Shortest hike (2.5 miles round trip) in one of the largest state parks in Connecticut is what I should have named this post. We barely scratched the surface of Collis P. Huntington State Park which covers 1,017 acres and is spread among the towns of Redding, Newtown, and Bethel in Fairfield County.
The reason for the short hike is two-fold. Firstly, the park has a choose-your-own-adventure vibe about it with plenty of trails and sub-trails all of which are not clearly marked. Secondly, I read this on the park website “Attention Park Users – Collis P. Huntington State Park is open to archery-only deer hunting from Sept. 15th to Dec. 31st. It is recommended that park visitors wear bright colors for their safety.” Phew.
At the Sunset Hill Rd entrance, we were met with a group of bikers and Anna Hyatt Huntington’s sculptures of wolves and bears. Anna was a famous sculptress known worldwide for her work and some of her famous sculptures include Joan of Arc in New York City, Cid Campeador in Seville, Spain and General Israel Putnam at the Putnam Memorial State Park entrance in Redding. She was married to Archer Huntington, the son of railroad tycoon Collis Potter Huntington after whom this park is named. Other than completing the first transcontinental railroad, Collis P Huntington also established the largest shipyard and dry dock company in the United States back in the late 1800s. This large tranquil land of dense woods, ponds and lagoons was opened to the public in 1973 after the death of Anna Huntington.
Not very crowded, dogs aplenty and bikers here and there – it’s a nice place if you like making your own path. We feel we didn’t do justice to the trail system and plan to go back better prepared and all set to explore!