Meshomasic State Forest

Quick Facts

Meshomasic State Forest

Connecticut

(860) 424-3200

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Meshomasic is a secret giant. At first glance it is an empty woodland traversed by a few lonely gravel roads but a closer look reveals every level of mountain biking on both singletracks and doubletracks, all in a location that's convenient to many. Located at the center of the state, Meshomasic has the honor of being Connecticut's, and New England's, first state forest. It was established in 1903 with the purchase of 355 acres in Portland (at a price of about one dollar, seventy-five cents/acre) and has since grown into the neighboring town of East Hampton to its current size of nearly 8,000 acres. Today the forest remains in an undeveloped state, free of the pavement, facilities, and visitation that are present at other public lands in central Connecticut. This creates excellent wildlife habitat and attracts a healthy following of hunters, especially in late fall when deer season is underway. Mountain biking is discouraged at Meshomasic during this period except on Sundays, when hunting is prohibited by law.

Map of Meshomasic State Forest (CT)

Latitude, Longitude: 41.637540, -72.542530

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Activities

  • Bicycling

    Meshomasic State Park has about 30miles of mountain biking trails. They are fun and challenging ride with several climbs and descents. There are a few tough stretches of singletrack, a couple technical climbs, a couple of fun descents, and a few very technical areas.

  • Hiking

    The blue-blazed Shenipsit Trail, maintained by the Connecticut Forest and Park Association, runs North-South through Connecticut. It starts in the Shenipsit State Forest just north of Soapstone Mountain and ends in the Meshomasic State Forest on Gadpouch Road. The trail runs along a ridge in the southern part of the forest where there are several vistas overlooking the Connecticut River, nearby Middletown, and the surrounding forest. 12 of the trail's 40 miles (64 km) are within the Meshomasic State Forest.

  • Historic Sites

    From the early 1950s to 1970s Nike Missile Site HA-36 was located off of North Mulford Road in the Meshomasic State Forest. It was one of over 300 missile-defense sites around major cities during the Cold War. Nike Ajax anti-aircraft missiles were located at HA-36 to protect Hartford's aircraft industry from Soviet bombers.

  • Hunting

    Hunting is a popular activity in the forest, especially turkey hunting.

  • Winter Sports

    Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are fun snow-time activities in the forest.

Directions

Driving

From Portland Reservoir, driving directions to Reeves Rd, CT 2.3 mi -- about 8 mins 1. Head east on Reservoir Rd toward N Mulford Rd 0.7 mi 2. Turn left at Mulford Rd 0.5 mi 3. Turn right at Reeves Rd 1.1 mi

Phone Numbers

Primary

(860) 424-3200

Links