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Gillette Castle State Park, East Haddam

(4.7/5 based on 500+ reviews on the web)
Perched on the hills above the Connecticut River, Gillette Castle State Park features an early 20th-century mansion and a series of lakeside walking trails. Here you'll find the crumbling former glory of actor William Gillette's medieval-looking residence, built of stone and surrounded by thick forest. You can wander the grounds, which are ideal for easy walks, thanks to pathways made from former railroad tracks. Explore the "castle" itself to see a great number of carved oak woodworks and creative features, such as built-in couches and a sliding table. To visit Gillette Castle State Park on your trip to East Haddam, use our East Haddam family vacation planner.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Castle and visitors center only open seasonally. We had a nice walk around, but plan on returning next spring or summer for the full experience. Nice views of the Connecticut River and the Essex Steam...  more »
  • Go back in time to a much more gentile age.This stone castle is amazing and the grounds with lots of trails overlooking the Connecticut River far below are just as amazing.The workmanship of all the i...  more »
  • A lovely location above the Connecticut River and a perfect spot to hike on a quintessential autumn afternoon. It was after the season so the museum was closed which was unfortunate as we would have l...  more »
Google
  • Must be seen inside and out. Entry is a reasonable fee and is covered by the Connecticut Heritage Passport. The tour of the castle is informative and gorgeous. The outside grounds have a lot of potential for rambling and when we visited, there was a play about the life of the castle's architect and owner, the colorful Gillette. Our four children enjoyed the clever touches Gillette put on the inside of the castle. There is also a reasonably priced cafe on the grounds which serves sandwiches, drinks, and ice cream.
  • A must stop. Only $6 for the inside tour. Outside is free and you can peak into the living room. Great architecture and views. Lovely grounds if you have the time. Easy to do the house in less than an hour. Could take 3 hours with the grounds.
  • A very cool stop. A stone mansion located on hilltop. It offers a great tour, hikes that go around the property and down to the CT River. The tour is only $6. Beautiful scenery. If you are coming from the west side of the CT River take the ferry across the river for $5 and $6 on weekends. Well worth the ride.
  • Beautiful grounds and a very unique house. You could spend an hour just checking out all the custom made wooden locks and other fasteners. It's more interesting than it sounds. I personally think the outside of the castle is ugly, but there is enough history and craftsmanship to make it interesting. There are no guided tours, but guides are stationed throughout the castle to answer questions. The price for entry was reasonable too. The food at the small cafe was pretty good as well. Service could have been faster though.
  • Really cool place with a great back story. Well worth a stop. Spectacular views and very unique architecture