Brainard Homestead State Park

25 acres in East Haddam, CT
Parking: Shoulder parking near 76 Creek Row East Haddam, CT

Trail Map     Trails: None     Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Brainard Homestead seems to be a park the state didn’t really want; so as one of Connecticut’s ‘scenic reserves‘ it has been left to sit for 90+ years.
There isn’t much to explore here.  There is room for one car to pull off the dirt road on what must be the old driveway of the homestead now blocked by a few rocks.  I walked down this overgrown driveway and soon spotted a foundation among thick barberry and fallen trees.  The cellar hole is a good size though not easy to explore.
A couple fields on either side remind me of old cow pastures and the state must come through occasionally to bush hog back the invasives.  There is one managed field that must be mowed or hayed, but I didn’t see a real entrance.  A red tailed hawk screeched and took off as I entered the field, I must have spoiled his hunting.  In December there were enough breaks in the forest canopy below to see the Connecticut River to the west.  With not much to see I pushed back to the road and the small-pull off.


Established as a state park in 1929 when it was willed to the state by Geraldine W. Hayden.  It was originally named Selden Tyler Brainard Park. The park came burdened with liabilities including a right of life use for a Dr. William S. Brainard, an uncle of Geraldine.

The state appears to have somewhat begrudgingly accepted saying,

“While in this first instance it was found possible to accept the bequest, it would of course be better if the suitability of a proposed site could be determined in advance, since a place dear to its owner is not always adaptable to public use, and except in rare instances the memorial function of a State Park must be a subordinate one.”


Peter Marteka – East Haddam’s Creek Row: A Road Back In Time (2011)

Report of the State Park and Forest Commission 1928. State of Connecticut. December 22, 1928. p. 18.

The information shown here is for general reference purposes only. gives no warranty, expressed or implied, as to the accuracy or reliability of this data. Parking in all areas, whether designated here or not, is at your own risk. is not responsible for any damage or loss to vehicles or contents.
Last updated December 27th, 2020

Visited 1053 times, 3 Visits today

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