NASSAHEGAN STATE FOREST
Located in Burlington, Connecticut, the Nassahegan State Forest spans over 1,500 acres of picturesque natural beauty. This captivating forest offers a rich combination of diverse habitats, featuring towering trees, vibrant wildflowers, and impressive rock formations. With its extensive network of trails, it provides a paradise for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding, allowing outdoor enthusiasts to immerse themselves in the tranquility of nature. Nestled in the heart of the state, Nassahegan State Forest is a true gem, offering visitors a serene retreat to explore and appreciate the wonders of Connecticut's natural landscape.
Nassahegan State Forest, located in Burlington and Harwinton, Connecticut, offers visitors a serene and picturesque natural escape. This forest encompasses over 900 acres of diverse terrain, including rolling hills, tranquil ponds, and lush woodlands. With well-marked trails that wind through the forest, outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy activities such as hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding while taking in the beautiful views. The Nassahegan State Forest also provides opportunities for fishing and picnicking, adding to its appeal as a recreational destination.
Nassahegan State Forest is located in the town of Burlington, Connecticut, and has a rich history dating back to the early settlers of the region. Here is a brief overview of its history:
1. Native American Presence: The land where Nassahegan State Forest now stands was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Tunxis people. They relied on the forest's resources for hunting, fishing, and gathering.
2. European Settlement: English colonists began to settle in the area during the mid-17th century. The town of Burlington was established in 1806, covering a vast area that included what is now the state forest.
3. Industrialization: In the 19th century, Burlington underwent industrial development with the establishment of mills and factories, taking advantage of the area's water resources. The forestland was used for lumbering and other industrial activities.
4. State Forest Acquisition: Concerned about the deforestation and the loss of natural resources, Connecticut's state government started acquiring land for conservation purposes in the early 20th century. In 1925, the state purchased the initial 136 acres that formed the core of what is now known as Nassahegan State Forest.
5. Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC): During the Great Depression, the CCC played a significant role in developing many state forests, including Nassahegan. The CCC workers constructed trails, roads, and recreational amenities within the forest, prioritizing conservation and improving accessibility for public use.
6. Forest Management: Nassahegan State Forest has been managed by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) since its establishment. The forest is selectively harvested to promote healthy forests and provide income for the state through sustainable timber management practices.
7. Recreation and Conservation Efforts: Over the years, Nassahegan State Forest has become a popular destination for outdoor activities like hiking, birdwatching, mountain biking, and horseback riding. The forest's diverse ecosystems, including woodlands, wetlands, and the scenic Nehantic Trail, attract nature enthusiasts and outdoor recreation enthusiasts alike.
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.
There are several camping options in and around Nassahegan State Forest in Connecticut. Here are a few:
1. Black Rock State Park: Located about 20 minutes from Nassahegan State Forest, this state park offers camping facilities. It has a total of 78 camping sites, including 38 with electric hook-ups. Amenities include showers, toilets, picnic tables, and fire rings. Reservations can be made online.
2. Kettletown State Park: Situated around 30 minutes from Nassahegan State Forest, Kettletown State Park also offers camping facilities. It has 56 camping sites, including 38 with electric hook-ups. Amenities include showers, toilets, picnic areas, and a swimming area. Reservations can be made online.
3. Lake Waramaug State Park: Located approximately 45 minutes from Nassahegan State Forest, this state park provides camping options. It has 76 camping sites, including 18 with electric hook-ups. Amenities include showers, toilets, picnic tables, and a swimming area. Reservations can be made online.
4. Hammonasset Beach State Park: Situated about an hour and 15 minutes from Nassahegan State Forest, Hammonasset Beach State Park offers beachfront camping options. It has two campgrounds: Meigs Point and Cedar Island. Amenities include showers, toilets, picnic tables, and a wide range of recreational activities. Reservations can be made online.