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Connecticut State Parks

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USA Parks
Mystic Country Region
Old Furnace State Park
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.
Robin ©
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147 Wolf Den Road
Pomfret Center, Connecticut   06529

Phone: 860-928-6121
Toll Free: 866-287-2757
Email: park email button icon
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.
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
businesss listing main photo
Friendship Valley Inn - Brooklyn, CT
BBs / 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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Area Campgrounds
Nickerson Park Campground
1036 Phoenixville Road
Chaplin, CT
Stateline Camping Resort
1639 Hartford Turnpike
East Killingly, CT
Charlie Brown Campground
98 Chaplin Road
Eastford, CT
Peppertree Camping
146 Chaplin Road
Eastford, CT
Countryside Campground
75 Cook Hill Road
Griswold, CT
Ross Hill Park
170 Ross Hill Road
Lisbon, CT
Campers World of Connecticut
28 Nowakowski Road
Griswold, CT
River Bend Campground
41 Pond Street
Oneco, CT
Highland Campground
42 Toleration Road
Scotland, CT
Area Accommodations (over 20 miles away)
businesss listing main photo
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.
37.9 miles from park*
Nearby Hotels

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.

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Connecticut State Parks