Best 10 Parks in Glastonbury, CT

Nature-lovers are a lucky bunch in the beautiful state of Connecticut. Every town in the state has natural beauty to offer. If you are in the Hartford area, you should check out these parks in Glastonbury, CT.

Glastonbury, CT is a south-Central town in Connecticut not far from Hartford.

Geographically, Glastonbury is an incredibly diverse town with a varied collection of outdoor environments.

Waterfalls, forests, marshes, grassy hills, ponds, and farming countryside make for delightful parks and escapes to nature. Even better is how easy to access and well-maintained these spaces are.

Check out the best 10 parks in Glastonbury, CT here:

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Best 10 Parks in Glastonbury, CT

1. Shoddy Mill Preserve

For a short easy hike with some history attached, try out Shoddy Mill Preserve in Glastonbury, CT.

The Preserve offers 77 acres of natural space on and about the area where the historic Shoddy Mill once operated making reprocessed wool (shoddy).

Remnants of the old Mill’s foundation remain and blend into the general marshy area that spans the Roaring Brook Waterway. Take a stroll on one of the Preserve’s trails, all of which are accessible and quick.

The West Loop trail clocks in at just under a mile and the others even shorter. The Preserve is dog friendly, but keep your dogs on leash and clean up!  

2. Riverfront Park

The newest and most recreational of this list is Glastonbury’s Riverfront Park.

This park has endless offerings all on the scenic edge of the Connecticut River.

There are many sports fields, a dog park, boat launch, picnic tables galore, and a playground.

Families love to park themselves at a table for the day and get energy out while enjoying the river breeze and a picnic lunch.

3. Eastbury Pond

Eastbury Pond is an all-season local favorite park. Less of a park and more of a sandy beach, this large pond boasts a beach and swimming area.

It gets a lot of traffic from families in the summer cooling off and enjoying the sun.

In Spring, fans of fishing are bound to get some bites, as Eastbury Pond is fed by the state-stocked watercourse of Roaring Brook. There is a wheelchair-accessible fishing pier for all to enjoy.

In the winter, test your balance with ice skating on the pond’s frozen surface.

4. Blackledge Falls

Just along the East border of Glastonbury and its neighbor, Hebron, are 88 acres of space.

Inside the forest, you’ll find walking trails of moderate difficulty, the most scenic of which being the one that leads you to Blackledge Falls.

The Falls at their best feature three cascades over a 30-foot outcropping.

In addition to the waterfall, some trails will take you into the nearby Gay City State Park, with 1,500 more acres to explore.

5. J.B. Williams Park

Find something for everybody at Glastonbury’s very large J.B. Williams Park.

In addition to a number of fun trails to hike, this space has a covered pavilion, softball field, playground, and pond.

In the winter, the small pond freezes over and becomes a popular local skating spot and many people cross country ski on the trails.

When the weather is less freezing, runners delight in the options the trails offer for cross country jogs.

6. Cotton Hollow Preserve

Another park with woodlands and water, Cotton Hollow Preserve in Glastonbury, CT is cut through by the Roaring Brook.

You have two main choices: the mile-long North Trail or Tree Trail. Along the North Trail, which is moderately difficult, you’ll see the ruins of 19th-century grist mills and industrial buildings that once lined the brook.

The Tree Trail, on the other hand, is easy to walk and filled with large trees that the town has identified with markers.

When you’re done with the hike, walk the short distance to Cotton Hollow Kitchen, a local restaurant that takes its name from the nature around it.

7. Addison Park

You have high chances of catching a soccer game at Addison Park in Glastonbury.

The park’s open space is used for a number of sports activities, coupled with picnicking and swimming in the outdoor pool in the summer.

The Addison Park pool, open to the public, is a fabulous option for a quick summer cool-off in one of its 6 lanes or shallow end.

There’s also a lovely playground for the little ones to enjoy here.

8. Earle Park

If you want an easy walk with the possibility of seeing some horses, go to Earle Park in Glastonbury.

In the largely undeveloped space, there are picnic tables, a gazebo, well-maintained foot trails, and plenty of natural local flora and fauna.

The Glastonbury Pony Club has a ring in the park and often walks the horses on the trails, making this a great chance to cross paths with gentle giants.

9. Ferry Landing

Continuing in the tradition of Glastonbury being a town with no shortage of history, Ferry Landing Park is located on the Glastonbury side of the Glastonbury-Rocky Hill Ferry, the longest operating ferry in the United States.

While there is space to walk, most visitors come here to sit on a bench and watch the boat traffic go by or fish in the shallows.

If you’re lucky, you might spot a Bald Eagle here when they return to the CT River Watershed.

10. Great Pond Preserve

Another pond in Glastonbury, but this one isn’t for swimming! The Great Pond Preserve is 70 acres of land surrounding the 12-acre Great Pond, which was formed from glacial drawdown.

Interestingly, because the pond has drastic changes in water level over the year, the plants along its shore are specifically adapted to both immersion and drought.

Don’t miss the chance to follow the trail to the marked, 10 foot-circumference Red Cedar tree (it’s the largest of its kind in New England).

A local Eagle Scout recently created a self-guided walking tour of the pond, which you can access here.

There you have it, the best 10 parks in Glastonbury, CT. Now, get out there and enjoy some nature!

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