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USA Parks
Connecticut
River Valley Region
Wadsworth Falls State Park
WADSWORTH FALLS STATE PARK
WADSWORTH FALLS STATE PARK
381 Route 80
Killingworth, Connecticut   06419

Phone: 860-663-2030
Toll Free: 866-287-2757
Email:
Wadsworth Falls State Park
'Wadsworth Falls'
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Wadsworth Falls State Park
'Root '
© Some rights reserved. Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike Creative Commons.

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An interesting shaped root found on the main trail in the Wadsworth Falls state park.

Wadsworth Falls State Park
'Wadsworth Falls'
© all photographs copyright Mike Lincoln

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Wadsworth Falls in Wadsworth Falls State Park

Wadsworth Falls State Park
'Wadsworth Falls BW'
© all photographs copyright Mike Lincoln

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Wadsworth Falls Black and White

Wadsworth Falls State Park
'All Dryed Up'
© all photos copyright Gary Jordan e-mail sm1107comcast.net

This is what Wadsworth Upper Falls looks like with no water. Its an interesting study of Connecticut geology. These rocks statred forming about 200 million years ago.

Wadsworth Falls State Park
'Wadsworth Lower Falls Falls'
© all photos copyright Gary Jordan e-mail sm1107comcast.net

Wadsworth Big Falls is only a shortwalk from the main parking area.

Wadsworth Falls State Park
'Wadsworth Upper Falls'
© all photos copyright Gary Jordan e-mail sm1107comcast.net

The Upper Falls is a bit of a hike and somewhat treacherous in the winter, but worth the venture if you enjoy viewing waterfalls in the winter.

Wadsworth Falls State Park
'Wadsworth Lower Falls'
© all photos copyright Gary Jordan e-mail sm1107comcast.net

Wadsworth Falls State Park
'Wadsworth Falls'
© All photographs copyright Daniel Gaedeke. d.gaedekeyahoo.com

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Wadsworth Big falls

Wadsworth Falls State Park
'Wadsworth Falls'
© All photographs copyright Daniel Gaedeke. d.gaedekeyahoo.com

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Wadsworth Big Falls

Wadsworth Falls State Park
'Wadsworth Falls'
© All photographs copyright Daniel Gaedeke. d.gaedekeyahoo.com

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Wadsworth Big Falls

Wadsworth Falls State Park
© All Photographs copyright Michael Bochenek

Little Falls during winter

Wadsworth Falls State Park
© All Photographs copyright Michael Bochenek

Bridge over the little brook heading toward the beach

Wadsworth Falls State Park
© All Photographs copyright Michael Bochenek

Little Falls during Fall

Wadsworth Falls State Park
© All Photographs copyright Michael Bochenek

The Giant Laurel Tree on the main trail

Wadsworth Falls State Park
© All Photographs copyright Michael Bochenek

Little brook at the begining of main trail

Wadsworth Falls State Park
'Wadsworth Falls'
© c Angela Hansen Photography

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Wadsworth Falls are especially beautiful in the summer, when visitors can also splash in the water or barbeque on the banks

Wadsworth Falls State Park
'Wadsworth Little Falls'
© c Angela Hansen Photography

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Wadsworth Little Falls are most enjoyable to visit during the spring.

Spend a summer day cooling off in the mist of the waterfall or an autumn day hiking or biking the varied trails of the park.
Nature of the Area
The youngest rocks in Connecticut lie in the central part of the state. Wadsworth Falls State Park is made up of those young rocks, only about 200 million years old. About 250 million years ago all of Earth's land made up one huge continent called Pangea. It began to break up about that time, with large pieces of continental crust moving in various directions. What is now North America broke away from present-day Europe and Africa. As this occurred, tension fractures formed in the land, such as happen if you try to stretch cookie dough or modeling clay. Two such fractures formed in central Connecticut, allowing a long narrow valley to drop below the level of the surrounding land. Sediments from the surrounding highlands washed into the basin. Deep fractures formed in some places and lava flowed up to the surface from the upper mantle. Three such lava flows filled the valley and covered the surrounding uplands. In between the flows, sediments continued to flow into the still dropping valley. We now have a pile of sedimentary rock (made from the sediments), lava flow, sedimentary rock, lava flow, sedimentary rock, lava flow, sedimentary rock. Finally, the eastern side of the valley dropped faster than the western side, so now the rocks all dip toward the east. Over the intervening 200 million years, the higher uplands have eroded down so they are now much lower than they were and the basalts have all been eroded off of them. Basalts are now found only in the valley, where their lower elevation protected them from erosion.

Sedimentary rocks are made up from sediments, usually deposited by water in low areas such as streams, lakes and oceans. Over a long time these sediments can become so thick the pressure compresses the grains close together. Groundwater moving slowly through them gradually deposits dissolved minerals, such as calcium, silica or iron, between the grains, cementing them together. The lava flows cooled and solidified into basalt (also called traprock). Start your exploration of the park on the Scout Trail, which begins just past the swimming pond. Where the trail follows the stream edge, you will soon come to a shelf of flat rock. Sometimes water may cover this outcrop. The reddish brown rock is the Portland Arkose, the famous brownstone quarried for years in Portland and used for the brownstone buildings at Wesleyan and many other buildings around Connecticut, plus the brownstone buildings of New York City. It was shipped as far as San Francisco and is one of the rocks used in building the Parliament Building in Toronto, Canada. Here it is fine-grained and fairly smooth. If you run your fingers across it, you can feel the fine sand-sized grains that make it up. Arkose is a type of sandstone, made up mostly of quartz but also of feldspar. Most of the red color comes from the iron cement.

Watch for a stream coming down the hill on your left. The layers of arkose are thinner here. Some stick out, others are more indented. This is the result of differential weathering, meaning the harder layers have weathered less from the stream's flow than the softer layers. If you look closely at the layers, you will see that some are coarser than others, even containing pebbles. This is because the layers formed as streams carried sediments, depositing them probably in a lake. When stream flow was low and slow, only fine sediments could be moved by the water. But during floods, faster water could move materials as large as pebbles. So the various layers represent changes in the weather.

History of the Area
Clarence C. Wadsworth, noted scholar and linguist, had held the rank of Colonel in the New York National Guard before marrying and settling in Middletown. There he became involved in a forty-year effort to preserve the natural beauty of Wadsworth Falls for all people. By his will which established The Rockfall Corporation, a non-profit organization to administer his plans for the land, the 267 acres were given to the State in 1942.The Coginchaug River, flowing north along the western fringe of the park has been an important stream providing industrial waterpower. Only the sluiceway of a textile mill remains by Wadsworth Falls in the southwest corner of the park. Nearby, one of the first pistol factories in Connecticut was operated during the 1800's by Simeon North, developer of the interchangeable parts system for firearms used in the Civil War.Gunpowder was made at the factory established by Jehosophat Starr at Powder Mill Pond in 1794, until the business literally blew up in 1892. Today, the waters of this pond are used as a reserve to replenish the Bone Mill Pond below.The swimming pool, a saucer-shaped basin hollowed out of the level plain south of Route 157, is paved with a soil cement to prevent water from leaching out. Water pumped from a series of inter-connected wells located near the river is directed into the pool creating a circulating effect.There is a level walk from the parking area on Cherry Hill Road, off Route 157, to the brink of the falls. A trail system connects the falls with the main swimming/picnicking area and other scenic areas of the park. From a stone bridge used by the Colonel, the trail passes through densely wooded areas, the Little Falls and several meandering streams.Others may wish to explore or fish the cold waters of the Coginchaug River. Here, beneath great hemlocks and noble oaks, nature provides her own air-conditioning.
Nearby Accommodations
The Connecticut River Valley Inn - Glastonbury, CTBBs / Inns
Restored and updated to a 5 room inn, centrally located in the pastoral yet progressive town of Glastonbury, Connecticut. Just steps from either a medley of casual to fine dining restaurants or from quiet walks along the Connecticut River. A fusion of the historic past with the style, artistry and conveniences of the new millennium.
13.3 miles from park*
Boats and RVs
Rent My Camper.com, Inc - Shirley, NYMotor Home Campers
We'll Hook You Up with all the comforts of home including heat and AC. We deliver, setup and pickup. Our campers sleep up to 10. Just bring your food and clothes we've covered everything else, even clean linens and towels Camper is supplied with pots, pans, plates, bowls, cups, utensils, all your kitchen needs.
52.8 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
8.7 miles from park*
CT Bike Tours.Com, LLC - Guilford, CTFamily Outting
Our Shoreline Bike Boat Tour is a leisurely paced guided ride along the coast on gently rolling hills. We combine it with a narrated 45 minute boat tour of the lovely Thimble Islands. If you have your own bikes and helmets, bring them. Custom guided rides are also available. Minimum age allowed is 16 yrs. old. The bicycle guide, boat tour, bikes, helmets and refreshments are all provided, all you need is your energy
Web Site: ctbiketours.com/
14.8 miles from park*
Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
February 22 One of my favorite parks by Michael B.
Couple times a week i take my dog for a little hike at Wadsworth Park and both me and my dog love it. Its a great getaway from the city for a few hours. Through out many of my hikes I came across many picture perfect moments from watching a few deer eating in the distance or a few rabbits run across the path, and even an owl flying from tree to tree. My husky feels right at home whenever we visit the park and also my family joins me on the hike sometimes and we all have memorable moments
July 28 Incredible!!!!!!
This past weekend my family and I spent the day at the lake. We had a wonderful time. It is so relaxing. Then we took a ride down the street to the falls and we had soooo much fun. It has rained alot so the falls were roaring to its maximum!!!! We had fun!!!!


Area Campgrounds

Nelson's Family Campground
71 Mott Hill Road
E. Hampton, CT


Wolf's Den Campground
256 Town Street
East Haddam, CT
860-873-9681


Markham Meadows Campground
7 Markham Road
East Hampton, CT
860-267-9738


Area Accommodations (over 15 miles away)
Tidewater Inn Bed and Breakfast - Madison, CTBBs / Inns
Located in the shoreline village of Madison, CT, the Inn offers a cozy and elegant atmosphere of antiques and estate furniture.
Web Site: thetidewater.com/
18.1 miles from park*
Captain Stannard Bed and Breakfast Country Inn - Westbrook , CTBBs / Inns
Located along the CT Shoreline midway between New York City and Boston, and only one hour from Hartford, with tons of local attractions both on the Long Island Sound and the Connecticut River.
Web Site: stannardhouse.com/
19.4 miles from park*
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Directions
From Hartford area: take I-91 south onto Route 9 south. Follow Route 9 south to Middletown. Take Middletown - Meriden Exit 15 onto Route 66. Stay on Route 66 through Middletown for 6-7 traffic lights - look for the signs Wadsworth Falls State Park and Route 157 at a traffic light near a Walgreen's Pharmacy. Take a left onto Route 157. Stay on Route 157. Wadsworth Falls State Park will be on the left.

From New Haven area: take I-91 north onto Route 66 (Middletown - Meriden Exit 15). Follow Route 66 towards Middletown. Look for the signs Wadsworth Falls State Park and Route 157 on the right. Follow Route 157 to Wadsworth Falls State Park.

From Westbrook/Shoreline areas: take Route 9 north onto Route 66 (Middletown - Meriden Exit 15). Follow Route 66 through Middletown for 6-7 traffic lights. Take Route 157 off Route 66 near a Walgreen's Pharmacy. Stay on Route 157 to Wadsworth Falls State Park.

USA Parks
Connecticut
River Valley Region
Wadsworth Falls State Park
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