Cockaponset State Forest and Pattaconk Lake Recreation Area

Quick Facts

Cockaponset State Forest and Pattaconk Lake Recreation Area

Connecticut

(860) 345-8521

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Cockaponset State Forest is Connecticut's second largest state forest and offers a variety of activities for visitors. Cockaponset, named after an Indian chief is buried in the Ponset section of Haddam. The development of this area for recreational purposes allows visitors to fully enjoy the attractiveness of the land, woods, and streams within the forest. Pets on a leash are permitted.

Map of Cockaponset State Forest (CT)

Latitude, Longitude: 41.410162, -72.520580

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Activities

  • Bicycling

    As Connecticut's second largest forest, several trails are designated for hiking and mountain biking. You will do some steady, not-too-steep climbing on dirt roads and short, steeper rolling on single-track trails. Watch for minor obstructions on the single-track trails-debris, rocks, and logs. On the two-wheel-drive roads, watch for the occasional vehicle, especially on summer and fall weekends.

  • Camping

    Youth group camping areas are available to qualifying youth organizations. The group camp areas are generally away from main public use areas, giving group leaders maximum control over their group's camping experience. This program is designed to encourage youths to learn about nature and the camping experience.

  • Fishing

    Grab your pole and spend the day fishing on Pattaconk Lake.

  • Hiking

    Maps detail only 20 miles (32 km) of trails, but there are over 100 miles (160 km) of trails within the greater Cockaponset State Forest. Many of these unmarked trails to not have a designated status and are currently open to most users willing to respect low-impact travel.

  • Historic Sites

    Cockaponset State Forest was named after an American Indian chief who's buried in the Ponset section of Haddam. Hike the trails for signs of the cultural past. The Chester Cedar Swamp portion of the forest was declared a National Natural Landmark, but is in danger of being succeeded by hemlock.

  • Horseback Riding

    Many of the trails allow horseback riding, so bring your horse and ride through the beautiful forests.

  • Hunting

    Hunting is a popular recreational activity in the state forest.

  • Water Sports

    Kayak, swim, or canoe in the lakes. Swimming is a popular summertime activity on Pattaconk Lake.

  • Winter Sports

    Cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling are excellent winter activities in the state forest.

Seasonality/Weather

The forest recreation areas are open from sunrise to sunset. Other forest areas are open one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.

Park Partners

Friends of Connecticut State Parks

The mission of Friends of Connecticut State Parks is: To support Connecticut's state parks, forests and conservation areas through education, advocacy, and public awareness. To protect and preserve Connecticut's great legacy of natural resources and historical treasures.

Directions

Driving

To the Ranger Headquarters: From the North: Take Exit 8 off Route 9 South. Turn left onto Beaver Meadow Road. Take the second right onto Ranger Road. Headquarters is on the left. From the South: Take Exit 8 off Route 9 North. Turn right onto Beaver Meadow Road. Take the second right onto Ranger Road. Headquarters is on the left. To the Pattaconk Recreation Area: From Middletown area: take Route 9 south, Exit 6. Turn right off the exit ramp and go west on Route 148 for approximately 2 miles. Take a right onto Cedar Lake Road and drive approximately 2 miles. Take a left at the Pattaconk Lake sign. From Old Saybrook area: take Route 9 north, Exit 6. Turn left off the exit ramp and go west on Route 148 for approximately 2 miles. Take a right onto Cedar Lake Road and drive approximately 2 miles. Take a left at the Pattaconk Lake sign.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(860) 345-8521

Links