Bigelow Hollow State Park

Quick Facts

Bigelow Hollow State Park


(860) 684-3430

Map Directions

Things To Do


Bigelow Hollow State Park in Union, Connecticut is a state park surrounded by Nipmuck State Forest, and bordering Mashapaug Lake. There are picnic benches, beaches, scuba diving, mountain biking, and a boat launch, plus miles of hiking trails. The name "Bigelow" is a mystery since no person of that name seems to have been associated with this area. According to older residents of Union, the name is derived from "Big Low" in reference to the deep hollow in which the 18-acre pond of that name is located. The word "Mashapaug" is the Nipmuck Indian word for "Great Pond". The present lake of 300 acres was originally about half the size. In the mid-1880's, two different parties attempted to draw the water from this natural pond. One party ditched to the north and the other to the south. The latter party was forced to give up the battle when they ran into a ledge and later joined forces with their rivals to create the present lake. The contrast of rock, water, and mixed deciduous/evergreen woodland provide ample beauty to the many visitors this park receives. Pets on a leash are permitted.

Map of Bigelow Hollow (CT)

Latitude, Longitude: 42.002516, -72.132112



  • Boating

    Row your fishing boat out onto the lake or paddle your kayak for a great and serene afternoon. Boat launches and wheelchair-accessible fishing piers are provided. Gas engines are not permitted from Bigelow Pond.

  • Bicycling

    The small trail system at Bigelow Hollow links mountain bikers with more than 30 miles of logging roads and trails in the 9,000-acre state forest.

  • Fishing

    At 513 acres, Bigelow Hollow completely encompasses Bigelow Pond and offers access to the much larger Mashapaug Lake, renowned for its water quality. Both are stocked with trout, and Mashapaug has native pickerel and large and small mouth bass.

  • Hiking

    Marked trails lead from Bigelow Hollow to the Breakneck area, but no trail in this area is a loop trail. Hikers should be prepared to walk at least six miles to complete a loop around Breakneck. There are no marked trails to Briggs Pond. For hikers desiring trails that start and end in the same place, the trails west of the park road both form loops and cover less of a distance than the trails leading to Breakneck.

  • Hunting

    Archery hunting is permitted in both state park and forest and hunting with firearms in Nipmuck State Forest only.

  • Picnicking

    Picnic tables and pit toilets make Bigelow Hollow State Park an excellent place for a meal outside.

  • Water Sports

    Enjoy a day of canoeing or kayaking on the 300 acre lake.

  • Winter Sports

    Snowmobiling, snowshoeing, ice fishing, and cross country skiing are enjoyed in the winter.



Bigelow Hollow State Park is located on Route 171 and can be reached via I-84. Take Exit 73 or 74, then follow Route 190 north to Route 171 east to the park entrance.

Phone Numbers


(860) 684-3430