Local Ponds, Streams and Waterways
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Fishing & Pond Information in Griswold
Hiking Trails in Griswold
Hopeville Pond State Park
Directions: 395 north to Exit 86; left off the exit; follow Hopeville Road or the park signs until the Y intersection. Proceed to the right. The park entrance is a half mile to the right, off Route 201.
Parking: There are several parking areas along the main park road.
Description: The 550-acre park, located around a popular swimming and fishing pond, is also the northern end of the 13-mile Nehantic Trail, one of the blue-blazed network maintained by Connecticut Forest & Park Association volunteers.
Regulations: Open 8 a.m. to sunset; dogs must be on a leash.
Amenities: Bathrooms and outhouses; picnic tables and picnic shelter; pond with swimming area and a boat launch; campground and ball field.
Natural Features: Pitch pine and scrub oak forest; Hopeville Pond is a dammed section of the Pachaug River.
Fees: There is a weekend/holiday parking fee and a campsite fee.
Things to Note: Trailhead for the Nehantic Trail is located along Route 201, just across from the swimming area at Hopeville Pond. The 13-mile trail extends about one mile into the park, then crosses into the Chapman Area-Mount Misery section of the Pachaug State Forest, and eventually ends up at the Greenville Falls section of the forest.
Owned by: Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
Pachaug State Forest - H.H. Chapman Area
Towns: Voluntown, Griswold and Plainfield
Directions: Take I-395 north to exit 85, through first light, right onto Route 138 east. Follow for nine miles, left onto Route 49 north, entrance is one mile on the left.
Where to Park: Pass the ranger station to a parking area at a grassy field.
Description: The H.H. Chapman Area is one of the main sections of the 24,000-acre Pachaug Forest, the state's largest. Sections of the blue-blazed Nehantic, Pachaug and Quinnebaug trails, maintained by Connecticut Forest & Park Association volunteers, pass through this area.
The area includes Beachdale Pond and includes trails suitable for mountain biking, cross-country skiing and horseback riding.
Regulations: Dogs on a leash allowed; park closes at sunset; no alcohol in campgrounds.
Amenities: Picnic tables, composing toilets, campground and horse camp area, trout-stocked fishing pond with boat launch and handicapped accessible fishing platform.
Natural Features: Mt. Misery overlook, at 441 feet, is the highest point in the area, offering views of the forest and Voluntown. The blue-blazed trail to the top (about a ½ hour hike one way, moderate difficulty) is part of the Pachaug Trail.
The nearby Rhododendron Sanctuary is an area with an unusual ecology. A short trail leads through the sanctuary; rhododendron usually blossom in early July.
In addition to Beachdale Pond, other waterways in the forest include Lockes Meadow Pond, Hell Hollow Pond, Mt. Misery Brook, Pachaug Pond and the Pachaug River.
Fees: None for day use; fees for camping.
Things to note: Motorcycles and snowmobiles are allowed on designated trails; hunting is permitted in specific areas. The Connecticut Horse Council maintains a network of trails recommended for horseback riding.
Owned by: State Department of Environmental Protection
The Nehantic Trail
Town: Griswold and Voluntown
Directions: To northern trailhead at Hopeville Pond State Park: 395 north to Exit 86; right off exit; follow signs to park. Entrance to park is a half-mile on the right, off Route 201. Trailhead is across the road from Hopeville Pond beach. To southern trailhead in the Green Falls section of the Pachaug State Forest: 395 N to Exit 85, follow Route 138 East 8.3 miles to park entrance. Trailhead is across the road from parking area at Green Falls Pond beach. Mid-section of trail can be accessed at the Chapman section of Pachaug State Forest: 395 north to Exit 85; go through the 1st light at the next stop light; right onto Route 138 East. Go 9 miles then left onto Route 49 North. Forest entrance will be 1 mile ahead on the left.
Where to park: Ample parking at Hopeville Pond State Park and Green Falls Pond and Chapman sections of Pachaug State Forest.
Description: 13 miles of blue-blazed trail maintained by the Connecticut Forest and Park Association connects three state-owned areas. Most of the trail is in Pachaug State Forest, but there are a couple of sections that follow forest roads, one stretch along Route 49 and a couple on easements over private land.
Regulations: Hikers only; no motorized vehicles.
Amenities: A shelter a short way off the trail in the northern half is available by reservation from DEEP. Outhouses are located near where the trail crosses through the Chapman Falls-Mt. Misery section of the Pachaug and at the parks at both ends of the trail.
Natural Features: Most of the trail is fairly level, easy-to-moderate hiking. A short steep section leads to Mt. Misery, a 441-foot overlook.
Things to Note: Trail crosses two other blue-blazed trails, the Narragansett and Pachaug, plus a side trail to the Rhododendron Sanctuary in the Chapman section of the Pachaug State Forest.
Owned by: Connecticut Forest & Park Association
These trails were made to preserve the wood and wetlands that surround our campus.
The Blue Trail 2.5 miles
This trail starts behind the middle school near the baseball field to the power lines and joins with the White trail along the river and up and down some steep hillsides. The trail is meant to be a good work out through the woods around the campus.
If the parking lot is full. Park at the bottom corner of the parking lot near the varsity softball field. At the chain gate follow the fire road to the blue blaze trial. It is the same mileage as if you started near the baseball field.
The White Trail 1.4 miles
This trail starts in the parking lot near the football/track field and joins with the Orange Trail /Blue Trail. The trail branches off of the Blue Trail alongside the Quinebaug River where it returns to the parking lot.
The Orange Trail 1.2 miles
Parking for the trail is located in the Elementary School parking lot off of the Campus Road near Route 164. The trail starts across the street at the information booth. A trail booklet is provided to help guide you on the trail. The nature trail was created in 1985 with the efforts of students from the Griswold science class and Griswold and other surrounding school woodshop classes, The 0.8 mile nature trail is meant to be an education for children and adults to rediscover nature with a guide book and sign post along the trail to help you identify the many plants and wildlife that are students have researched. The Nature Trail is marked with orange blazes with a cross over trail marked in blue blaze with a white center to shorten the walk if you do not feel like walking the entire trail. The trail has some difficult climbs but has been maintained to allow easy passage through the swamp areas and over several small streams.
The Fitness Trail 4.0 mile
This trail utilizes all parts of the campus trails and the schools track field to create a 4 mile hiking or runner workout. It starts on the blue trail.
0.0 Start on the Blue Blaze Trail located between the baseball and softball fields. Follow the trail down the hill along the power lines to the river.
0.4 You join with the White Trail. Follow the Blue/White Blazes along the river. The trial will turn into the woods to your left.
0.8 The Blue Blaze will split. Turn to your right up the hill on the Blue/White into the woods and wetlands.
1.4 You come out of the woods behind the JV Softball Field. The White Trail will split to your left. Follow the Blue Blaze down the hill.
1.5 You join with the Blue/White/Orange Trail back along the river.
1.7 Orange Trail will split off to your left. Go straight on the Blue/White Blazes along the river.
1.9 White and Blue Trails splits. Go up the hill on the White Trail to the football/track field. Go straight across the driveway and follow the outside of the field. You will reach the steps going up to the high school. Go up and down the stairs then continue around the track.
2.2 Re-enter the woods at the “TRAIL” sign onto the White Trail.
2.3 Turn left onto the Blue/Orange Trail. Follow this trail up the hill to the JV softball field.
2.5 You are back behind the JV softball field. Go straight and follow the Blue /White/Orange blazes back into the woods and wetlands. At the bottom of the hill the trail will turn to your left to the river and then to your right back along the river.
3.4 Orange Trail will split off to your left again. Follow the Blue/White Blazes along the river.
3.6 White and Blue Trail splits. Stay straight this time on the Blue Blaze Trail.
4.0 End at your car
The river trail has some excellent views of the Quinebaug River.