Mortensen Riverfront Plaza
300 Columbus Boulevard, Downtown Hartford
A jewel on the banks of the Connecticut River, Mortensen Riverfront plaza is the centerpiece of the Riverfront Park System.
Spanning I-91, the park reunites downtown Hartford with the waterfront, bringing pedestrians back to the shoreline and connecting Hartford with East Hartford through the Founders Bridge Promenade.
Enjoy performances at our amphitheater stage; take a boat cruise, take a walk, and get some exercise on the stairs. Come by foot, car or boat, we’ve even got a place to dock your boat!
Norm Rosensweig was very aware of Riverfront Recapture’s activities from his office at Hartford Steam Boiler, from which he saw – and felt – the progress as Mortensen Riverfront Plaza was developed. He has always been very active physically; as Riverfront’s trails system opened, he added those paths to his routine.
As his son began college in WA, they visited Mount Rainier. Norm says “I was overwhelmed by what I saw and wanted to climb it, but knew I was not prepared.”
Returning to CT, he decided to use Riverfront’s steps from the lower plaza to the upper plaza as a training base. Starting in September 2002, he began his 5-day a week training regimen of 25 sets up and down the stairs, carrying a 15-lb weighted backpack. A colleague, interested in backpacking, joined him. Slowly adding weight, Norm was up to 50-lbs. by April 2003. That August, he fulfilled his desire to climb Mount Rainier, and has since climbed in Alaska and the White Mountains.
(L)Norm at 12,000’, with the western mountains of Alaska in the background
(R)Norm at the rear of one of the 4-person rope teams, on their approach to 16,500’ Mount Bona, Southeast Alaska.
In 10 years of stair climbing at Riverfront plaza, Norm has seen many park visitors. He commented, “In nice weather, the amphitheater often has 50-100 people walking, enjoying lunch, or jogging. I would see guys fishing on the other side of the river – more for the social aspect than the actual fishing with their poles, lawn chairs, and coolers. I saw the plaza develop and the science center go up, and took the opportunity to go out on the Lady Katherine one day, for a different view of the city.”
Norm added, “Anyone interested in the city, culture, and the outdoors should visit the Riverfront.” His favorite Riverfront events include Riverfest and Pipes in the Valley.
We hope you will take Norm’s advice and visit us soon.
|Mortensen Riverfront offers:|
|Private event facilities||Paved & lighted walkways|
|Performance facilities||Drinking fountain|
|Public boat cruises||Fishing access|
|Seasonal food service||Public bathroom / port-o-lets|
|Sculptures / public art|
RIVERWALK NORTH - Mortensen Riverfront Plaza to Riverside Park’s Greater Hartford Jaycees Community Boathouse, Hartford
1.6 mile loop. Approximate walking time: 30 minutes
Proceed north from Mortensen Riverfront Plaza following the walkway along the river, pass under a stone arch of the historic Bulkeley Bridge and into Riverside Park to the Greater Hartford Jaycees Community Boathouse. Once you reach the boathouse, simply reverse the directions and return to downtown Hartford. The walkway is paved and lighted its entire length.
Mortensen Riverfront Plaza to Great River Park’s Hockanum River, Hartford and East Hartford
3.2 mile loop. Approximate walking time: 60 minutes
Proceed from the upper level of the Mortensen Riverfront Plaza and head east across the Founders Bridge Promenade into East Hartford. Use the handicapped ramp or descend the stairs to East River Drive and turn left under the highway bridge and then left again up the walkway ramp into the north section of Great River Park. Once you reach the stone arched Bulkeley Bridge (I-84) turn around and follow the path down to the river, under the Founders Bridge and south past the boat ramp and amphitheater. Follow the walkway through the flood plain to the Hockanum River confluence under the Charter Oak Bridge. Once you reach the Hockanum River, simply reverse the directions and return to Mortensen Riverfront Plaza and downtown Hartford. The walkway is paved and lighted its entire length.
DOCKS & BOAT RAMPS - For specific Dock and Boat Ramp Information, click here.
PARK RULES & REGULATIONS - For park rules and regulations, click here. PARK RULES & REGULATIONS - Please note: Due to liability and legal restrictions, NO OUTSIDE ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES of any kind may be brought into the Riverfront Parks by any party. Riverfront Recapture is the only licensed authority to sell and serve liquor for consumption in the Riverfront Parks.
Private Events in the Riverfront Parks
Celebrate your special occasion amidst the beauty and serenity of our natural park settings. We can host wedding ceremonies, private parties, picnics, reunions, church functions and other group events almost anywhere in our Parks*. To reserve space for your event in our parks, call 860.713.3131 x 323. * Please note: Availability may be limited for wedding ceremonies in Riverside Park. Restrictions may apply.