A man mountain biking down rocks in the woods (Instagram@mikc.ferraro)

Penwood State Park

Bloomfield, CT

Penwood State Park offers almost 800 acres and four seasons of natural scenery, wildlife, spectacular vistas, solitude, and recreation, just twenty minutes from the capital city. Located just across the street from Talcott Mountain State Park, the park also sits in the Talcott Mountain Range with a section of Connecticut's Blue Blazed Trail system, the Metacomet, traversing much of the park. A long, wooded ridge dominates the sunset-side of the park, offering panoramic views of the Farmington River Valley, particularly breathtaking in fall. In April, as the snow recedes, colorful wildflowers carpet the park. The trillium is common as are dutchman's breeches, hepatica, bloodroot, and trailing arbutus. You might even glimpse the flight of a pileated woodpecker, turkey vulture, or bald eagle.

Curtis H. Veeder, an industrialist, inventor, and outdoorsman, gifted the land to the citizens of Connecticut in 1944, wishing 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 to more intimately observe the wildlife, woodland phenomena, and scenic vistas surrounding the mountain. Honoring the donor's request, ground fires, horses and camping are excluded from the activities at Penwood.

Views from the Park

560 Simsbury Road
Bloomfield, CT 06002


Open Daily
(8:00 a.m. – Sunset)


Main (860) 242-1158

Three people hiking through the winter snow (Instagram@hippiepreppybobohomegirl)




Reserve an open air picnic shelter



The youngest rocks in Connecticut lie in the central part of the state. Penwood is made up of those young rocks, only about 200 million years old. About 250 million years ago, all of Earth's land made up one huge continent called Pangea. It began to break up about that time, with large pieces of continental crust moving in various directions. 

What is now North America broke away from present-day Europe and Africa. As this occurred, tension fractures formed in the land, similar to what might happen if you try to stretch cookie dough or modeling clay. Two such fractures formed in central Connecticut, allowing a long narrow valley to drop below the level of the surrounding land. Sediments from the surrounding highlands washed into the basin. Deep fractures formed in some places and lava flowed up to the surface from the upper mantle. Three such lava flows filled the valley and covered the surrounding uplands. In between the flows, sediments continued to flow into the still dropping valley. We now have a pile of sedimentary rock made from alternating layers of sedimentary rock and lava flow. 

Finally, the eastern side of the valley dropped faster than the western side, so now the rocks all dip toward the east. Over the intervening 200 million years, the higher uplands have eroded down so they are now much lower than they were and the basalts have all been eroded off of them. Basalts are now found only in the valley, where their lower elevation protected them from erosion.

Rock Types Found on Main Trail: 

Igneous (Basalt), Sedimentary (Siltstone)

Rock Units: 

Holyoke Basalt (Jurassic): dark gray, orange- to brown-weathering basalt; Talcott Basalt (Jurassic) dark gray, orange- to brown-weathering basalt; Shuttle Meadow Formation (Jurassic): reddish-brown silty shale

Interesting Geologic Features: 

Rockfall caves, glacial plucking, glacial erratics






Reserve an open air picnic shelter






Picnic Shelter

Picnic Tables



Picnic Areas & Hiking Trails
Yes, on leash