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Connecticut State Parks

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Fairfield County Region
Paugussett State Forest
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The Paugussett State Forest, located in southwestern Connecticut, is a sprawling natural sanctuary that enthralls visitors with its scenic beauty and diverse wildlife. With over 1,200 acres of pristine woodlands encompassing majestic hardwood forests, tranquil ponds, and babbling streams, the forest offers an idyllic setting for outdoor enthusiasts seeking solitude and adventure. Hikers can explore an extensive network of well-maintained trails that meander through picturesque landscapes, providing breathtaking views of the surrounding hills and valleys. The forest's abundant wildlife, including white-tailed deer, bobcats, and a variety of bird species, adds to the enchanting atmosphere of this remarkable natural oasis. Whether it's hiking, birdwatching, or simply enjoying the serene ambiance, Paugussett State Forest offers a captivating escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Nature of the Area
Paugussett State Forest, located in Connecticut, is a diverse natural haven encompassing serene woodlands, picturesque hills, and rolling meadows. This sprawling forest provides a peaceful escape for outdoor enthusiasts, with its abundance of wildlife, tranquil trails, and scenic vistas. The forest offers a variety of recreational opportunities, including hiking, bird-watching, and picnicking, attracting visitors who seek solace among its towering trees and babbling brooks. Paugussett State Forest is a cherished gem, drawing nature lovers and adventurers alike to explore its enchanting landscapes and immerse themselves in the wonders of the natural world.
History of the Area
Paugussett State Forest, located in Newtown and Shelton, Connecticut, has a rich history dating back many centuries. The area was originally inhabited by the Paugussett Native American tribe, who lived off the abundant natural resources in the forest.

In the early 18th century, European settlers began to establish settlements in the region, displacing the Native Americans. The forest was mainly used for farming and logging by the colonial communities. During the American Revolution, the forest served as a hideout for Tory sympathizers, who opposed the revolutionaries.

In the mid-19th century, the forest and its surroundings experienced a significant industrial boom due to the discovery of large deposits of brownstone, a type of sandstone used for construction. The quarrying of brownstone became a major industry in the region, and many quarries were established in and around what is now the state forest.

Over time, the demand for brownstone decreased, and by the early 20th century, the quarrying operations had mostly ceased. The land was then acquired by the State of Connecticut and designated as a state forest in 1929.

Paugussett State Forest is known for its scenic beauty, with rolling hills, streams, and diverse wildlife. It offers various recreational opportunities, including hiking, fishing, hunting, and picnicking. Additionally, the forest features remnants of its industrial past, such as old quarries, stone foundations, and abandoned stone cutting machinery, adding to its historical significance.

Today, Paugussett State Forest stands as a testament to the natural and cultural heritage of Connecticut, allowing visitors to experience both the natural beauty and the historical legacy of the area.
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 Paugussett State Forest in Connecticut:

1. Kettletown State Park: Located just outside Paugussett State Forest in Southbury, Kettletown State Park has 71 campsites available for tents and trailers. The park also offers swimming, fishing, hiking, and picnicking opportunities.

2. Lake Zoar State Boat Launch: This campground is located right on Lake Zoar, adjacent to Paugussett State Forest. It offers primitive camping sites for tents and small trailers. The campground provides access to the lake for boating, swimming, and fishing.

3. Black Rock State Park: Situated about 20 miles west of Paugussett State Forest in Thomaston, Black Rock State Park has 96 wooded and open campsites. The park features a large swimming pond, hiking trails, and opportunities for fishing and picnicking.

4. Putnam Memorial State Park: Located approximately 25 miles east of Paugussett State Forest in Redding, Putnam Memorial State Park offers 30 individual campsites. The park also contains historic sites, including the remains of the winter encampment of General Israel Putnam's troops during the Revolutionary War.
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The Paugussett State Forest in Connecticut offers various fishing opportunities for anglers. The forest contains several ponds and lakes that are open for fishing, including Lake Zoar, Lake Lillinonah, and Lake Housatonic. These lakes are known for their abundant populations of bass, trout, panfish, and other freshwater fish species. Anglers can enjoy fishing from the shoreline or by using boats, such as kayaks or canoes, which are allowed on these lakes. The peaceful and scenic surroundings of Paugussett State Forest make it an ideal destination for fishing enthusiasts to spend some quality time on the water.

There are several types of hunting allowed within the Paugussett State Forest in Connecticut. These hunting activities are regulated by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). The following are the types of hunting permitted in the Paugussett State Forest:

1. Deer Hunting: The forest allows hunting for both archery and firearms seasons. Hunters must possess the appropriate licenses and permits issued by the DEEP. Deer hunting is subject to specific regulations, such as bag limits and hunting seasons, which can be found on the DEEP website.

2. Small Game Hunting: Small game hunting, such as rabbit and squirrel hunting, is permitted in Paugussett State Forest. Hunters must comply with the regulation set by the DEEP, including obtaining the necessary licenses, permits, and adherence to bag limits and seasons.

3. Wild Turkey Hunting: Hunters can also pursue wild turkeys within the Paugussett State Forest during the specific seasons designated by the DEEP. As with other hunting activities, hunters must possess the required licenses and permits and adhere to the regulations concerning bag limits and seasons.

4. Migratory Birds Hunting: Paugussett State Forest allows hunting of migratory birds such as waterfowl and doves during the respective hunting seasons. Hunters must possess the appropriate federal migratory bird stamps and state licenses, as well as comply with bag limits, species restrictions, and shooting hours specified by the DEEP.

5. Trapping: The Paugussett State Forest also permits trapping activities. Trappers must possess the relevant licenses and permits issued by the DEEP, which outline trapping regulations, including specific trapping seasons, trapping methods, and location restrictions.

It is important for hunters to familiarize themselves with all the relevant regulations and obtain the appropriate licenses and permits before engaging in any hunting activities within the Paugussett State Forest.
1. Zoar Trail: This 6.5-mile loop trail offers a moderate hike with beautiful views of Lake Zoar and the Housatonic River.

2. Paugussett Loop Trail: A moderately challenging, approximately 4 miles long trail that winds through dense forest areas offering glimpses of local wildlife.

3. Blue-Blazed Pomperaug Trail: An easy to moderate difficulty level hiking path stretching over about 8 miles within the state park featuring scenic river views along its course.

4. Hanover Road Trails: These are several short trails branching off from Hanover road providing hikers an opportunity for quick hikes amidst lush greenery and serene surroundings.

5. Lake Lillinonah Shoreline Walkway: It's a relatively flat walk around part of Lake Lillinonah's shoreline which is perfect for bird watching or just enjoying nature at leisurely pace.

6. Prydden Brook Falls Path: Short but steep in parts, this half mile trek leads you directly to Prydden Brook Waterfall - one of Connecticut's hidden gems tucked away inside Paugussett State Forest.

7. Jackson Cove Park Connector Route: Approximately two-miles-long route connecting Jackson Cove Park with other major trails in the area; it features mixed terrain suitable both for beginners as well seasoned trekkers alike.

8. Huntington Point Lookout Track: A shorter track leading up to Huntington point lookout where panoramic vistas await after a brief climb uphill.

9. Pond Brook Boat Launch Area Paths: Several small paths near Pond brook boat launch area ideal for those looking forward exploring lake side flora & fauna without venturing too deep into woods.
Paugussett State Forest, located in Newtown, Connecticut, offers a variety of birding options for enthusiasts. The forest is home to a diverse range of bird species, making it an excellent destination for bird-watchers. From woodland birds to waterfowl, there are plenty of opportunities to spot different species throughout the year. Some popular birding spots within Paugussett State Forest include the Hemlock Covered Bridge and Lake Lillinonah. With its scenic beauty and abundant birdlife, Paugussett State Forest is a great place for birding in Connecticut.

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A Tres Jolie Day Spa LLC
522 Heritage Rd
Southbury, CT
(203) 264-0515

Paugussett State Forest is located in Newtown, Connecticut. Here are the directions to reach the forest:

1. Starting from Newtown, CT, head northeast on Main St/CT-25 N.
2. Continue on CT-25 N for approximately 2.5 miles.
3. Take the exit toward Dodgingtown Rd.
4. At the traffic circle, take the 1st exit onto Dodgingtown Rd.
5. After about 1.5 miles, turn right onto Poverty Hollow Rd.
6. Continue on Poverty Hollow Rd for approximately 0.3 miles.
7. Paugussett State Forest will be on your left.

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Connecticut State Parks