79 acres in Glastonbury, CT
Parking: Medium sized lot near 3874 Hebron Ave Glastonbury, CT
The main feature and the park’s namesake is the falls near the Blackledge River. The falls are about 25′ high and can be impressive after rains with up to three distinct plunges.
Trails here are popular and fairly well maintained. Some sections are continuously muddy but are great for a short waterfall hike. Two connectors along the backside of the blue loop head to Gay City State Park.
A dam that was at the south end of the park has recently (2018) been removed to allow the natural flow of the river to return. This makes the trail map above outdated. The Blackledge Brook pond no longer exists and is a narrow brook snaking through tall grass. What was once essentially a game path to the dam is now a wide clearing. Stones from the dam have been used to prevent erosion of the restored brook and as a crossing to the other side. Across the brook are the remains of one corner of the dam as a reminder of the area’s history. On the other side of the brook is a section of the Meshomasic State Forest and a well-established trail that links to the southern corner of Gay City State Park. Popular with mountain bikers, this trail loops back to the town park. Throw in a quick stop at the falls and you’ve got yourself a nice three-mile hike.
Established as a town park in 1991. From the town’s brochure:
“The pond includes a dam that was formerly the site of an up-down saw mill which was moved to Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, MA…. Early in the 20th century, the Blackledge Falls property was used by the Cheney family of Manchester, and later by the Danskin family of Glastonbury, as a summer retreat. Two log cabins used to grace the site near the pond.”
In early 2018 the aforementioned dam was removed to restore the natural flow of the river.
Waterfalls of New England – Blackledge Falls
Mountain Bike Project – Blackledge Falls
Historic Glastonbury Ruins – Blackledge Falls Dam
Peter Marteka – The Blackledge River Is Flowing Naturally Again For The First Time Since The 19th Century (2018)