Humaston Brook State Park Scenic Reserve
Location: 141 acres in Litchfield, CT
Parking: Go past 4 Newton Rd Northfield, CT and take the next left at White Rd. There is small pull-off parking on the left or at the end of White Rd there is room for two cars
Trail Map Trails: 3 miles Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Humaston Brook is another of Connecticut’s undeveloped ‘scenic reserve‘ state parks. It preserves nearly two miles of the Humaston Brook as well as Northfield Pond.
I visited this park on a gorgeous late summer day not knowing what to expect. Parking at a pull-off just a stone’s thrown down White Rd a trail leads from the pull-off to fishing spots along Northfield Pond. I flushed two wood ducks as I approached the viewpoint. I then took a much smaller much more overgrown trail to a second even more secluded spot.
The real bulk of trails is at the end of White Rd. I crossed over a small mound at the end of the dirt road (right next to two parking spots) and the trail was a wet former cart path. After about a half mile the trail forks. Not knowing how complex it would get I decided to take lefts until they each ran out.
The first left led downhill to a secluded camping spot right next to the brook complete with fire pit and wood bench. The next left was very overgrown but eventually led almost to Windsong Dr. There were a couple of faint offshoot trails here, the one I took crossed a deep brook but I turned around instead. The next offshoot led to a small cascade and a second secret campsite. This one was much better outfitted with a two-level fire pit, tea kettle, and crates.
The next trail turned into a loop with a brief spur with another view of Humaston Brook, this one a more open marshy section. This loop is actually flagged with “Buried Electrical Cable” tape and winds through open forest before reaching a dense thicket of goldenrod, thorns, and bittersweet. If that wasn’t bad enough the last bit was a flooded section where I finally succumbed to the wet trail and soaked my shoes. The trail forked and seemed to lead uphill but stopped at a stone border marker right before reaching Fenn Rd extension. The trail then finally completed the loop. The total mileage was about 3 miles. While it was fun to explore, I wouldn’t recommend it for a casual walk.
I will, however, highly recommend the waterfalls. To view Knife Shop Falls there is a small trail along Knife Shop Rd downstream from the dam. There are two small trails that are thick with poison ivy, but if you head a bit further down the road there will be a more open trail. A series of trails connect the upper and lower falls and pass all the foundations of the former Northfield Knife Company.
Established as a park in 1920 part of the property is the former site of the Northfield Knife Company, its ruins can be seen along Humaston Brook south of the dam.
Peter Marteka – A Visit To A Forgotten Knife Company And A Trio Of Waterfalls (2018)
Waterfalls of New England – Knife Shop Falls
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Last updated Sept. 16, 2018
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