River State Park, it sits along a picturesque river and covers about 784 acres of land. It stretches over three towns in all - East Windsor, Enfield, and Somers. And, on this particular day, I decided to explore the East Windsor piece of the puzzle with my two children and one of their friends in tow.
A kiosk greets you at the trailhead. However, it no longer provides a telltale map to guide visitors. So, instead, we relied on the path before us and what signs were posted along the way.
On this particular hike, we decided to take the River Loop, which follows the Scantic River for much of the trek. On the left, the remains of an old iron bridge can be seen crossing the waterway. The river's banks are a great place to explore, especially when the river is low and slow-moving. Named for the Scantuck Indians, the river is often used for fishing. On this trip, we didn't notice any fishermen, but did run into a few fellow hikers.
As we journeyed deeper into the forest, we often encountered wooden bridges that spanned small streams and swampy areas. These helped keep the kids entertained as we crossed about 10 of these in our entire 2-mile loop.
About a mile in, we came to a crossroads of sorts. We had the choice of either following the river or head up into the woods and circle back on higher ground. This is the path we chose in order to get back to where we began.
At this point, the path becomes a bit more rigorous and for my four-year-old, the allure of the trail is starting to wear down. But, we drudged on and wound our way back through the trees, eventually making our way towards the river again.
The entire hike took a good hour with all the stops we made. And although a bit rugged for the youngest of hikers, it was still a rewarding trip to accomplish. Of course, the promise of ice cream for a job well done doesn't hurt either!
Directions:Take I-91 to Exit 45, follow Route 140 east until Melrose Road. Take a left onto Melrose Road to the dead-end and park.