Minnie Island State Park
Parking: Accessible by water only, the closest public boat launch is at Gardener Lake State Park
Trail Map Trails: Short footpaths Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Minnie Island State Park is a small island in 529 acre Gardner Lake. It is the smallest state park in Connecticut at .88 acres.
The island is about 1/3 of mile from the Gardner Lake State Park boat launch and it is an easy paddle even with crossing powerboats. Minnie Island raises about 16 feet above the water and is entirely forested by either pine or hardwood. There are three entrances to the island on the north, south, and east shores. The easiest being the south with a tiny carved out beach. At the center of the island is a small clearing with a large split rock and fire pit. This area is covered in broken glass and the DEEP occasionally clears out the trash that accumulates. The island is only a couple hundred feet from the eastern shore of the lake and Pequot Lodge Campground, so it seems to get regular attendance.
Established as a state park in 1925. The park is named after a niece of Orramel Whittelsey who owned the island through the 1800s. The David Leff article is an interesting read about how the island became a state park.
Connecticut Woodlands Vol. 78 pg 12 – Big Adventure at the State’s Smallest Park
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