About the Park

Goodwin Park was formally established as a park November 4, 1895, with the remaining 37 Acres acquired in 1927. 

The design of the park was developed by Frederick Law Olmsted (Olmsted and Elliot of Brookline, Massachusetts) in 1900. Olmsted, who was born in Hartford in 1822, had previously designed New York City’s Central Park, as well as Bushnell and other parks in Hartford. This plan shows a grand meadow framed by tree plantations with individual trees and small clusters within the meadow space, and a small water feature.  The park was constructed essentially as designed. At 200 acres it is the second largest park in Hartford, after Keney Park.

The large 90 acre central area in the park was originally left open and un-mowed and was known as the Great Meadow.  The meadow was first disturbed in the 1920’s when the central part was leveled off and used as an airstrip for early air mail planes.  Later on the Great Meadow was replaced with the Goodwin Park Public Golf Course.The golf course area was used as an emergency landing field for airplanes during World War II.

Originally named South Park on the preliminary design plans and on city plat maps, the park was named in 1900 in recognition of the valuable services of Francis Goodwin, first president of the Park Board under the new city charter.  The design plan was expanded to include the southeast corner of the current park land, which includes part of the golf course, the second pond and surrounding area. 
  • 1901: Construction began with drives and plantings
  • 1906: The first nine holes of the golf course were constructed
  • 1910: Locker rooms installed
  • 1911: Second nine holes constructed
  • 1913: Outdoor fireplaces added
  • 1915: Cabin (most likely the Pond House) added
  • 1916: Showers and toilets installed
  • 1921: Fee charging begins
  • 1921: Sheepbake oven added
  • 1931: Two gravel, and four concrete tennis courts added
  • 1937: Third nine holes constructed
  • 1956: Swimming Pool added
For additional history of Hartford's park system, visit The Cultural Landscape Foundation: City of Hartford Parks System

Current Amenities

Goodwin Park offers an open air exercise circuit, regulation size basketball court, newly installed spray pad, playscape, olympic size swimming pool, four tennis courts, two walking trails through the woods,  a traffic- free area on the roadway for the enjoyment of walkers, joggers, and people on bikes, skates, and skateboards, picnic tables and grills, a pond and a 27 hole golf course with club house and pro -shop.

For additional information about the golf course at Goodwin Park see www.goodwinparkgolfcourse.com or phone: 860-543- 8518

The pond house in the park can be rented for events for a small fee.  Contact Brenda Padilla at the Department of Public Works at 860-757-9900 for information on rentals.

Help keep Goodwin Park safe and clean. 
Call 311 if you see conditions that need attention.