Killingly

Hike Killingly, CT

If you’re looking for the best hiking trails in Killingly this is the complete guide to all the long trails, waterfalls, and history it has to offer.

Links

My Highlights |expand|

Hiking |expand|

Town Parks

  • 1892 Conservation Area –★★– 1.85 miles – (aka Sherman Forest) Overgrown on my last visit, confusing trails lead to an old foundation
  • Cat Hollow –★★– 1 mile – Simple but popular spot with an old dam waterfall and history
  • Chase Reservoir –★★– 2.5 miles – Mainly serves to protect the reservoir but overgrown trails lead to woods roads popular with dirt bikes
  • Hygeia Reservoir – No trails? Swimming for town residents
  • Mason Hill Conservation Area –★– 0.5 miles – Short overgrown loop on my last hike in 2022
  • Owen Bell Park –★★– 1 mile – Great town park with multisport fields, pond, walking track, easy hiking trails, and playgrounds
  • Quandoc Conservation Area –★★★– 2.5 miles – Expanded trails roam this beautiful hilly area

Land Trust

State Parks / Forest

  • Killingly Pond State Park –★– <1 mile – Unfriendly to everything but boaters, there are short fisherman’s paths and old woods roads
  • Old Furnace State Park –★★★★– 3 miles – A choose your own adventure hike around ponds, upland forest, and dramatic cliff views
  • Quinebaug Lake State Park –★★– 2 miles – Simple yet beautiful loop hike around the lake
  • Ross Pond State Park and Ross Marsh WMA–★★– 1.5 miles — Connected to Old Furnace State Park for extended trail hikes

Blue Blaze

  • None

The Rest

  • Quinebaug River Trail –★★– 3.1 miles – Paved rails to trails with access to the Quinebaug River and the Lebeau Fishing Camp archaeological preserve
  • North-South Trail section –★– 1 mile – Dirt roads that briefly clip into Connecticut, the rest of the trail is in Rhode Island

Boating |expand|

Town History |expand|

The land of Killingly was within the lands of the Quinebaug people and was river area was known by many including the Nipmucks, Pequots, Mohegans, and Narragansetts as an important fishing place, calling it “Acquiunk”.  There was also a fort on a low hill in the Danielson area. East Killingly was known as “Chemaug”.

The land was settled by as early as 1693 by a man named Richard Evans and about 200 acres was secured by a Reverend Noadiah Russel who then sold to Peter Aspinwall. There is also the story of Joseph Leavens, a young man, was bitten on the thumb by a rattlesnake. He saved his own life by chopping off the bitten thumb with his axe and then killing the snake. In the years afterward the Native American’s gave him the nickname ” Old One-thumb.”

James Danielson of Block Island had served in the Narragansett War purchased 2000 acres between the Quinebaug and Five Mile Rivers from Major James Fitch for 170 pounds in 1707.  An early name for Killingly was Aspinock apparently from the word “aucks” (the place where) and the name of an early English settler, Lieutenant Peter Aspinwall (who lived only about a mile south of modern day Putnam).

Killingly became the 42nd town established in Connecticut when it was formally incorporated in 1708 by the Connecticut’s General Assembly.

“Northerly on the line of the Massachusetts Province (it being by estimation about) five miles from the line between this Colony and the Colony of Rhode Island and the river called Assawaug; easterly on the said line between the said colonies; southerly, partly on the northern boundary of Plainfield and partly on a line to be continued east from the northeast corner bounds of Plainfield to the said line between the said Colonies; the said northern boundary of Plainfield being settled by order of the General Court, May the 11th, 1699, and westerly on the aforesaid river; the said township being by estimation about eight or nine miles in length and five or six miles in breadth, be the same more or less.”

In 1831 the iron furnace for Old Furnace State was built. By 1836, Killingly was the largest producer of cotton goods in Connecticut thanks to textile mills along the Quinebaug and Five Mile Rivers.  In 1840 the Norwich & Worcester Railroad opened and population began to center around it. John Day (the name for Dayville), a well-to-do farmer with interests in real estate, built the Sayles Mill in 1846.  Dayville became an industrial hub In the 1920s the firm of Powdrell & Alexander operated six curtain factories in town leading to the name “Curtaintown USA”.  The Great Depression ended textile production in Killingly, but some were later bought to build and produce other goods.

Further Reading:

  • https://www.killinglyhistorical.org/museum/killinglys-villages
  • https://connecticutgenealogy.com/windham/proprietors_of_killingly.htm

Now go out and hike Killingly, CT!

Edward R. Laby Preserve

★☆☆☆☆

41.872853, -71.801743

Edward R. Laby Memorial Preserve Wyndham Land Trust 81 acres in Killingly, CT Parking: Just north of Killingly Pond State Park on Pond Road Trail Map   …

Quandoc Conservation Area

★★★☆☆

246 Brickhouse Rd, Danielson, CT, USA

Quandoc Conservation Area Killingly Town Park 125 acres in Killingly, CT Parking: Medium sized lot near 246 Brickhouse Rd, Danielson, CT Trail Map        Trails:…

Mason Hill Conservation Area

★☆☆☆☆

207 Mason Hill Road, Killingly, Dayville, CT, USA

Mason Hill Conservation Area Killingly Town Park 20 acres in Killingly, CT Parking: Small lot near 207 Mason Hill Rd Dayville, CT Trail Map      Trails:…

Owen Bell Park

★★☆☆☆

Owen Bell Park, Hartford Pike, Dayville, CT, USA

Owen Bell Park Killingly Town Park 53 acres in Killingly, CT Parking: Large lot near 580 Hartford Pike, Dayville, CT Trail Map         Trails: 1…

Quinebaug River Trail

★★☆☆☆

39 Wauregan Rd, Danielson, CT 

Quinebaug River Trail Rails to Trails Conservancy 10 acres in Killingly, CT Parking: Medium sized lot near 39 Wauregan Rd, Danielson, CT  Trail Map       …

Chase Reservoir

★★☆☆☆

68 Pratt Road, Dayville, CT, USA

Chase Reservoir Killingly Town Park 365 acres in Killingly, CT Parking: Room for two cars near 233 Pratt Road Dayville, CT or seasonally near 68 Pratt Road Dayville,…

Dunn Preserve

★★☆☆☆

41.862530, -71.921684

Dunn Preserve Wyndham Land Trust 32 acres in Killingly, CT Parking: Shoulder parking at the gate near 149 Lake Rd, Dayville, CT Aerial Map         …

Old Furnace State Park

★★★★☆

450 S Frontage Rd, Danielson, CT 06239

Old Furnace State Park Connecticut State Park 367 acres in Danielson, CT Parking: Medium lots available near 450 S Frontage Rd Danielson, CT and at the end of the Forest… Read more…

Sherman Memorial Forest

★☆☆☆☆

41.847932, -71.866857

Rainsford B. Sherman Memorial Forest / 1892 Conservation Area Wolf Den Land Trust 95 acres in Killingly, CT Parking: Tiny lot for two cars at 175 Breakneck Hill…