It's surely no secret that Ledyard Connecticut is best known for Foxwoods Resort Casino, bringing tens of thousands of visitors into this small town each day. Located in Ledyard's northeastern corner, the world-famous resort lies within Mashantucket Pequot Indian Reservation, a federally recognized land trust held by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. While you're visiting the casino take some time out to see the rest of Ledyard, abundant in scenic woodlands, riverfront and farms.
Mill Cove On The Thames River
Back in my early twenties, my sisters and I used to drive through Ledyard along Route 2 on our way to East Beach (also known as Blue Shutters) in Rhode Island. I especially remember the cornfields—tall swaying green stalks and leaves against the blue sky of summer, about to render their succulent seasonal delicacy. That was in the days before Foxwoods, but you can still find exceptional local produce each week at Ledyard Farmers' Market located at the Ledyard Fairgrounds. And speaking of fairgrounds, the first week in September brings locals and out-of-towners alike to the annual Ledyard Fair. This three-day event features animal competitions, pageants, and prizes for the best in baking, needlecrafts, and other handiwork. Looking for something a little more offbeat? Enter the "Redneck Olympics" or the bubblegum blowing contest to display your particular brand of talent!
Within the town of Ledyard lies the scenic village of Gales Ferry. It was named for the former ferry crossing over the Thames River into Montville, running from the mid-1700's to mid-1800's. The site of the ferry landing has been a training facility for Yale University's rowing team for over one hundred years. There are a number of historic homesteads within the village, especially along Riverside Place on the banks of the Thames.
From Gales Ferry follow Military Highway south along the Thames River to Erickson Park. Here you can grill your local produce from the Farmers' Market on the outdoor barbecue pit, grab a picnic table overlooking scenic Mill Cove, and feast as you watch the sunset across the river.
Other area attractions include Glacial Park on Whalehead Road. Scattered over a twenty-one acre area, the park's unusual rock formations are remnants from the last ice age. Round out your day with live entertainment while sipping locally-made wines from Maugle Sierra Vineyards located on Colonel Ledyard Highway (Route 117), a part of Connecticut's ever-growing wine trail.
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