Web hopping

You think you’ve seen all there is to see in New England? There’s a corner of Connecticut that’s isn’t as urbanized and developed as some other parts of the region, where you can unwind and breathe country air.


Eastern Connecticut doesn’t have splashy resorts or a big national park, but it does have the Quinebaug &Shetucket Rivers Valley National Heritage Corridor, a mouthful of a name for a loosely organized scenic region of villages, farms, rivers, state parks and forests and the occasional antiques shop. Since it isn’t a formal park, there isn’t a lot of detailed information here, until you dig through “Plan Your Visit” and “Things to Do,” and then hit “click here” for a long list of regional attractions. The corridor also extends into south-central Massachusetts.


For a friendlier approach to Web travel surfing, The Last Green Valley touts the two river valleys’ more than 80 ponds and lakes, hiking trails and wildlife including moose and black bears. Look to the bottom of the page for a night satellite shot that illustrates how rural the area is, and look for “Photo Gallery” for the daytime scenery. Then click on “Tourist Information” for what you really need to know, including a detailed map. Explore the rural nature of the region by clicking on “Attractions” and then “Agricultural” – you can visit everything from pick-own-own orchards to maple sugar houses and even a distillery (natural fruit brandy).

“Attractions” also has links to state forests and parks, and something called “Unique &Curious.” And down near the bottom of the “Attractions” menu is an entry for self-guided tours, including bicycle treks.


It’s not all hiking and biking. Visit America’s Byways, click on “Explore … ” and go to Connecticut for Highway 169, a National Scenic Byway that passes the heritage corridor’s colonial homesteads and small towns. Keep it in mind when you’re planning a fall foliage season trip.


And, it’s not all strictly rural. The town of Putnam calls itself the Quiet Corner of Connecticut, a place to stroll and shop. Try “Guides” for the River Mills Heritage Trail and Putnam River Trail, and save a few minutes to quickly browse the photo gallery. “Links” has connections to more regional tourism Web sites.


The town is also is a convenient spot to spend money. Putnam Antiques will give you an introduction to the local shops.


The National Heritage Corridor is only a part of this end of the Nutmeg State. See what else you can see and do in eastern Connecticut by visiting the regional page of the state’s official CTvisit.

Roger Petterson, Associated Press

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