We're planning on spending a week in July in New England. Our base will be in Hartford, CT with friends who have the first and last portions of our stay planned (CT and RI-centric, with a train ride to New York thrown in). We also plan on taking a two- or three-day trip through Vermont, New Hampshire, and southern Maine during the week (likely a Monday or Tuesday departure from Hartford) and would like to get as rich of an experience for us and our children as possible. They are 8, 5, and 1 1/2 years old. We enjoy hiking, but don't plan on camping. So far, possible stops include:
Ben -n- Jerrys
Magic Hat Brewery
VINS Nature Center
Franconia Notch SP
Lost River Gorge and Boulder Caves
Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve
Mount Agamenticus Trail/Marginal Way Cliff Walk
East Point Sanctuary Trail
There are other possibles on our list, but that should provide a flavor of what we're considering. We're not married to any of the above options, either. Driving is not an issue, but we must return to CT before Friday. Any suggestions on where else to go or where to avoid would be greatly appreciated. Also, please keep in mind that, for any nature walks, the littlest one will be riding on my back in a pack, so gentler trails would be greatly appreciated by us both.
Also, any other age-appropriate attractions or destinations that you may recommend would be greatly appreciated. None of us has been North of NYC, and few of our friends have spent much time up there, so we've been guessing based upon guide books and state tourism websites up until now.