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Connecticut State Parks

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USA Parks
Mystic Country Region
Fort Shantok State Park
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Fort Shantok State Park Picnic area and footbridge © Inception Imaging - Heather Williams
Fort Shantok State Park Geese at the pond © Inception Imaging - Heather Williams
Fort Shantok State Park Bridge across pond © Inception Imaging - Heather Williams
Fort Shantok State Park Looking down from the top of the dam © Inception Imaging - Heather Williams
Fort Shantok State Park Mallards © Mitch Shedd
Mated pair of Mallard ducks. Ft. Shantok State Park.
Fort Shantok State Park Canadian Geese © Mitch Shedd
Canadian Geese. Ft. Shantok State Park.
Fort Shantok State Park Mallard Drake and Hen © Mitch Shedd
Mallard Drake and Hen in small stream in Ft. Shantok State Park.
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Fort Shantok State Park is a historic and scenic area known for its lush greenery, walking trails, picnic areas, and fishing spots. It was once the site of an important Mohegan tribal village. The park offers visitors opportunities to learn about Native American history while enjoying outdoor activities amidst beautiful natural surroundings.

History of the Area
Located in Montville, Connecticut, the area was originally a Mohegan Indian village. It served as their spiritual and political hub.

In 1637-38 during the Pequot War, Uncas led his tribe to safety here from English settlers' attacks.

The site became known as Fort Shantok after it was fortified by Chief Uncas for protection against rival tribes.

It remained an important place of gathering for annual Green Corn Festival until late 19th century when tribal population dwindled significantly.

In early 20th century, land developers purchased much of this sacred ground causing further displacement of remaining Mohegans.

However in mid-century efforts were made to reclaim these lands leading up to its designation as state park in1961

Today it is managed by Department Of Energy And Environmental Protection (DEEP) with continued significance among local indigenous communities.

Connecticut has made state parks, forests, trails, historic sites and beaches more accessible to our residents so they can enjoy the many attractions and beauty they offer. Under the Passport to the Parks program, parking fees are now eliminated at Connecticut State Parks for those with Connecticut registered vehicles. You can view the CONNECTICUT PASSPORT TO THE PARKS web page to learn more.
Nearby Accommodations
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BBs / 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.
15.3 miles from park*

- Uncas Leap Trail: A 0.5-mile trail that leads to a historic site, featuring views of the Yantic River and waterfalls.

- Fort Shantok Loop: This is an easy-to-moderate difficulty level loop trail spanning about 2 miles with river views.

- Mohegan Tribe Heritage Walkway: An educational path showcasing tribal history; approximately one mile long, it features informational plaques along its route.

- Indian Burial Grounds Pathway: Short but significant pathway leading to ancient burial grounds within park boundaries; length not specified due to sensitive nature of area.

- Riverside Picnic Area Access Route : Easy walking access from main parking lot towards picnic areas by the riverside - distance less than half a mile.

-Fishing Point Trailhead : Small offshoot from main trails for anglers looking for fishing spots on Thames River - exact length unknown as it varies seasonally depending upon river conditions

-Park Perimeter Hiking Track : Longer hiking option covering entire boundary line around park land ; roughly estimated at three miles in total circumference

-Mohegan Monument Viewpoint Spur : Brief side-trail branching out near heritage walkway end point , offering closer view of monument dedicated to Chief Uncas . Length under quarter-mile .

-Nature Observation Deck Approach Road A short paved road leading up toward observation deck overlooking wetlands habitat inside state park territory - Distance slightly over hundred yards

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
July 16 Good place to access the river. by FISHGORE302
park review stars; one to five Not like the above post, this park is not on the Connecticut river, it is on the Thames river. The CT river is 30 minutes west of this river.
July 26 Easy walking. Great views of reservoir.
park review stars; one to five
December 31 Rock Hound Heaven by ladymonarda
park review stars; one to five Fort Shantok State Park is right along the Ct. River and has some very nice vistas. It also has many different kinds of stones and rocks along the shore and in the park itself. It is the burial place of Chief Uncas. It is relatively small with some easy trails, has a nice picnic area, and is a nice stop if you are heading down to Mohegan Sun. Great place to just relax and breathe some air.
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Area Campgrounds
Sunfox Campground LLC
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Pequot Ledge Campground
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Sun Outdoors Mystic
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Niantic I95 Exit 72 CT KOA
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Odetah Camping Resort
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Aces High RV Park
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Countryside Campground
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Lake Williams Campground
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Deer Haven Campground LLC
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Ross Hill Park
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Camp Niantic-By-The-Atlantic
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Mystic KOA
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Campers World of Connecticut
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Seaport Campground
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Hidden Acres Family Campground
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Strawberry Park Resort Campground
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Indianfield Campground
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Salem Farms Campground
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Witch Meadow Lake Campground
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Highland Campground
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Nearby Hotels

Directions from New York City:
- Head northeast on FDR Drive.
- Take exit 17 for I-278 E toward Triborough Bridge/RFK Bridge.
- Merge onto I-278 E and continue for about a mile.

From there, get to Connecticut:
- Continue straight onto Robert F Kennedy Bridge (signs for Bronx/New England).
- Keep left at the fork, follow signs for Interstate 95 N/New Haven and merge with it.

On reaching Connecticut:
- Stay on I-95N until you reach Exit 76/I-395 in East Lyme
- Follow this route north towards Norwich

To Fort Shantok State Park specifically:
- From Route I-395 take Exit 79A to CT32 South/Norwich-New London Turnpike.

Finally arriving at your destination:
- After approximately two miles turn right into Fort Shantok Road where the park is located.

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Connecticut State Parks