Babcock Pond WMA
1,524 acres in Colchester, CT
- Boat launch: Small lot near 653 Middletown Rd, Colchester, CT
- Trails: Small lot near 200 Miles Standish Road, Colchester, CT
Trail Map Trails: 4 miles Rating: ★☆☆☆☆
Babcock Pond is one of the largest wildlife management areas in Connecticut and is definitely the largest east of the Connecticut River. It can effectively be broken into the boat launch and the hiking/hunting sections.
The boat launch off Rt. 16 is a small carry-in that launches among the reeds. I knew the water level would be pretty low on my visit so I skipped brining the kayak. Thankfully Kayaking with Lou has an account of her paddle. There are short trails off the boat launch, though mostly for fishing access the one to the right heads off for about 0.2 miles to a point under a massive pine with a panorama of the pond.
I find it hard to recommend hiking here. Miles Standish Road is a deeply rutted single lane road and the official parking is most of the way in towards Carrier Rd. The official parking area claims to be handicap accessible, but the gravel ramp is just as rutted as the road. I stopped at a small pull-off next to a gate (where the “trail map” above starts).
The western out and back trail is some kind of access road for mowing the fields that you’ll eventually reach. It then follows a narrow slash of land to an island covered in towering pines. If it weren’t for one flooded section of trail you could likely continue to the other side of the pond.
The other leg of trails heads to large fields on on the southeast side of the pond. A collapsing bridge (that is officially closed) at the back of the fields provides access to a well built waterfowl hunting blind. The blind is technically handicap accessible, but you’d really have to want to get there. The blind was originally built in the 1980s but was renovated in early 2018 (including the “doggy door” for hunting dogs) after years of vandalism thanks to funds from the Connecticut Waterfowlers Association. From there the trail continues on to where Miles Standish and Carrier Roads meet.
So yes there are what amount to gravel roads you can hike here, but I bet more hunters than hikers use the property and there isn’t much to catch your eye aside from the novelty of a different location.
- Babcock Pond Depth Map
- Kayaking with Lou – Babcock Pond Colchester, CT (archive link 2016)
- Peter Marteka – Create-Your-Own Hike At Babcock Pond Wildlife Management Area (2012)
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Last updated October 2nd, 2020
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