Culver Pond Nature Preserve
118 acres in Stafford, CT
Parking: Shoulder parking near 252 Gilbert Road, Stafford Springs, CT
Trail Map Trails: 2.5 miles Rating: ★★☆☆☆
The house and buildings at the end of private road off Gilbert Road are private property.
Before exploring Culver Pond I was skeptical that trails would be boring old logging roads and likely not very scenic and basically just hoped for a nice view of 10-acre pond. Pulling up the to trailhead I maintained my skepticism, greeted by a small dirt pull off surrounded by overgrowth.
But, I poked around the left side and found fairly easy access down a trail blazed with fresh white blazes. This narrow trail wound its way downhill through a fairly thick understory of the forest with plenty of moss and rocks. The trail was easy to follow and led down to a well built bridge of Rockadundee Brook. The rock features, mossy cascade, and smooth flowing water made it great spot to sit and enjoy the scene for a few minutes.
Shortly after the brook the trail meets the old logging roads which are old enough to have grown in quite a bit. While still obviously old wide paths there was enough charm to them to make them enjoyable. The spiderwebs across the trail were another story. I had to keep a watchful eye and still walked face first into at least a half dozen.
Following the white blazes eventually looped back towards the pond and I kept going hoping to get an up close view. At the south end of the pond is an old access road that beavers have built up flooding the shaded area at the lower end of the pond on the trail map so there are in effect two ponds here now.
I realized I had lost the white blazes and kept heading south on obvious continuations of the old logging roads. Dirtbike paths criss cross this section but I didn’t follow any. I eventually reached the edge of the Shenipsit State Forest and followed it west until I came out on a farm field at the end of Gilbert road, whoops.
I realize now after looking at the trail map I should have taken a hard right shortly before the pond to loop back to the access trail in. I’d guess that blazed loop would be about 1.5-2 miles.
Preserved on June 30th, 2016 when the Culver family sold the land of former president of the NCLT Culver Modisette to the land trust for a bargain price. The forest had been a registered tree farm since 1978.
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Last updated September 25th, 2022
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