- 37 miles (59 km)
- One hour to drive the Byway
- There are no fees for traveling the Parkway.
As one of the only roads listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Merritt Parkway boasts a distinction usually reserved for buildings or battlefields. Many locals consider the Byway the heart of their communities. Drive the winding Merritt Parkway and see for yourself why it inspires both reverence and devotion among its fans and supporters, many of whom use it daily or live nearby. Built in the 1930s to cope with America's new fascination with the automobile, this Byway is enshrined in the hearts of many as an icon of the automobile age and a model of highway planning.
A number of places along the Merritt Parkway dedicate great time and effort into preserving nature. The Audubon Center in Greenwich satisfies nature lovers of all kinds. With 15 miles of hiking trails and over 500 acres of woodlands and meadows, your chances to explore nature exist in abundance. Birders appreciate its wildlife viewing windows, nature store, and famous hawk-watch site. The Bartlett Arboretum sits on 63 acres in North Stamford. There, over 2,000 living plants grow and thrive under an array of conditions; perennial gardens are managed intensely, and woodlands develop naturally. During a visit at the Bartlett Arboretum, your senses fill with the vivid colors and fresh fragrances of woodland scenery. Formerly known as The Nature Center for Environmental Activities, Earthplace encourages environmental protection and awareness through a museum, a wildlife rehabilitation center, a research lab, and a 62-acre wildlife sanctuary that serves as an outdoor exhibit. Follow the trail system through the sanctuary and see a variety of wildlife in their natural surroundings.
At every bend and turn, brilliant foliage and scenery fill the senses with color. Traveling the Merritt Parkway is much the same today as when it was built, as much a drive through a park as a trip on a modern highway. Wind your way past green, well-maintained park areas and under bridges created with both function and aesthetics in mind, proving how beautiful a road can be. The road may have changed since the Thirties, but the feelings and symbolism behind this beautiful Byway remain.
Points of Interest
Points of Interest Along The Way
The Audubon Center in Greenwich is an area where anyoneinterested in learning more about the natural world will love to explore. The 522 acres of woodland and meadow habitat, 15 miles of hiking trails, and intrepretive programs give families, students, teachers, and hikers a wealth of information and recreation. The wildlife viewing windows, premier hawkwatch site, and nature store are a birder's dream come true.
Many programs are held at the Audubon Center to increaseawareness and understanding of the environment through education and research. Children love to attend the Children's Day Camp that lasts for a week, and even babies can learn about the natural world at Audubon Sprouts. Adults will enjoy programs such as the Bird Banding Field Course, Peeper Moon, and Butterflies through Binoculars. The natural beauty of the Audubon Center in Greenwich will give everyone an enjoyable time.
From Byway take exit 28, Round Hill Rd. Go north on Round Hill Rd 1.4 miles to John St. and turn left. Proceed 1.4 miles to entrance at Riversville Rd.
Bartlett Arboretum (CT)
Nestled among the historic landscape of Southwestern New England is The Bartlett Arboretum and Gardens - a natural preserve like no other in this region. Our property features 91 acres of irreplaceable open space highlighting the best of what Connecticut's native landscape has to offer:magnificent award-winning Champion trees (the largest of their kind in the state and even New England), charming gardens, wildflower meadows, red maple wetlands and boardwalks, woodland walking trails, varied wildlife, and nativehabitats. You can visit this unique green oasis from 8:30 am until sunset every day of the year in Stamford, Connecticut (located off the Merritt Parkway Exit 35). For more information visit The Bartlett Arboretum.
Leaving the Byway, take Exit 35, drive north 1.5 miles, then go left on Brookdale Road.
Earthplace: The Nature Center for Environmental Activities (CT)
The Nature Center for Environmental Activities is dedicated to promoting environmental awareness. The center is a haven for those who enjoy nature and encourages people to feel a responsibility toward protecting our environment.
A unique entity, the center consists of several components: museum, wildlife rehabilitation center, water quality research lab, and a 62-acre open space wildlife sanctuary, which is a living outdoor exhibit. The sanctuary features a two-mile connecting trail system and an array of wildlife which can be spotted living in their natural surroundings at various times of the year. Through these components, the center offers people an opportunity to experience the most enjoyable elements of the natural world.
The Nature Center is located off the Merritt Parkway Exit 41, turn west and follow Rte. 33 South 1.2 miles, turn right on King's Highway North 0.6 miles to a right on Woodside Avenue, it is 0.9 miles to the Center.
Rocky ridges, bubbling streams, silent ponds, woodland trails, small farms and great examples of Americana and art. You can experience it all at a farm, natural science center, exhibitions and seasonal events. Since its beginnings, the Museum has been collecting artifacts from five areas for its collections: the Natural History of New England, 19th and 20th Century art, Native American art and cultures, Early American and Americana objects, and pre-World War II farm implements.
It is not only a museum, however, but also a nature center. The Stamford Museum and Nature Center has miles of beautiful walking trails. They traverse much of the 118-acre property, allowing visitors to decide whether they want to take a leisurely walk, short hike, or challenging excursion. The nature surrounding the trails is spectacular and includes numerous varieties of plant and animal life. Children will love the Heckscher Farm. School children and families can visit the working farm to learn more about the not-so-distant past when farming was a major way of life.
Take Exit 35, and drive north for 0.75 miles. The center is at the junction of High Ridge Road (Rt. 137) and Scofieldtown Road.