Camp Columbia State Forest

Quick Facts

Camp Columbia State Forest

Connecticut

(860) 424-3200

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Camp Columbia State Forest and State Historic Park is one of Connecticut DEP's most recent land acquisitions. The 591-acre property was acquired from Columbia University in 2000 and dedicated in 2004. A small portion of the acreage was designated as a 'State Historic Park', including the frontage on Bantam Lake and the immediate site of the Columbia University buildings. In the State Forest portion of the property, regulated hunting is permitted during fall hunting season.

In 1903, Columbia University purchased farmland to serve as a summer camp for Columbia University' surveying and engineering students. For 80 years, students used the grounds of Camp Columbia to put their classroom skills to practical use, sometimes even resulting in engineering breakthroughs. A demonstration of a new method of construction using a pre-stressed concrete roof with no interior supports was later tested on a much larger scale with the construction of Madison Square Garden in New York City. The university football team also practiced here and Dwight D. Eisenhower is one of the dignitaries who reportedly hunted on the property during the 20th Century. During World War I, the Camp was used for combat training for college students that planned to apply for commissions as officers. Even today subtle remnants of trenches dug in 1917 and 1918 are still evident in various parts of the property. Camp Columbia closed in 1983 and has since remained relatively quiet. Access: Roadside parking along Munger Lane or Route 109.

Map of Camp Columbia State Forest (CT)

Latitude, Longitude: 41.671758, -73.224392

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Activities

  • Fishing

    Frontage of Lake Bantam is included in the forest where fishing can be a great way to spend the day.

  • Hiking

    Hiking is encouraged, although work continues to be done on an interpretive trail system.

  • Historic Sites

    Currently, work is being done on an interpretive trail system throughout the park to convey to the public the deep and interesting account of this fascinating and historical piece of land.

  • Hunting

    Regulated hunting is available in the state forest section.

Directions

Driving

Find the junction of Routes 109 and 61, continue on 109 West. After another 1.5 miles, you will pass Camp Awosting for Boys on the right, immediately followed by the junction with Route 209. Go another half-mile past 209 and take a left onto Todd Hill Road. There will also be a green street sign for 'Town Garage' at that turn. On Todd Hill, you will immediately pass an old cemetery on the right. Follow Todd Hill Road a total of 4/10-mile and take a left onto Munger Lane. If it is winter, go 1/10 of a mile up Munger Lane -- you will find that the snowplow stops at about that point. If it is warmer weather, drive a total of a quarter-mile down Munger Lane. Your entry to the woods will be a total of a quarter-mile down Munger Lane, on the left or east side of the road. This is about 75 feet from where the pavement ends. As a landmark, there is a maple tree that forks about 5-6 feet up with a yellow 'Connecticut State Land' tag

Phone Numbers

Primary

(860) 424-3200