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Old Furnace State Park 'Remnants' © Gary Jordan
We found what might have been the foundation of The Old Furnace. Other remnants include rock walls that are common in Connecticut.
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USA Parks
Connecticut
Mystic Country Region
Old Furnace State Park
OLD FURNACE STATE PARK
OLD FURNACE STATE PARK
147 Wolf Den Road
Pomfret Center, Connecticut   06529

Phone: 860-928-6121
Toll Free: 866-287-2757
Email:
Old Furnace State Park
'Remnants'
© all photos copyright Gary Jordan e-mail sm1107comcast.net

We found what might have been the foundation of The Old Furnace. Other remnants include rock walls that are common in Connecticut.

This 367 acre park has a storied industrial history and a present day attractiveness all its own. A three-quarter mile trail accesses a viewpoint with a ten mile view.
History of the Area
Colonial New England was famed for its use of water power to drive the machinery in its mills. The potential energy that could be harnessed from flowing water was based on the steepness of the elevational drop in the streambed; the greater the drop, the more the potential power.

Iron making was one of the many industries to use water power. Iron ore was processed in a blast furnace and produced iron that could be formed into a wide variety of items necessary in 18th century America. It is from a former iron furnace on this site that the park draws its name. And this furnace was especially of value in the revolutionary war when it was a major supplier of horseshoes, a commodity greatly needed by the Continental Army. As times changed and the iron ore resource was exhausted, the need for and use of water power also changed. By the 1830s, this location was the site of a grist mill.

Through the years as local industry changed on the land, so too was there change in the ownership of the land. By 1909 the property owner, William Pike, made the decision to sell the location to the town of Killingly for a municipal park. Nine years after that, in 1918, Killingly sold the park property to the State of Connecticut which has since added more land to form the park we have today. And while explorers will find some remnants of the furnace operation still existing by the brook, many early features have been lost over the years to the landscaping that created the present park setting.

Today the park's recreational landscape compliments the historic landscape of yesterday. One of Connecticut's best short hiking trails is a case in point. Hikers may access the trail by crossing Furnace Brook opposite the picnic area and locating the dark blue blazes on the trees. The trail leads through pine forest gently upslope until it steepens toward the end in about ? of a mile. (A return by the same route provides a hike of about 1.5 miles.) Any question of effort will prove worthwhile with the panorama from the rocky outcrops. The view, from 200 feet above the valley, is described by some as stunning, and encompasses Half Hill Pond (also known as Upper Ross Pond) in the immediate foreground and in the distance an unobscured view across eastern Killingly and beyond into Rhode Island. A lush mix of deciduous and coniferous tree cover surrounds the lowland wetlands and adds a special mix of vibrant color in the fall.
Nearby Accommodations
Friendship Valley Inn - Brooklyn, CTBBs / Inns
A Bed Breakfast in the Quiet Corner of Northeast Connecticut on Route 169, a National Scenic Byway.
4.5 miles from park*


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Nearby Parks


Things To Do in the Area
RiverQuest-Connecticut River Expeditions - Haddam, CTBoating
Explore the Connecticut River aboard the R/V River Quest, an environmentally friendly 64', 60 passenger vessel docked at Eagle Landing State Park, Haddam, CT.
Web Site: ctriverquest.com
41.2 miles from park*
Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
April 23 Unexpected Beautiful Scenic Vista Views by Michael Douglas
My wife and I live five minutes from this hidden gem. We were surprised at how nice the hiking trail was. It is well marked, challenging at times, and a very good short intermediate hike. Pack a lunch and enjoy it on top of the large rock outcropping...wonderful views of the natural pond. Check it out!!!


Area Campgrounds

Nickerson Park Campground
1036 Phoenixville Road
Chaplin, CT
860-455-0007


Stateline Camping Resort
1639 Hartford Turnpike
East Killingly, CT
860-774-3016


Charlie Brown Campground
98 Chaplin Road
Eastford, CT
860-974-0142


Peppertree Camping
146 Chaplin Road
Eastford, CT
860-974-1439


Campers World of Connecticut
28 Nowakowski Road
Griswold, CT
860-376-2340


Countryside Campground
75 Cook Hill Road
Griswold, CT
860-376-0029


Ross Hill Park
170 Ross Hill Road
Lisbon, CT
860-376-9606


River Bend Campground
41 Pond Street
Oneco, CT
860-564-3440


Highland Campground
42 Toleration Road
Scotland, CT
860-423-5684


Area Accommodations (over 15 miles away)
Warren Conference Center Inn - Ashland, MAHotels/Motels
Located on over 100 wooded lakefront acres, overlooking Ashland State Park. Right out our front door you get to truly enjoy the great outdoors. Easy access to trails for hiking, and an area for swimming. Come and enjoy all that Ashland State Park has to offer, and stay at the Warren Center right next door.
Web Site: warrencenter.com
37.9 miles from park*
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Directions
From the junction of Route 6 and Route 395 (Exit 91) in Killingly, proceed east on Route 6. Take the first right onto South Frontage Road, and follow to right turn into the park (0.2 mile from Route 6). The hiking trail starts from the southern end of the parking lot and is marked with blue blazes.

To access the boat launch area continue east on South Frontage Road for an additional 0.3 mile and turn right onto Ross Road. After 0.33 miles turn right and continue for 0.5 mile until the road ends. The boat ramp is on your left.

USA Parks
Connecticut
Mystic Country Region
Old Furnace State Park
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