Audubon_Nature_CenterWith its natural beauty, miles of hiking trails and educational nature centers Connecticut is great for a family staycation. From paved multi-use trails along restored train tracks to rigorous hikes on the famed Appalachian Trail to wildflower rambles, there’s something for everyone in your family, no matter their hiking ability.

Haystack Mountain State Park is a great destination in spring, summer or fall. Located near Norfolk, Connecticut, the park is famous for its 34-foot high tower. A paved roadway runs halfway up the mountain before becoming a half-mile dirt trail. There are picnic tables along the trail where your family can stop for a rest and to take in the view. From the tower’s observation deck your family can enjoy panoramic views of the Long Island Sound, the Berkshires, and peaks in Massachusetts and New York. If your family is new to hiking, allow about half an hour of walking time.

Justine Ickes, a contributing writer for Washington Parent, writes about travel, culture, education and people making a difference.