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Natchaug Trail

The blue-blazed Natchaug Trail stretches from the Goodwin Conservation Center in Hampton to its intersection with the blue-blazed Nipmuck Trail in Ashford crossing beautiful streams and passing many unique features along the way. 
Trail Activity
Hiking
Length
20.5 miles, Network
Difficulty
Moderate, Advanced
Towns
Ashford, Chaplin, Eastford, Hampton
Surface
Packed Earth/Dirt, Rock/Ledge
Pets
Permitted on leash
Fees
No

Description

The blue-blazed Natchaug Trail stretches from the Goodwin Conservation Center in Hampton to its intersection with the blue-blazed Nipmuck Trail in Ashford, 17.6 trail miles to the north. The trail is for foot travel only and has many unique features. 

The trail follows a short portion of the beautiful Still River and journeys along Bigelow Brook. Meandering over relatively easy terrain, it crosses several small brooks, passes stone walls, and slips through interesting stands of trees. State foresters actively manage these forests for wildlife and timber production and the trail traverses a diverse and interesting forests ranging from 2 to well over 100 years old.
 
There are opportunities to catch sight of a variety of wildlife including turtles, beavers, and many birds along the streams and in the areas around Pine Acres Pond, Black Spruce, and Beaverdam Marshes. Active forest management has produced a variety of young, early-succession forest habitats which abound with diverse species of birds and other wildlife.
 
History is abundant along the trail as it passes near old CCC Camp Fernow (1933-1942) and through General Nathaniel Lyon Memorial Park (first General to be killed in the Civil War). A short northern section also coincides with the Old Connecticut Path traveled in the 1630s by settlers (driving over 100 cattle) from the Boston area to the Hartford area in one of the first major inland migrations of America by European settlers. The blue/yellow-blazed CCC Trail (2.8 miles) offers a nice loop opportunity along the Natchaug River.
 
The Natchaug Trail joins the blue-blazed Nipmuck Trail in Ashford and hikers can continue exploring north to Bigelow Hollow State Park and the CT/MA state line or south to Mansfield Hollow State Park.

Other Information

The Natchaug Trail begins at the Goodwin Conservation Center in James L. Goodwin State Forest. The Center is jointly managed by CFPA & DEEP and offers extensive educational programs. The incredible trail system in the Forest is managed and maintained by the Friends of Goodwin Forest. Many trail loop opportunities exist around Pine Acres Lake, including the blue/white blazed Pine Acre Loop Trail. These offer additional exploration opportunities off of the main Natchaug Trail.

Hunting occurs in the State Forests, please take necessary precautions during hunting season.

Notice a trail problem? Report it to CFPA at this link.

Trail Manager

For more information, visit the Connecticut Forest and Park Association website or contact:

Connecticut Forest & Park Association (CFPA)

Connecticut Forest & Park Association (CFPA)
16 Meriden Rd
Rockfall, CT 06481
860-346-TREE
info@ctwoodlands.org
View website

Trail Tips

Be Considerate of Other Visitors
Be kind, say hi! Greeting other trail users builds community.
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Trailhead Information

There are many access points to the Natchaug Trail. Click on the parking icon on the right, then click "Get Directions Here" for custom directions using Google Maps. 

Click on a parking icon to get custom directions
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