A panorama taken from Fort Trumball

Fort Trumbull State Park is a slice of New London’s history, but also more than that. It is a vista of tranquility for the tired college student in search of something different. Built between 1839 and 1852, Fort Trumbull is one of 42 forts designed to defend the coast of the United Sates at strategic harbors like New London, where the Thames River meets the Long Island Sound. Fort Trumbull was the first strategic military position in an area now home to one of the last remaining submarine bases in the continental United States. For students like myself who attend the three colleges in New London, it provides a welcome break from academic life.

I go to Fort Trumbull frequently. Two weekends ago, during the long hours of Saturday night, I rounded up four of my closest friends and we drove to the park to admire the harbor views after sunset. At night, the lights from nearby Electric Boat headquarters fill the harbor and, if you’re lucky, a train might pass by with its horn blasting. Looking out to Long Island Sound, the lights of Avery Point and the New London Ledge Light House offer navigational beacons to passing boats or the college student trying to point out constellations in the sky.

There are lots of places to go to get away from the hustle and bustle of college life, but none is quite like Fort Trumbull. New London is a busy place and the fort offers a serene place to watch it all unfold.