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Connecticut State Parks

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USA Parks
River Valley Region
Massacoe State Forest
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Picnic Table ©
It is always a great day for a picnic in the park.
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Massacoe State Forest was originally called the Simsbury Forest. It began with the first purchase of 119 acres in 1908. In 1949, it went from 244 acres to 99 acres when much of the forest went to the Parks Division to become Stratton Brook State Park. Thanks to the donation of the Great Pond property by James L. Goodwin through his will and another small acquisition, Massacoe State Forest is now 399 acres.

The forest is managed for sawtimber, firewood, wildlife habitat, and recreational activities such as hiking, jogging, fishing, and bird watching.
History of the Area
The proximity of Stratton Brook to the Hartford metropolitan area has made it one of the better known small parks of the State. It was originally called Massacoe State Forest and was acquired to demonstrate forest fire control adjacent to railroads. The railroad tracks have been replaced by an impressive bike trail shaded by white pines and traveling over scenic brooks. In 1996, this park became Connecticut's first state park that is completely accessible by wheelchair.
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.
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1. Farmington River Trail: This 16-mile loop trail is a multi-use path that offers scenic views of the river and forest, suitable for all skill levels.

2. Stratton Brook State Park Trails: Located within Massacoe Forest, these trails offer easy to moderate hikes with beautiful lake views and picnic areas.

3. Nod Road Loop: A moderately difficult 4-mile hike featuring diverse wildlife sightings along the way; it's particularly popular during fall due to its vibrant foliage display.

4. Rails-to-Trails Greenway Path: An accessible paved pathway perfect for families or those looking for an easier trek through parts of the state forest area.

5. Metacomet-Monadnock Trail Section Hike - Simsbury Segment: It's about six miles long offering hikers stunning panoramic vistas from Hatchet Hill Overlook as well as dense woodland scenery throughout most part of this section in Massacoe State Forest.

6. Tariffville Gorge via Tunxis White Dot & Yellow Dot Trails: Approximately five mile round trip hiking route which takes you around Tariffville gorge providing breathtaking view points over Connecticut River Valley.

7. Simsbury Land Trust Mary Edwards Mountain Property North Loop: Roughly two miles long circular track taking visitors across varied terrain including meadows, forests and wetlands . The highlight being summiting small hilltops giving sweeping landscape scenes.

8. McLean Game Refuge Main Entrance Route: About three mile out:and-back type trail located near Granby town bordering on western edge of Massacoa parkland known primarily among bird watchers owing to rich avian diversity found here.

9. Great Pond Preserve Track: Short one mile nature walk ideal suited towards beginners / casual walkers who wish explore local flora fauna without venturing too deep into woods.

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Area Campgrounds
Lake Compounce Campground
185 Enterprise Drive
Bristol, CT
White Pines Campground
232 Old North Road
Barkhamsted, CT

From the south and east: take I-91 north, Exit 36 (Route 178). Take a left at the end of the exit ramp onto Route 178 west. At the intersection of Route 178 and Route 185, turn right onto Route 185. Follow Route 185 to the intersection of Routes 10 and 202. Turn right onto Routes 10 and 202 north; go 1.8 miles to the intersection of Route 309. Turn left onto Route 309. Follow Route 309 for 1.6 miles to Stratton Brook on the left.

From the north: take I-91 south, Exit 40 (Route 20 west). Follow Route 20 west to the center of Granby. At the intersection of Routes 10 and 202, turn left onto Routes 10 and 202. Follow Routes 10 and 202 for 6.1 miles to the junction of Route 309. Turn right onto Route 309, and then follow Route 309 for 1.6 miles to Stratton Brook on the left.

From the west: take Route 44 east to the intersection of Routes 10 and 202. Turn left onto Routes 10 and 202 and follow for 4.6 miles to the intersection of Route 309. Turn left onto Route 309 and follow Route 309 for 1.6 miles to Stratton Brook on the left.

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Connecticut State Parks