July 31, 2021 – New Fairfield, Connecticut
Size: Roughly 3.6 miles
Max elevation: 1,224 ft.– complete elevation acquire roughly 719 ft.
Route sort: Determine-8 Loop
Avenza App Map (Free): Pootatuck State Forest Path Map for Avenza
Trailhead parking: 230 Pine Hill Highway – New Fairfield, CT 06812
No loos on web site – No entrance or parking charges
Parking for about 15 autos in a gravel lot on the Pine Hill trailhead.
Pootatuck State Forest is nearly 1,200 acres. It’s positioned primarily in New Fairfield, with a small portion in Sherman. The principle block of the Forest rises steeply from the western shore of Squantz Pond. The paths will be accessed from Squantz Pond State Park trails in addition to from the Pine Hill Trailhead, off of Pine Hill Highway. Leisure actions embrace mountain climbing, mountain biking, letterboxing, searching, birdwatching, snowmobiling, and cross-country snowboarding.
There are two smaller Pootatuck State Forest property parcels in New Fairfield, close to to however disconnected from the principle property and Squantz Pond State Park.
- The Western Pootatuck State Forest parcel is positioned north of Beaver Bathroom Highway simply west of the intersection of Beaver Bathroom Highway and Brief Woods Highway.
- The Southern Pootatuck State Forest parcel is positioned between Brief Woods Highway and CT Route 39 barely south of the intersection of Beaver Bathroom Highway and Brief Woods Highway.
Pootatuck State Forest is comprised of steep wooded slopes, attention-grabbing rock formations and seasonal mountain streams with a scenic view from a rock outcrop, overlooking Squantz Pond and Candlewood Lake.
Pootatuck (additionally Pohtatuck, Potatuck) is an Algonquian time period translating to “river of the falls,” “falls in river,” or “river with many falls,” relying on the place you look.
Many of the Forest was acquired within the 1920’s for about $10 per acre. Within the 1930’s, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) established a piece camp (Camp Hook – Might 24, 1933 to Oct. 30, 1935) on the adjoining Squantz Pond State Park. The CCC was very energetic within the Forest. They planted bushes, constructed roads and hearth ponds, salvaged dying chestnut bushes for posts and poles, and did forest thinnings to provide firewood. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) left a legacy of mountain climbing trails and hearth roads in Pootatuck State Forest which can be nonetheless in use in the present day.
Pootatuck State Forest provides 5 miles of trails “with varied levels of problem.” The official trails are a mixture of marked footpaths/outdated charcoal-wagon roads and wider unmarked hearth roads that had been constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) within the 1930’s. The scenic view of Squantz Pond and Candlewood Lake from a big rock outcrop, makes for a worthy vacation spot. The paths in Pootatuck State Forest will be mixed with these in Squantz Pond State Park. The paths that had been hiked on today had been virtually completely shaded by dense tree cowl.
The marked trails are properly blazed and maintained. The fireplace roads, though not blazed are in nice form and simple to observe.
Nonetheless coping with some knee points, I used to be looking for a reasonable brief hike with respectable views and no crowds. Having hiked Squantz Pond State Park in 2019, I made a decision to take a look at the higher trails that join the State Park and Forest. I used to be not upset. It is a lovely forest with barely difficult uphills and a stunning view. Getting an early begin and hitting the path by 8:15am on a Saturday morning in July, we didn’t encounter another hikers till we had been on the final stretch of the Hearth Highway, lower than 1/4 mile from the parking space.
This hike is a Determine 8 Loop, starting on the Pine Hill Trailhead.
This hike descends from the highest of the mountain at first, leaving plenty of the elevation acquire in direction of the again finish. Though I’ve rated it as reasonable, there are some brief steep descents on the Blue Path and a sustained ascent alongside the Yellow Path from the Hearth Highway.
On the again finish of the parking zone, stroll previous the steel barrier onto the hearth highway, labeled on the path map as “Forest/CCC Highway.” Proceed forward on the Forest/CCC Highway for about 300 toes till you attain the beginning of the Orange Path which begins on the proper.
This space was hit fairly exhausting by a twister again in Might 2018. At all times keep alert for “widow-makers.”
The Forest/CCC Highway continues forward and will likely be your return route, however for now flip proper on the Orange Path because it heads in an easterly route. In about 475 yards, the Orange Path passes an unmarked woods highway which begins on the proper. Proceed forward following the orange blazes.
In just below a 1/2 mile (from the beginning of the Orange Path), the Orange Path ends at a T-intersection with the Yellow Path. Flip proper on the Yellow Path and observe it for about 265 toes till you attain a junction with the Blue Path, which begins on the left.
Flip left on the Blue Path which dips down a bit of then climbs step by step on a large rocky path. Comply with the blue blazes for about 400 yards till you attain a rocky outcrop that overlooks Squantz Pond and Candlewood Lake.
Squantz Pond is down under on the left and Candlewood Lake within the distance.
This makes for a great place to take a break and benefit from the view.
The seashore at Squantz Pond State Park is seen down under.
A zoomed in view of the picnic space at Squantz Pond State Park with Candlewood Lake simply past.
When you’re able to proceed, proceed forward on the Blue Path which begins a gentle descent, steeply at occasions.
On the base of the steep descent, the Blue Path splits. The path map reveals a viewpoint when you proceed straight. We adopted the path searching for out the perspective, however didn’t discover one. We even ventured off path a bit, however no luck. Maybe it’s a seasonal view or we missed it completely.
For those who skipped the seasonal view, flip left and proceed downhill on the Blue Path. For those who determined to hunt out the view, return to the junction and switch proper. The Blue Path continues its reasonably steep descent for one more 510 yards till its terminus on the Forest/CCC Highway.
The path map reveals that there are a number of mountain streams that stream down into Squantz Pond. I’ve seen photographs taken by others of pretty cascades flowing over giant rocks. On today the streams had been dry, however after a heavy rain or throughout Spring thaw, you will have higher luck. However, we turned left and walked north a brief distance to the place the stream flows underneath the highway. Discovering the stream bone dry, we rotated and retraced our steps on the Forest/CCC Highway.
From the junction of the Blue Path proceed south on the Forest/CCC Highway which descends step by step, passing attention-grabbing rock formations and large boulders alongside the way in which.
Quickly the Forest/CCC Highway begins to climb step by step and passes over one other dry stream. A brief distance later, the highway involves a junction with the Yellow Path which begins on the proper, marked by a publish.
Flip proper on the Yellow Path and observe it because it heads uphill, gaining all of the elevation that you simply misplaced on the way in which down. For the subsequent 1/2 mile, the path consists of brief steep ascents adopted by comparatively degree stretches on switchbacks.
Preserve your eyes on the yellow blazes as a number of unmarked woods roads converge with the path.
In simply over a 1/2 mile, the Yellow Path passes the junction with the Blue Path from earlier within the hike. Proceed forward on the Yellow Path (the brief part that you simply took early within the hike) for one more 265 toes.
The blazes signaling a proper flip are partially hidden by foliage. On the junction flip proper to stay on the Yellow Path. The Orange Path which you started your hike on, is on the left.
The Yellow Path descends step by step by means of the forest, heading north.
The Yellow Path quickly leaves the State Forest and enters property owned by the Candlewood Valley Regional Land Belief.
The Yellow Path ends on the Forest/CCC Highway. Flip left and observe the hearth highway uphill for a few 1/2 mile, passing the junction with the Orange Path and again to the parking zone, the place the hike started.
A extremely good hike that sees little foot site visitors. The paths we took had been completely shaded which makes it an incredible hike for warm sunny days. The view is value a go to by itself, however the geological make-up of the realm retains the hike attention-grabbing as properly. The paths are properly marked and the hearth roads are simple to observe. The paths at Pootatuck State Forest will be mixed with these at Squantz Pond State Park to kind longer loop hikes. The realm was freed from trash, when you go to, please maintain it that manner.
Very lovely forest, rock formations, scenic view, quiet space.
Take a hike!