600 acres in Morris, CT
Parking: Small lot near 315 West St Morris, CT
Trail Map Trails: 2.5 miles Rating: ★★★★☆
Camp Columbia is the former site of the Columbia Engineering school the property is split into two parcels the historic park (72 acres) and the state forest (528 acres). The main feature is one of Connecticut’s stone observations towers that remains from the dining hall.
The trails were first established here in 2008 and seem to be an afterthought between the main attraction of the tower and the active forest management in the state forest parcel. The trail is a 2 mile loop which I followed counter-clockwise. The trail starts off on a former road/cart path that is wide and easy to follow. Though now it is poorly maintained with branches down all over and is often an active stream. The long gradual uphill climb required zig zagging to find dry footing.
Eventually the trail took a hard left through a stonewall and entered a rolling one mile section that was pretty picturesque. The remainder of the trail, while a nice forest walk, was uneventful. I either missed the orange trails marked on the map or they don’t exist anymore. The forest had undergone extensive timber harvesting that was done in part to curb “illegal trails” created by ATVs.
A rich history can be found on the DEEP website.
Peter Marteka – A Visit To The Ruins Of The Storied Camp Columbia In Morris (2014)
CTMQ – Camp Columbia State Park (2011)
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January 6, 2020
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