Gillette Castle


To top off an amazing weekend, I went on a nice hike with my oldest friend!  We went to Gillette Castle, located in East Haddam, CT and walked around for a while.  Unfortunately all the trails we hiked were loops that were about 5 minutes long,  and we didn’t realized that there was also a bunch of other trails on the other side of the parking lot, which may or may not have been longer and more “hike-like”.  It doesn’t really matter though, because we had a fantastic time!  Sometimes its more about the catch-time and socialization than it really is about the hiking and exercising.  We saw the castle, which overlooks the Connecticut River, and although it’s “off season” so we couldn’t go inside, the outside was amazing and we took a ton of pics.  

According the The DEP, Gillette Castle sits on the  most southerly hill on the Seven Sisters.  The land was purchased by actor William Hooker Gillette, most famous for his portrayal of “Sherlock Holmes”, and most of the castle and grounds were designed by him personally.  The castle itself is built of local fieldstone, and supported by a steel frame, and took 5 years and 20 men to build.  Gillette created a system of walking trails, which are still available for people like us to walk on today.  He also had an underground vegetable cellar (like the one on Alaska: The Last Frontier, for you Discovery Channel watchers), a railroad station, and a goldfish pond.  The fact that the castle is still a tourist attraction and upkept for visitors would have been the wish of Gillette, who gave specific instructions to see that the property did not fall into the hands “of some blithering saphead who has no conception of where he is or with what surrounded.”

gillette 1

Left: Kelly on the trail (you can see that the trails are completely lined with cantaloupe-sized rocks throughout).
Top right: images of the castle’s amazing architecture that was built almost 100 years ago! (notice the stone awnings!)
Bottom right: Me and Kel

Gillette Castle

Me posing in Front of Gillette Castle!

 

Gillette Castle

Kelly in front of the Connecticut River View

town tavernOn our way home we stopped at The Town Tavern, in East Haddam.  It was quite the interesting establishment.  It was super fancy when we walked in, with long maroon curtains with gold silk overlays.  The funny part was, it was not a fancy place. It was just a regular bar with regular bar food.  It was basically like the Holiday Inn trying to be the Ritz-Carlton.  It wasn’t a bad place though!  The food was delicious!  I had a BLT, which you can’t really mess up, unless you get it at Hanifan’s in Glastonbury, CT.  I got one there once and in addition to it not being a B (Bacon) L (Lettuce) T (Tomato), was just horrible all the way around.  But I digress, like I said, the Town Tavern, while a very nice place to eat, seemed a little too fancy for it’s own britches.  This was especially evident by the time we left, if by nothing else, by the clientele. When we arrived, we were the only ones there, but by the time we left the bar area was crowded with multiple mechanics, landscapers, and even what looked like a set of grandparents with their teenage grandson…in pajama pants.  haha.

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About erinHasThoughts

I just started eHT in January of 2011, and I'm shocked and humbled that people read it! For some reason it seems like I am always in the most ridiculous situations and witness things only seen in movies, so I like to share my experiences with all of you. Thanks for reading! xo

Posted on January 21, 2013, in 50 Hikes in CT, Bucket List and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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