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Street style and performance? Is this a genre-defining moment? Is it streetmance? Probably not because that’s a horrible portmanteau, but you’ll be happy to know that our Champion crewneck sweatshirts are made with 10% recycled materials and, manufactured with Champion’s Double Dry® tech, they wick moisture away from the body, controlling moisture buildup. This technology makes Just Mystic’s sweatshirts great for hikes, walks, and even runs in Mystic on our many crisp, sunny days in the fall and winter.
Here are our top five places to hike, walk, or run in the Mystic area, including a couple that may still be under the radar and a little hush hush.
1. Pequot Woods Park
Spanning more than 140 acres of wooded forest, you’ll find many ponds and streams, as well as benches and bridges to pause as you enjoy the scenery. The best way to access Pequot Woods and its trail system is the parking area on Sandy Hollow Road. There’s also a garbage receptacle at the trailhead. Please practice Leave No Trace principles, and you can almost guarantee extra karma by picking up any trash others have left.
2. Beebe Pond Park and Hidden Lakes Trails
Close to Pequot Woods Park, you’ll find another wooded forest. 97 acres of trees, more ponds (as the name might indicate), streams, and wetlands. There are a couple of entrances to access easy walking and running trails. One is on Noank Road, east of Fishtown Road, and another is on Judson Avenue. See the map below for navigation.
(Additionally, you’ll note that areas of the park are conserved through Avalonia Land Conservancy, a land trust dedicated to conservation through the acquisition of open space. Founded in 1968, they conserve more than 4000 acres in Connecticut. You can see a map of their protected lands here.)
3. River Road and the Peace Nature Sanctuary
River Road is, well, a road, so it’s great for walks and runs, especially from the intersection with Starr Street to the I-95 bridge overpass. On this stretch, you’ll have a near-continuous, sweeping panorama of Mystic Seaport and the Mystic harbor for about a mile. You could also start or finish at the intersection of Gravel Street and West Main Street for additional coastal views along Captain’s Row.
Additionally, the bonus on River Road is the Peace Nature Sanctuary. Here, you’ll find more wooded trails, as well as vistas of Mystic from about 75 feet above River Road. And if you like orchids, each May nearly 400 pink lady’s slippers bloom in the sanctuary.
4. Bluff Point State Park
Bluff Point State Park is southeastern Connecticut’s premier nature experience. It’s a peninsula bursting with wildlife and stunning coastal views across more than 800 acres of trails for hiking, running, and biking. The most popular trail is a 3.6 mile loop, providing numerous places to stop for a picnic or simply enjoy the sights and sounds of Fishers Island Sound. It’s also a great spot for saltwater fishing.
5. Joe Devine Riviera
This is the shortest but most rugged area you’ll find on this list. It’s also the most spectacular, especially in the quieter months of the year. Frankly, I’m not sure many people know this place exists...
Joe Devine Riviera is a nature preserve in Groton Long Point (GLP), and in the high season, you’ll need a GLP parking permit to park at the trailhead, so it’s best to go before or after summer. You’ll need sturdy shoes to traverse the jetty and reach the point. You’ll also want one of our hoodies to block the wind. Once you’re at the end of the jetty, you’ll be face to face with the ocean and the solitary number one green channel marker. Red right return.
(If you’re curious, the numbers on channel markers indicate how close you are to open water. The lower the number, the nearer the open water is. So, for instance, if the first marker buoy that you encounter has a 44 on it, you should see numbers decreasing until you enter open water. The green marker buoys should always have odd numbers on them and the red ones should have even numbers on them. In the case of Joe Devine Riviera, the number one means you are literally at the edge of open water. Credit to Walsh Marine for this information.)
We hope that you love some of our favorite spots in the Mystic area. Also, if you're looking for a place to stay, a place to serve as your base camp, we've got some recommendations for you. Check out our posts with our top, most recommended Airbnbs and inns in Mystic. You'll find something you love.
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