First Week in New London • Bluff Point State Park • July 1, 2017
During our first week living in Connecticut, we got out several times to visit local attractions. Along with checking out some coastal state parks, we toured Fort Trumbull and walked around downtown New London. Curtis will be sharing about the fort soon, but our time downtown was mostly spent looking for letterboxes. Sometimes letterboxing in downtown areas leads us down secret narrow alleys that are quiet and charming like in Charleston or Savannah, but that wasn’t quite the case today — we ended up walking through a sketchy area. We still ended up finding an unexpected hidden gem though: the Old Mill, right underneath an overpass, so it wasn’t all for nothing. Aside from those few outings, I also shopped at the most ritzy Aldi I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting, and colored my hair red with a temporary dye just for fun.
Downtown New London
Our first weekend here was a 4 day weekend for the 4th, and we were at a loss for what we should do. Obviously our first choice would be to drive up to the White Mountains for camping and hiking, but we had a feeling that many others would have that same idea. There are SO MANY PEOPLE in New England, we thought that any sort of attraction or city would be crowded and that traffic would be horrendous. After throwing around ideas with a friend and even considering a backpacking trip in a more obscure mountain range, we finally decided to stay local. If this long weekend had fallen more in the middle or towards the end of our time in CT, we probably would have used it to get away, but since this area is still new to us we weren’t so eager to leave. Not to mention, we are already staying in a hotel room, so it didn’t feel right to travel somewhere else and potentially pay for another hotel or campsite.
On Saturday, we crossed the Thames river and drove down to another coastal park in Groton: Bluff Point State Park. There were SO many letterboxes in this area that Curtis decided to just focus on one series for today, with the assumption that we could come back anytime considering the park is free to visit. For today, we hiked the 3 mile loop trail that goes through the woods, out to the coast and back. There were a lot of people visiting this morning (as we expected), but most were concentrated on the West side of the loop and by the shore, and were there more to relax, picnic, and fish on the coast rather than hike in the woods.
We hiked the main loop trail counter-clockwise, and it was mostly a wide and flat path through the woods. The first half we were walking along an inlet with some views of the peninsulas to the West. It was incredibly humid and steamy without much of a breeze, so when we finally reached the coast we gladly welcomed the fresh ocean air. Bluff point, as its name suggests, is more a rocky coastline than a sandy beach, and it brought back happy memories of our favorite campsite in Maine. I love watching the waves crash into the big rocks and create little pools, which would quickly drain back into the ocean. We strayed off the trails to wander around the coast for a while before returning to our letterbox hunt.
We finished the loop after a few hours of hiking and enjoying the area. We’d definitely love to come back and revisit, maybe on a weekday when it’s less busy. As we drove away with the air conditioning on high, we noticed a very strategically placed Dairy Queen on the corner of the street, and immediately gave in to the temptation. There were no regrets. 🙂