A Walk Through Cranbury Park in Norwalk, Connecticut

Want to go on an easy hike in Norwalk, Connecticut? I recommend you visit Cranbury Park. If you like tough hikes then this might be way too easy for you. Also, you can get married here, have a picnic, go mountain biking, and exercise with your dog. Ok, technically you don’t get married on the trails, but you can rent the mansion located on the premises.

Gallaher Mansion

Gallaher Mansion

Gallaher Mansion is the first thing that you see when you drive into Cranbury Park. It was originally built in 1929 and is now a museum. Unfortunately, as of this post, their website is just a static photo. Therefore, I couldn’t obtain any information on the museum’s time and cost. On the latest Sunday that I went on a walk there, there was an event going on by the playground that was full of kids, parents and loud music. You can rent the mansion for all sorts of event, but weddings are popular at the location. I’ve never walked into the mansion, but on several occasions I’ve gone just to sit down on the huge lawn and read a book. If you’re not up for taking a walk, you can always just have a picnic. Hopefully, they continue updating the website and provide more information in the near future.

*Tip* If you are a Norwalk, CT resident with a beach/resident pass then there is no parking fee to enter Cranbury Park. Other CT residents pay $5.00 and out-of-state residents pay more. During the fall and winter, parking permits are not enforced.

Cranbury Park Trail Map

Cranbury Park Trails

I usually start on the ADA trail/blue trail (see map here) and do a complete loop. This past weekend I hit the trail here as a warm-up before going on a bike ride at another location. I truly consider the trails more of “a walk” instead of “a hike” because there is no significant elevation. It’s also just a little over a mile long. This is why you will also see a lot of families with their kiddos in Cranbury Park, and why you will see a lot of children on their bikes throughout the trails.

Cranberry Park Trail

 

The only challenge that can throw some people off is that there is a left turn to stay on the blue trail when it divides with the ADA trail. Even though we had been there a few times, my husband and I were distracted and continued on the wrong trail and only realized this until we were in front of a building. We walked back for a couple of minutes and then saw where we had missed the turn. The picture below shows where the blue blaze is supposed to be on the rock to alert people to make a turn. Nonetheless, it’s barely showing. Have this in mind if you decide to take a walk there. We actually saw about 2 other groups that made the same mistake we did. They kept on walking straight and eventually came back to the path…

cranbury park blue trail

The blue trail will eventually lead you to the red trail. This is where you will mostly see pups and their human parents. On this particular Sunday we continued onto the green trail. This is where you’ll start seeing the disc golf baskets. I went in early October, but in peak fall foliage, this could make for a great view.

cranbury park disc golf

There will be people in groups, maybe with a beer or two in hand, throwing discs. I haven’t tried it yet, but there are 18 golf baskets along the route.

You will also see some information about the plants throughout the trail.

cranbury park

It’s a pretty short and serene hike, and I would recommend it for people in the area that don’t want to exert themselves too much. Cranbury Park has a playground, a mansion, lots of green space to throw a frisbee or two, and a lawn to have a picnic at. So head out to Norwalk, Connecticut on a clear day just to chill and relax.

cranbury park norwalk ct

Victoria Alicia

46 comments

  1. I always envisioned Connecticut to be full of cute little houses and big backyards, I never realized it had so much nature! Such gorgeous photos! I will have to add this park to my bucket list!

  2. Fall in the US is the best and hiking is the perfect thing to do. Love your idea about getting married there. My friend’s fiance proposed on a hiking trail so it’s possible on the trail!

  3. I love fall in CT. Being from NJ it is a short trip when you know how to beat the traffic and travel smart! I will have to add this as a place to visit!

  4. Amazing the small side trips that are uncovered from the BIG tourist destinations. Thanks for sharing a now unhidden part of the world that most would never see. Your post encourages me to visit my local area in which I always overlook. When I lived in the outlying suburbs of Seattle I overlooked the tourist trappings and side trips that make up the character of a city. Only until moving away did I take the time to revisit the hidden and visible sites of interest.

    1. That’s so funny about Seattle! I think this happens a lot because we want to “avoid” doing what the tourists do. My cousin has lived in NYC her whole life and she went to Ellis Island for the first time with me a couple of years ago. Baffling!

  5. This is such a beautiful park!!! I love looking at plants but I hate it when I never know what the names are so it’s awesome that they’ve labeled them. Would defs love to do a picnic here too!

  6. Connecticut is so beautiful for fall leaves and especially for hiking! It looks like am easy pleasant hike. There is plenty to do in Cranbury park between Frisbee golf and exploring the mansion.

  7. Even if it’s an easy hike, I’d love to do it for the entire stretch is dotted with trees and flora. I’d incorporate this one on my visit to Connecticut for sure! Thanks for the suggestions and wonderful pictures.

  8. We’ve got some pretty trails like that in Richmond, VA. Aren’t they the best way to spend a weekend morning? Loved your write-up and the things to keep in mind (like the spot where the blue blaze is barely showing). Info like that is so helpful!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

©️ 2017
%d bloggers like this: