Captain George Comer Memorial State Park / Harris Reserve
1.8 acres in East Haddam, CT
Parking: Small lot near 00126350, East Haddam, CT
Trail Map Trails: 3 miles Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Comer State Park
This state park is one of Connecticut’s smallest and features a massive boulder right next to the road affixed with a plaque dedicated to the titular captain. The plaque reads:
TO THE MEMORY OF
CAPTAIN GEORGE COMER
ABLE SEAMAN ARCTIC MARINER
NAVIGATOR OF THE SEVEN SEAS
There are a couple picnic tables and barbecue pits set off among the trees and thats really it.
If you walk through the gap in the stone wall of the state park parking you can access the Harris Reserve with its three miles of trails.
I started off on the blue trail at the side of the community garden. It follows the stonewall edge of an agricultural field through thick invasives. The trail was easy enough to pass in December, but I bet most of the trails here get pretty narrow in summer growth.
I hopped on the white trail to the orange trail to do what seems to be the main loop, but missed the vista highlight over on the red trail. The orange trail was very easy walking with just enough terrain change to stay interesting. Not much to note in the forested walk stone stream crossing marked on the map has been upgraded to an overbuilt bridge. After recent heavy rains the stream had a beautiful clear shallow pool and tiny cascade.
The trail then meanders back to Old Mt. Parnassus Road and the parking areas.
The memorial was unveiled on Saturday June 4, 1938 to a crowd of 200 as a special tribute to the explorer who had passed away in 1937. Speakers included Mrs. Edward Stafford daughter of Admiral Peary, Dr. Cushman Murphy of the Museum of Natural History, and Governor Cross.
- Peter Marteka – A visit to an East Haddam preserve and a memorial to a whaling captain (2019)
- “Late Arctic Explorer Is Paid Tribute.” Hartford Courant, 5 June 1938, p. 2.
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