- DesignationNational Scenic Byway (1996)
- Intrinsic QualitiesHistoric
- Length37 miles
Set in natural surroundings, Merritt Parkway's significant design brilliantly integrates the craft of the engineer and the artist. The bridges along the route are excellent examples of Art Deco, or Art Moderne, styles of the 1920s and 1930s. Magnificent foliage abounds in both spring and fall.
Story of the Byway
The Merritt Parkway is a must if you like history (built in the 1930s), nature and, architecture.
Commercial vehicles (including trucks), are banned from the parkway. The Parkway boasts the nation’s first clover leafs and unique bridges. There’s also a tunnel and service areas. The bridges were part of a project to make this a true "parkway--each bridge is and a must see. And in Stratford, a small museum detailing the design and construction of this unique road.
The Merritt Parkway consists of the portion of Route 15 from the New York State line northerly to the bridge crossing the Housatonic River (known as the Sikorsky Bridge) at the Stratford/Milford town line. (Route 15 continues northerly, but is named the Wilbur Cross Parkway from the bridge north.)
Points of Interest
Merritt Parkway Museum
Lobby museum dedicated to the Merritt Parkway. Archives, photos and a 30-minute video describing the early challenges of building the Merritt are on display.
Sikorsky Estuary Walk & Trail
Across the street from the museum on Ryders Lane is the Sikorsky Estuary Walk. The bicycle/pedestrian path features interpretive signage on the river, flora and fauna. The bridge spanning the Housatonic River between Stratford and Milford offer stunning river views. On the north side of the Sikorsky bridge the walkway connects to the Sikorsky Estuary Trail.
The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum
The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum is regarded as one of the earliest and most significant Second Empire Style country houses in the United States. Built by renowned financier and railroad tycoon LeGrand Lockwood from 1864-1868, the Mansion, with its unparalleled architecture and interiors, illustrates magnificently the beauty and splendor of the Victorian Era.
The Historic Merritt Parkway
Starting on route 15 in the southwest corner of Connecticut on the New York State Line, the Merritt Parkway is one of the most scenic roadways in the entire country. Right from the beginning, you will see the beautiful forests and mountains that surround the parkway and will soon have the opportunity to stop at some of the significant sites along the way.
About 11 miles in, you can take Exit 35 and follow signs for the Bartlett Arboretum and the Stamford Museum and Nature Center. There are a total of 63 acres of trails that you are encouraged to walk through to experience and enjoy the protected flora and fauna of the area. Once you get back on the parkway and continue to head east for around 8 more miles, you can take Exit 38 to get to the Silvermine Arts Center. Here you can experience some beautiful local art in a building that has been hosting them for over 100 years!
For the last portion of your journey, you can continue to take in the beautiful views along the Merritt Parkway as you cross bridges and even go through tunnels. After another 15 miles on the parkway, if you take exit 46 you can stop by Silverman’s Farm which has orchards that are fun for the whole family. You can pick apples, pumpkins, and even peaches here in addition to a wonderful tractor ride across the beautiful farmland! You can then end your journey where the Merritt Parkway ends, at the Merritt Parkway Museum located in Stratford.
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