Belding Wildlife Management Area
Connecticut State WMA
282 acres in Vernon, CT
Parking: Lots of shoulder parking near 3 Bread and Milk Rd Vernon, CT
Note: It appears the Shenipsit Trail through Belding WMA is open as there are no trail notices, however in March 2020 the entrance across Bolton Rd from the meadow had a sign saying the trail was temporarily closed for forest management/logging.
I visited the Belding Wildlife Management Area while hiking this section of the Shenipsit. There is a nice 1.5 mile loop through the property with easy connections to Valley Falls and longer hikes on the Shenipsit or Hop River Trails
I parked at Valley Falls Park and entered the Belding area crossing the street instead of from the main parking on Bread and Milk Road. The trail passes through mountain laurel and old pines before crossing Bolton Road. Then there is a rocky cascade stretch and some rolling terrain.
I continued on the Shenipsit and soon came across the old pine grove and pond. Max Belding had a cabin here made from tobacco barn boards and all that remains now is the chimney. Seems pretty idyllic to me. The shallow pond seems to be man-made by daming the Tankerhoosen Rover. The trail works its way around the pond and after a bit rejoins the river. There was a gentleman casting for fish in February, but it didn’t look like he was having much success. Once you meet a wide forest road and large bridge you can head left to continue on the Shenipsit or right to make the loop on the Belding Path.
I had intended to take the yellow Belding Path back, but the Shenipsit now heads towards Baker Rd (contrary to the map above) and since I extended my hike there I never made the loop.
Donated to the state by Max Belding around 1982.
Peter Marteka – It’s a Wild Spot to Drop a Line (2006)