With more than 40,000 acres of parkland, and under 1,000 residents, it boasts a playground for the hunting, boating, fishing, and hiking enthusiast in Bigelow Hollow State Park, Nipmuck State Forest, and the Mountain Laurel Sanctuary. The mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) is Connecticut’s official state flower. In 2014, The Courant’s Peter Marteka wrote: According to an informational kiosk in the sanctuary, the mountain laurel’s name “came from the settlers who noticed a resemblance to an unrelated laurel plant that is found in Europe. Nipmuck is the second oldest state forest in Connecticut. The laurels in the area flourished after inmates from Somers prison were paid 25 cents a day in the 1950s to clear grape vines and trees to showcase the bushes. Leisurely walking trails wind through the mountain laurel, Connecticut's official state flower. ... Upper Paugussett State Forest, Newtown. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. A portion of the Yale-Myers Forest and Hull Foresters are located in Union. Required fields are marked *. Take Exit 73 to visit another area of Nipmuck State Forest. Dogs are … Well. The sanctuary entrance is a short distance from the intersection and well marked. Filed Under: Biology & Geology, Everything Else, New Post, State Parks & Forests Tagged With: nipmuck state forest, Tolland County, Union, Your email address will not be published. While the sanctuary is in Union, Snow Hill’s summit is mere feet across the border in Ashford. Another section of the Natchaug State Forest trailed entirely by the Nipmuck Trail.From the trail kiosk along Perry Hill Rd the trail heads uphill passing a long standing log book attached to a tree. Destroying the myth that there is nothing to do here, Peak Failage I’ll trust that the laurel “extends deep into the forest.” I had Damian in the car with me and the deer flies were swarming as I poked around quickly. The forest is part of a larger network of forest lands making up some 40,000 acres (16,000 ha) in all. The Laurel Sanctuary, a tiny section of the Nipmuck State Forest and a little-known gem among state recreational lands, is in bloom. Nipmuck State Forest Mountain Laurel Sanctuary Nipmuck State Forest Mountain Laurel Sanctuary. Mountain Laurel Sanctuary in Nipmuck State Forest Near intersection of routes 89 and 190 Union, CT Phone: 860-424-3200 Leisurely walking trails wind through the mountain laurel, Connecticut's official state flower. Explore camper reviews and photos of the campgrounds in Nipmuck State Forest. Reaching Connecticut’s second oldest state forest, located within its least populous town, can be a bit of a (gorgeous) trek. Cockaponset State Forest, Chester ... Bigelow Hollow SPark / Nipmuck SForest, Union. So here… here’s what it looks like at peak from the state’s tourism site: Here’s the weird thing: There aren’t really any trails here. Viewing is best in June and July, when the laurel are in bloom. Hotels near Nipmuck State Forest; Hotels near Stafford Library; Hotels near Stafford Motor Speedway; Near Airports. The first parcel was acquired in 1905. Near intersection of routes 89 and 190 Union, CT Phone: 860-424-3200. Spoons and other small utensils used to be carved out of the wood of mountain laurel so the name spoonwood can be used when referring to this shrub.”. Additional lands in the towns of Stafford, Ashford, Willington, and Woodstock have been added to the forest over the years. I’m sure this place is beautiful in June. Of course there is also the Laurel Sanctuary located in the Nipmuck State Forest in Union, Connecticut. If you want to enjoy and explore nature, this is where you go. Nipmuck State Forest Mountain Laurel Sanctuary Eastbound on I-84: take Exit 72. Nipmuck State Forest and the adjoining Bigelow Hollow State Park offer more than 9,000 acres of recreation opportunities including hiking trails, an 18-acre pond for boating and fishing, cross country skiing, hunting, picnicking, scuba diving, and snowmobiling. Click here for the latest updates on DEEP's response to COVID-19. Nipmuck Trail: Breakneck Pond to Perry Hill Road is a 16.7 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Stafford Springs, Connecticut that features a lake and is rated as moderate. Take Exit 73 to … Mashapaug Lake is a large lake in Union. Nipmuck State Forest and the adjoining Bigelow Hollow State Park offer over 9,000 acres of recreation opportunities including miles of hiking trails, and an 18-acre pond in Eastern Connecticut. Get the facts at ct.gov/coronavirus. I was through here most recently in June 2020 when completing my thru hike of the Nipmuck Trail though I’m fairly certain Steve from CTMQ and I left a note when we hiked this section in 2017. Bigelow Hollow State Park, the Mountain Laurel Sanctuary and Nipmuck State Forest all call Union home. Among projects undertaken by the young men from Camp Connor were construction of the road that runs to the top of Soapstone Mountain and creation of the unique Mountain Laurel Sanctuary in Nipmuck State Forest. State Parks, Forests, Reserves, Preserves, & WMAs, Best, Historic, & Unique Restaurants & Foods, Firsts, Onlies, Oldests, Largests, Longests, Mosts, Smallests, & Bests, Houses, Communities, Libraries, & Businesses, Towers, Bridges, Tunnels, Roads, Canals, Dams, Airports, & Ferries. Some of the features on CT.gov will not function properly with out javascript enabled. July 2018. Eastbound on I-84: take Exit 72. Marty Podskoch, who spoke recently at the Mansfield Historical Society, collects corps alumni stories. The laurel was not in bloom then, so I wrote things like how I’d be sure to visit in mid-June someday. to attain the all-important highest point in Windham County on Snow Hill. DEEP COVID-19 Response. Content last updated October 2019. Important stuff. All combined, there are nearly 34,000 acres of forestland in Union. The campers also helped local towns with clean-up after the flood of 1936 and the hurricane of 1938. After all, it IS Snow Hill on Snow Hill Road. Camping near Nipmuck State Forest is easy with Hipcamp, where private landowners offer one-of-a-kind camping experiences. Take a close look at the bowl-shaped blossoms that grow in bunches resembling white and pink exploding fireworks. This area is just off of Rt. Apr 13, 2016 - 'Olympic Fire' will set your garden ablaze with dark red buds eruptining into beautiful pink flowers making a sensational color contrast against the dark, evergreen foliage. 2016 CT.gov | Connecticut's Official State Website, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Nipmuck State Forest & Bigelow Hollow State Park. There are better stands of our state flower (mountain laurel, duh) in the northwest hills. Bradley Park, Wilton. Last Visited: Sunday; July 1, 2012 What to do here: Bigelow Hollow State Park is part of Nipmuck State Forest in Northeastern Connecticut. It is also the Connecticut state flower. Connecticut Waterfalls To Photograph This Winter - Whereaboutss. From what I gathered, the laurel is pretty much along the road and doesn’t really penetrate the woods to any crazy degree. Facilities:Picnic tables (é), hiking trails, boat launch ramp, pit toilets. Its 9,000 acres (3,600 ha) surround Bigelow Hollow State Park in the town of Union and include parcels in Stafford, Ashford, and other towns. And if there’s anything I know about people, it’s that they love finding single-track dirt roads at the Ashford/Union line. The sanctuary entrance is a short distance from the intersection and well marked. So I revisited in mid-July and… it was as bloomy as it was in late December. Nipmuck State Forest is a Connecticut state forest. Its 9,000 acres (3,600 ha) surround Bigelow Hollow State Park in the town of Union and include parcels in Stafford, Ashford, and other towns. This property was acquired and/or developed with the assistance of the Land and Water Conservation Fund. And though they can be found all over the state, the best place to see the delicate pastel blossoms up close and in great numbers is the Nipmuck State Forest in Union. Located on Snow Hill Road off Route 190 in Union, the entrance to the park, which is part of Nipmuck Forest, is well marked. Follow Route 89 north to the intersection of Route 89 and Route 190. 85: Joshua's Tract Conservation and Historic Trust, Nature Preserve: 11. Apparently there used to be many more laurels here, as only a portion remains today. Nipmuck State Forest is a Connecticut state forest. Hotels near (BDL) Bradley Intl Airport; Hotels near (ORH) Worcester Airport; All things to do in Stafford; Things to do near Nipmuck State Forest. Who visits a Mountain Laurel Sanctuary in the dead of winter? Bigelow Hollow State Park I think it’s pretty cool that they “cared” in some small way to retain pretty things back then. This place was begun as a beautification project of the Civilian Conservation Corps from Camp Conner in 1935. Case Mountain State Park, Manchester. I forgot. We found the blossoms peaking in heavy clusters of white or pink flowers. Today Nipmuck State Forest and Bigelow Hollow total over 9,000 acres. Mountain Laurel Sanctuary in Nipmuck State Forest. Pachaug State Forest, Voluntown. For generations these plants have been pruned and … Other Amenities: Boating, Cross Country Skiing, Fishing, Hunting, Scuba Diving, Snowmobiling, Hiking Trails. One-third of the town is set aside as park and forest land and includes: Bigelow Hollow State Park, Mountain Laurel Sanctuary, Nipmuck State Forest, and Yale-Myers Forest (managed by Yale’s School of Forestry). The sanctuary road, constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, runs for about a mile and is bordered by laurels that extend deep into the surrounding forest. I recommend walking through and watching the wind swaying the blossom-laden branches. Follow Route 89 north to the intersection of Route 89 and Route 190. A Flower-filled Sanctuary. 86: Snipsic Lake Road, Ellington Last-minute getaway? 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