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A passionate outdoorsman donated the land for the Penwood State Park and requested that horses, camping, and campfires be excluded from the activities at Penwood. True nature-lovers will feel right at home in this well-preserved, beautiful setting, which is a hiker's paradise. Cross-country skiing is welcome in the winter. A section of Connecticut's Blue Blazed Trail system, the Metacomet, traverses much of the Penwood State Park. In April, as the snow recedes, colorful wildflowers carpet gravelly pockets of soil. The trillium is common, as are dutchman's breeches, hepatica, bloodroot, and trailing arbutus. Occasionally, hikers may catch a glimpse of a pileated woodpecker, turkey vulture or bald eagle.
Natural Features
A long wooded ridge dominates the sunset side of the Connecticut River Valley in the vicinity of Hartford, and Penwood State Park sits atop the northerly portion of the Talcott Mountain Range. With this gift in 1944 to the citizens of Connecticut of nearly 800 acres, Curtis H. Veeder wished only that his beloved hilltop "be kept in a natural state, so that those who love nature may enjoy this property as I have enjoyed it." Ardent hikers, Veeder and his wife, Louise, built many trails from which to more intimately observe the wildlife, woodland phenomena and scenic vistas surrounding the mountain.
Recreation
An extensive trail system is maintained in cooperation with the Connecticut Forest and Park Association. Most hiking trails start and end in the main picnicking area. Each trail is a color-coded loop, except the Nature Trail, built by the Youth Conservation Corps, which encircles Lake Louise and passes by the pinnacle overlook. Other park activities include cross-country skiing and picnicking.
Facilities
Park facilities include restrooms, picnic shelters, and picnic tables. Please note that the Penwood State Park Picnic Shelter is about a half-mile walk from the parking lot.
Nearby Attractions
Nearby state parks include American Legion and Peoples State Forests, Stratton Brook State Park, and Talcott Mountain State Park.
Picnic Shelter Cancellation Policy:

Refund amounts will be determined as follows:
• Cancellations made 30 days or more prior to the picnic shelter reservation: full refund less the $9.00 non-refundable reservation fee and $9.00 cancellation fee
• Cancellations made 6 - 29 days prior to the picnic shelter reservation: refund of $145.00 less $9.00 cancellation fee
• Cancellations made within 5 days of the picnic shelter reservation: Not eligible for a refund.

You can now make a reservation for the day before your arrival and up until 11 months in advance

All Parking fees are additional and will be collected on arrival at the gate.

Heavy weekend use at each park may lead to gate closures if the park fills to capacity. In the event of this happening, no more cars are allowed to enter. Guests should plan to arrive as early as possible to avoid being turned away. (Picnic shelter rental does not guarantee entry to the park.)

Penwood Picnic Shelter camping trips are easy to plan with ReserveAmerica. Penwood Picnic Shelter campground reservations can be made online. Click one of the links below to see available campsites at Penwood Picnic Shelter or day pass availability.