Naugatuck State Forest covers almost 5,000 acres and is spread across Naugatuck, Beacon Falls, Oxford, Bethany, Hamden, Cheshire, Ansonia, and Seymour. It is organized into five Blocks, named West, East, Mt. Sanford, Quillinan Reservoir, and Great Hill.
The park offers one of the most scenic trails and series of waterfalls in Connecticut, yet it’s hardly known. The trail follows a brook down a deep ravine between two mountain peaks along Rt. 8 in Beacon Falls. To get to the trail, you need to follow a bumpy dirt road which runs parallel to a railroad track. You’ll want to park in the first parking area you find as the primary parking area has been closed off due to an unsafe bridge.
The Forest originated with Harris Whittemore, an industrialist and member of the State Forest and Park Commission. In 1921, Mr. Whittemore began buying parcels of land in the Naugatuck Valley, intending to donate them to the State. Unfortunately, he did not live long enough to realize his dream, but after his death in 1928, his family continued to acquire land, and in 1931, almost 2,000 acres were donated in his memory.
The Forest is managed for sawtimber, firewood, wildlife habitat, and recreational activities such as hiking, hunting, mountain biking, bird-watching, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing.