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Historic walking trail
Grab a map by the main gate and enjoy the historic mile loop around the park! Highlights include the memorial obelisk made of local granite, the remains of the encampment, reconstructed huts, the Putnam statute, and interpretive signs. An audio tour will be available soon.
Fishing is permitted at Putnam Pond, accessible through the Recreational Entrance by the Redding/Bethel border on Rt. 58. Visit the DEEP website for info.
Claim a picnic table or spread out on our lush lawns to enjoy a picnic! Open air grills are available on the recreational side of the park for those wishing to prepare food on-site. First come, first served.
Originally built in 1893 as an open-air pavilion, this building once hosted picnics, dances, and local gatherings until its deterioration led to its closure in the 1970s. DEEP, FANS, and a local architecture firm worked together to restore the pavilion with as much of the original materials as possible. The result was a modern, climate-controlled Visitor Center that opened in 2005. Stop by for maps, water, info, restrooms, a gift shop, and more. Open 10am - 5pm, Thursday - Monday, from Memorial Day to Veterans Day.
The museum was built in 1921 to house the park's growing collection. Its external plan is based on George Washington's headquarters in Newburgh, NY. Pay a visit to see artifacts found at the park, dioramas, paintings, and antiques donated by the local community. Open 10am - 5pm, Thursday - Monday, from Memorial Day to Veterans Day.
For decades, this has been a favorite camping site for scouting organizations and youth groups of all kinds. Campsites are open from the third weekend in April to Veterans Day. For more information on how to book, go here and scroll to Putnam Memorial State Park.
For five decades and counting, archaeological research has drastically changed our understanding of the encampment. After excavations by other groups in the early 1970s and again in the 1990s, the late, great Dan Cruson (pictured) led a number of digs at the park in the late 1990s - early 2000s. Some artifacts from these digs are on display in the museum. More digs are planned for the future.
Every May, the Friends and Neighbors of Putnam Park provide an educational experience for over 1000 elementary students from schools in Western Connecticut. Eighteenth century reenactors (cooks, potters, spinners, surgeons, musicians, soldiers, and others) demonstrate and discuss many facets of life in the late 1700s. Schools wishing to attend should contact Barbara Wyton here.
The Ghost Walk is held every other year, in odd-numbered years. It takes place after dark in late October, just in time for Halloween! Learn the spooky history of the park from local reenactors. After the walk, join the FANS for refreshments at the Visitor Center. The event is free and open to the public, though donations are greatly appreciated.
Every other November (on even-numbered years), the Friends and Neighbors of Putnam Park organize and fund a Revolutionary War-era re-enactment to celebrate the encampment of 1778-79. Attendees observe how colonial soldiers lived and fought through demonstrations, exhibits, and a skirmish. The children's muster is always a highlight of the event.
Every year on the the first Saturday of December, the Friends and Neighbors of Putnam Park host a Winter Walk in which an interpretive guide leads the group on a great historical and archaeological tour of the park. The walking tour is followed by a reenactment skirmish.