July 31, 2021 – New Fairfield, Connecticut
Size: Roughly 3.6 miles
Max elevation: 1,224 ft.– complete elevation achieve roughly 719 ft.
Route kind: Determine-8 Loop
Avenza App Map (Free): Pootatuck State Forest Path Map for Avenza
Trailhead parking: 230 Pine Hill Street – New Fairfield, CT 06812
No loos on website – No entrance or parking charges
Parking for roughly 15 automobiles in a gravel lot on the Pine Hill trailhead.
Pootatuck State Forest is nearly 1,200 acres. It’s positioned primarily in New Fairfield, with a small portion in Sherman. The principle block of the Forest rises steeply from the western shore of Squantz Pond. The paths may be accessed from Squantz Pond State Park trails in addition to from the Pine Hill Trailhead, off of Pine Hill Street. Leisure actions embrace climbing, mountain biking, letterboxing, looking, birdwatching, snowmobiling, and cross-country snowboarding.
There are two smaller Pootatuck State Forest property parcels in New Fairfield, close to to however disconnected from the principle property and Squantz Pond State Park.
- The Western Pootatuck State Forest parcel is positioned north of Beaver Bathroom Street simply west of the intersection of Beaver Bathroom Street and Brief Woods Street.
- The Southern Pootatuck State Forest parcel is positioned between Brief Woods Street and CT Route 39 barely south of the intersection of Beaver Bathroom Street and Brief Woods Street.
Pootatuck State Forest is comprised of steep wooded slopes, fascinating rock formations and seasonal mountain streams with a scenic view from a rock outcrop, overlooking Squantz Pond and Candlewood Lake.
Pootatuck (additionally Pohtatuck, Potatuck) is an Algonquian time period translating to “river of the falls,” “falls in river,” or “river with many falls,” relying on the place you look.
Many of the Forest was acquired within the 1920’s for about $10 per acre. Within the 1930’s, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) established a piece camp (Camp Hook – Might 24, 1933 to Oct. 30, 1935) on the adjoining Squantz Pond State Park. The CCC was very lively within the Forest. They planted timber, constructed roads and fireplace ponds, salvaged dying chestnut timber for posts and poles, and did forest thinnings to provide firewood. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) left a legacy of climbing trails and fireplace roads in Pootatuck State Forest which can be nonetheless in use at the moment.
Pootatuck State Forest presents 5 miles of trails “with numerous levels of problem.” The official trails are a mix of marked footpaths/outdated charcoal-wagon roads and wider unmarked fireplace roads that have been constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) within the 1930’s. The scenic view of Squantz Pond and Candlewood Lake from a big rock outcrop, makes for a worthy vacation spot. The paths in Pootatuck State Forest may be mixed with these in Squantz Pond State Park. The paths that have been hiked on today have been virtually fully shaded by dense tree cowl.
The marked trails are effectively blazed and maintained. The hearth roads, though not blazed are in nice form and simple to observe.
Nonetheless coping with some knee points, I used to be trying to find a average brief hike with respectable views and no crowds. Having hiked Squantz Pond State Park in 2019, I made a decision to take a look at the higher trails that join the State Park and Forest. I used to be not dissatisfied. This can be a lovely forest with barely difficult uphills and a stunning view. Getting an early begin and hitting the path by 8:15am on a Saturday morning in July, we didn’t encounter some other hikers till we have been on the final stretch of the Hearth Street, lower than 1/4 mile from the parking space.
This hike is a Determine 8 Loop, starting on the Pine Hill Trailhead.
This hike descends from the highest of the mountain in the beginning, leaving lots of the elevation achieve in the direction of the again finish. Though I’ve rated it as average, there are some brief steep descents on the Blue Path and a sustained ascent alongside the Yellow Path from the Hearth Street.
On the again finish of the parking zone, stroll previous the steel barrier onto the hearth street, labeled on the path map as “Forest/CCC Street.” Proceed forward on the Forest/CCC Street for about 300 toes till you attain the beginning of the Orange Path which begins on the appropriate.
This space was hit fairly laborious by a twister again in Might 2018. All the time keep alert for “widow-makers.”
The Forest/CCC Street continues forward and can be your return route, however for now flip proper on the Orange Path because it heads in an easterly path. In about 475 yards, the Orange Path passes an unmarked woods street which begins on the appropriate. Proceed forward following the orange blazes.
In just below a 1/2 mile (from the beginning of the Orange Path), the Orange Path ends at a T-intersection with the Yellow Path. Flip proper on the Yellow Path and observe it for about 265 toes till you attain a junction with the Blue Path, which begins on the left.
Flip left on the Blue Path which dips down a bit of then climbs step by step on a large rocky path. Comply with the blue blazes for roughly 400 yards till you attain a rocky outcrop that overlooks Squantz Pond and Candlewood Lake.
Squantz Pond is down beneath on the left and Candlewood Lake within the distance.
This makes for a great spot to take a break and benefit from the view.
The seashore at Squantz Pond State Park is seen down beneath.
A zoomed in view of the picnic space at Squantz Pond State Park with Candlewood Lake simply past.
When you find yourself able to proceed, proceed forward on the Blue Path which begins a gradual descent, steeply at occasions.
On the base of the steep descent, the Blue Path splits. The path map exhibits a viewpoint for those who proceed straight. We adopted the path looking for out the point of view, however didn’t discover one. We even ventured off path a bit, however no luck. Maybe it’s a seasonal view or we missed it fully.
If you happen to skipped the seasonal view, flip left and proceed downhill on the Blue Path. If you happen to determined to hunt out the view, return to the junction and switch proper. The Blue Path continues its quite steep descent for an additional 510 yards till its terminus on the Forest/CCC Street.
The path map exhibits that there are a number of mountain streams that circulate down into Squantz Pond. I’ve seen photos taken by others of beautiful cascades flowing over massive rocks. On today the streams have been dry, however after a heavy rain or throughout Spring thaw, you might have higher luck. Nonetheless, we turned left and walked north a brief distance to the place the stream flows beneath the street. Discovering the stream bone dry, we rotated and retraced our steps on the Forest/CCC Street.
From the junction of the Blue Path proceed south on the Forest/CCC Street which descends step by step, passing fascinating rock formations and large boulders alongside the best way.
Quickly the Forest/CCC Street begins to climb step by step and passes over one other dry stream. A brief distance later, the street involves a junction with the Yellow Path which begins on the appropriate, marked by a submit.
Flip proper on the Yellow Path and observe it because it heads uphill, gaining all of the elevation that you simply misplaced on the best way down. For the subsequent 1/2 mile, the path consists of brief steep ascents adopted by comparatively degree stretches on switchbacks.
Hold your eyes on the yellow blazes as a number of unmarked woods roads converge with the path.
In simply over a 1/2 mile, the Yellow Path passes the junction with the Blue Path from earlier within the hike. Proceed forward on the Yellow Path (the brief part that you simply took early within the hike) for an additional 265 toes.
The blazes signaling a proper flip are partially hidden by foliage. On the junction flip proper to stay on the Yellow Path. The Orange Path which you started your hike on, is on the left.
The Yellow Path descends step by step by way of the forest, heading north.
The Yellow Path quickly leaves the State Forest and enters property owned by the Candlewood Valley Regional Land Belief.
The Yellow Path ends on the Forest/CCC Street. Flip left and observe the hearth street uphill for a couple of 1/2 mile, passing the junction with the Orange Path and again to the parking zone, the place the hike started.
A extremely good hike that sees little foot visitors. The paths we took have been fully shaded which makes it an incredible hike for warm sunny days. The view is value a go to by itself, however the geological make-up of the realm retains the hike fascinating as effectively. The paths are effectively marked and the hearth roads are straightforward to observe. The paths at Pootatuck State Forest may be mixed with these at Squantz Pond State Park to kind longer loop hikes. The world was freed from trash, for those who go to, please hold it that method.
Very lovely forest, rock formations, scenic view, quiet space.
Take a hike!