Day Trip to Hearthstone Castle and Tarrywile Park in Danbury
The mantra for 2020, whether we all like it or not, is all about adapting and going with the flow. For our family that has been about enjoying the resources around us and getting outside and exploring as much as possible by checking out mini hikes in the area–many of which weren’t on our radar prior to the pandemic.
Psst..check out our round-up of Drive-In Movies in Westchester!
One of our recent favorite adventures was a short drive to Danbury to visit the Hearthstone Castle and Tarrywile Park in Danbury.
We started by visiting the abandoned Hearthstone Castle. Once a lavish summer home, the castle is now rotted and covered in graffiti that you can view and walk around. I would suggest visiting the castle with older kids as there is a lot of broken glass and open wood planks around the space. You can get pretty close to see inside of what was, which incredibly used to have 17 rooms, 9 bedrooms, a library, a billiard room and a secret room.
After the visit to the castle, we took a short drive (around five minutes) to the gorgeous Tarrywile Park. A former dairy farm, the park encompasses 722 acres, including 21 miles of hiking trails. This one was particularly interesting as most of the hikes we have checked out have been very woodsy. This one started out at the former barn, which led to a playground area (currently closed) and then to an open field with massive trees in the background. It definitely didn’t feel like we were in Connecticut as soaked in the views from the beautiful pond, looking at the fish and frogs.
We took one of the easier trails, which went around the pond. While it was easier, we did come across several people, some who weren’t wearing masks, but everyone was very respectful about moving to the side and letting one another pause and then pass. Parts of the lake were also open where we could stop along the pond and take a moment. This trail was also very narrow and rocky and included a few small bridges, but relevantly flat and not hilly — making it pretty easy for the kids.
The park also has picnic areas and some benches throughout the space which is currently open for use. The scenic park is also the home of the Tarrywile Mansion that is closed but you can view from afar.
They also have certain protocols to follow during COVID-19. Please read them over before you visit the park.