If your family likes hiking, biking and hitting the sand, these towns are for you…
Though less than an hour from midtown Manhattan, Connecticut can often feel like a world away. Sure, Fairfield County is packed with amazing downtowns, celebrity chef-driven restaurants and plenty of museums, theaters and concert venues to ensure you don’t miss your city faves. At the same time, though, many of these towns strike the perfect balance—all of the amenities you don’t want to give up plus access to parks, preserves, trails, beaches and green spaces, ideal for active, outdoorsy families.
It’s a win/win, especially for families looking to get OUT—out of the city and into the great outdoors. If that’s you, consider these communities…
#1. Weston, CT
Weston—just 50 miles outside of the city—is a great fit for outdoorsy families. Many locals and visitors alike hit Devil’s Den Preserve on evenings and weekends. The 1,746-acre preserve spans both Weston and neighboring Redding and includes 20 miles of “moderate” trails (AKA good for serious hikers and the kids…).
Also popular for hikers of all skill levels? Trout Brook Valley Preserve which runs through Weston and Easton. Here, you’ll find trails for everyone from true beginners and kids who aren’t quite ready for an all-day hike, straight through to advanced hikers.
For more quick-hit walking, hiking and biking, there’s Aspetuck Land Trust which encompasses 16 smaller preserves spread across Weston. We’re also loving Bisceglie Park. Not only is it a beautiful backdrop, but you can stop and get your sweat on at any of the 22 fitness stations along the park’s main trail.
#2. Greenwich, CT
Greenwich has everything—including ample opportunities to get out and enjoy nature. For many families, that starts with Babcock Preserve, a 300-acre preserve that draws hikers, bikers and bird-watchers daily. Tod’s Point is also a popular spot for hikers, bikers and swimmers. The Old Greenwich Yacht Club is here and, all within the point, you’ll find ample spots for saltwater fishing, windsurfing and kite-surfing.
Montgomery Pinetum in Cos Cob also ranks high for beautiful hikes and top-notch strolling paths and picnicking areas. And, given the pinetum’s prime shoreline location, there’s always the beaches—Greenwich Point Beach, Fords Beach, Byram Park and Weed Beach are just a few of the popular options in and around Greenwich, Alternatively, hop a ferry to Island Beach, a beach and park just minutes off the Greenwich coast.
#3. Ridgefield, CT
Though a bit further than the typical commuter town, thanks to flexible schedules and work-from-home options, more and more families are heading to Ridgefield. With a small-town suburban vibe and houses spread further apart than in most Connecticut suburbs, Ridgefield immediately feels “outdoorsy.” Layer in the oversized gardens on many properties plus ample public green space and the vibe definitely continues as you tour individual neighborhoods.
But that’s just the beginning. Head to Seth Low Pierrepont State Park Reserve, a public rec area with more than 305 acres ideal for hiking, fishing and boating. Want to grab your bike and go? Hemlock Hills—also in Ridgefield—is the local go-to for casual cyclists and mountain bikers alike. With trails ranging from beginner to super challenging, many families pack up their bikes and head to the hills on weekends—the tougher the path, we’re told, the more incredible the view. Also popular: Bennetts Pond State Park, also in town.
#4. Fairfield, CT
Quaint and coastal, Fairfield has long been a go-to for families looking to get away from the urban hustle and bustle. For outdoorsy families, Fairfield truly has it all, starting with Lake Mohegan Loop. This moderate-level hike offers stunning views of the lake and, even, a waterfall.
Families also love the Roy and Margot Larsen Wildlife Sanctuary. This 155-acre woodland is home to seven miles of trails ideal for hiking, biking or just settling in with a picnic lunch. Alternatively, head to Lucius Pond Ordway or Devil’s Den Preserves in Weston for even more options to get out.
And, of course, don’t forget the beaches. While Jennings Beach and Fairfield Beach tend to be jam-packed with locals and visitors, many families also flock to more secluded spots like Penfield Beach and Sasco Beach. These summertime hotspots are perfect for younger beach-goers.
This is just the beginning. Looking for more outdoorsy suburbs—or something ELSE top your suburban must-have list? We want to hear about it. Contact us now to schedule your Suburbs Strategy session.