The city of Ellington in Northern Connecticut packs plenty of history, rustic charm, and economic growth. Located just 20 minutes from Hartford, CT and around 30 minutes from Springfield, MA, Ellington offers a wonderful semi-rural way of life while providing great options for business and employment.
One of the fastest growing communities in Connecticut, Ellington’s current population of around 16,000 is more than double its number of residents some twenty years ago. While it has strong agricultural roots that live on to this day, the town is fast becoming a highly sought after suburban community with its own industrial and commercial areas.
It’s not only the convenient location that has made Ellington the choice of thousands of new residents. The town has an unusual geographical shape, featuring a panhandle that extends east toward the Nye Holman State Forest. Surrounded by forests, lakes, and rivers, Ellington offers a refreshing retreat from the bustle of everyday life, with plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventures.
A brief history of Ellington, CT
Ellington was originally called the “Great Marsh” by its earliest settlers. In 1671, the land was made part of the town of Windsor, along with the present-day East Windsor, but was not occupied until 50 years later. Samuel Pinney, after whom the present day Pinney Road was named, was the first known settler of Ellington.
In 1768, East Windsor split off from Windsor, and included Ellington and South Windsor as part of its territory. In May, 1786, Ellington split off from East Windsor and incorporated as a town of Hartford County.
Ellington was a predominantly agricultural community, but the area around Crystal Lake was a popular summer destination until the Great Depression. Today, while agriculture still plays a major role in the economy and lifestyle of the town, it also enjoys its new status as a fast growing residential suburban community.
Real estate and homes for sale in Ellington, CT
You’ll find great options for a home in Ellington, whether you’re looking for an elegant luxury property with 5 or more bedrooms, a cozier 3 to 4 bedroom house, or affordable condos or townhomes. There are amazing opportunities for rare historic homes with plenty of character, as well as new construction properties in recent developments. Colonial, ranch, and Cape Cod are the most prevalent architectural styles, but you’ll also find a number of Victorian and contemporary homes.
The properties in Ellington are widely spread out, providing a tranquil vibe amid a semi-rural landscape. The spacious lot areas provide plenty of privacy and room for a large yard or garden.
You have a choice of mountain, forest, lake, or river views, or live close to downtown with the fastest access to the area’s major highways. Among the most sought after properties are waterfront homes, particularly those around or within walking distance of Lake Crystal and Shenipsit Lake.
Living in Ellington, CT
Ellington is served by the Ellington Public Schools school district. It includes three elementary schools, including the highly rated Windermere School, as well as one middle school and one high school.
- The outdoors
Ellington’s natural beauty is well known. Visitors and locals regularly trek to the town’s surrounding state and national parks for a variety of outdoor activities.
A large part of Ellington’s eastern side is occupied by the Shenipsit State Forest. And with the Nye Holman State Forest on the panhandle, Ellington is a true outdoors haven, with acres of campgrounds and picnic areas, and scenic fishing spots. There are miles of trails for hiking, biking, and riding throughout the town, as you can find here. In the winter, the trails are transformed into popular destinations for snowmobiling and skiing.
The stunning Crystal Lake and Shenipsit Lake are also popular destinations for water activities like fishing, boating, and swimming.
Ellington’s Parks and Recreation Department maintains and supervises a number of facilities. Brookside Park features baseball, softball, and soccer fields, tennis courts, a playground, and more. Arbor Park is the venue for various community events, such as Ellington’s Summer Concert Series and the weekly Farmer’s Market. Sandy Beach on Crystal Lake is a popular recreational hub, offering opportunities for swimming, sunbathing, and more.
- Farms and agrotourism
Agrotourism is a thriving commerce in Ellington. Every year, thousands flock to the town’s most established farms to pick their own fruits and vegetables, shop for homemade goodies, and interact with farm animals. The top places to visit include Johnny Appleseed’s Farm, Burke Ridge Farms, and Dzen Farms.
- Community events
Ellington is a close knit community, with residents getting together in community events all year round. Some of the most popular celebrations happen during the holiday season, particularly Winterfest and the Tree Lighting Festival.
Learn more about living in Ellington, CT and your real options here
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