Mohegan State Forest
956 acres in Scotland, CT
Parking: Room for car or shoulder parking north of 489 Devotion Rd Scotland, CT
Hunting Map Trails: 3 miles Rating: ★☆☆☆☆
Here’s the standard information that you’ll find some version copied and pasted on nearly every online source for the Mohegan State Forest:
Mohegan State Forest consists of over 700 acres in two parcels. The largest parcel is located in Scotland with smaller pieces in Sprague. The first 300 acres of the forest was donated to the State in 1960 for the purpose of demonstrating good forest management. When the property was in private hands, timber harvesting and management had occurred, and management has continued under State ownership. The main access road is constructed of gravel. It was renovated in 1988 to provide improved access for commercial timber harvesting, homeowners with permits for gathering firewood and recreational hunting and hiking. Mohegan State Forest is not developed for recreation but is still a beautiful woodland. Pheasant are sometimes stocked and hunting is permitted. There are two trails for hiking.
The letterboxing page for the forest was last updated in 2011 but contains some interesting information about what the property was like over the years (see archive link below).
I parked in the weeds in front of the green gate on Rt. 97 and hopped the large rock to access what was once a gravel road that was last renovated in 1988 to provide improved access for timber harvesting. In the ensuing 30 years, the gravel road has all but disappeared. A hundred feet in the trail swerves over the stone wall out and around a section of fallen trees and overgrowth before rejoining what was once a small triangular shaped meadow. This too has overgrown with a number of invasives.
The trail widens to more closely resemble the former gravel road and has been kept mostly clear with the help of ATVs who must ride through. A common reoccurrence were the trails cut around any fallen tree. About a mile into the trail I passed through a marshy area where a beaver is/was flooding the trail. A black water snake slithered off among the reeds and I soaked my running shoes. The next section of trail had several large mud pits and a side trail. The side trail was very faint, but I was able to follow it for about a 1/4 mile before I lost it altogether and returned to the main trail.
At about 1.5 miles the trail hits a stonewall and the forest change from hardwood to pines. The understory which had been very thick up to this point opened up. After running along the stone wall the trail forks. Based on the Google Maps boundary and corroborated by state forest boundary markers I thought I had entered private property so I decided to explore only just a bit further. The forks actually form a loop and a surprise faint trail to the center of the loop revealed a rocky outcrop with a view down among the pines. A couple chairs and stools adorned the outcrop as well as tablature for this Native American flute song. Can you imagine hearing that while out on a hike?
This turns out not to be private property and the state forest extends all the way to Hanover Rd. I think the boundary signs (and google maps) are for the original 300 acres. Since I didn’t know that at the time and the sun was getting low I turned around. Despite the overgrown trails, wet shoes, and lack of features I look forward to going back and making it all the way to Hanover Rd. Until then!
Established as a state forest in 1960.
- Connecticut State Forests – Seedling Letterbox Series Clues for Mohegan State Forest (2018 Archive Link)
- The A to Z of Connecticut State Park – Mohegan State Forest (2014)