Paugnut State Forest

Paugnut State Forest

Connecticut State Forest

1,644 acres in Torrington, CT


Trail Map     Trails: 2.1 miles      Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Paugnut State forest connects two state parks, Sunnybrook and Burr Pond into one large forest block.  The forest is criss crossed with old forest roads and the blue blazed John Muir Trail.  There is also a short access trail to Walnut Mountain, the highest point in Torrington.

I hiked the forest in the December of 2022 in the first snowfall of the season.  I started from the Sunnybrook parking area taking the overgrown access trail up to Newfield Road. A very short road walk over the bridge and descends along rough stone steps to follow a branch of the Naugatuck River.  There is a small stone memorial to Jerome Bacca who cleared the John Muir Trail as well as the trails at Sunnybrook.  The memorial has a poem written by Bacca:

May they grow here
Mind of a Child
Heart of a Man
Flight of the Birds
Reach of the Trees
Spirit of our Community.

Bacca passed away in 1994.

This section of trail is less traveled, but was blazed fairly well and I was able to travel without much hassle despite the snow.  The terrain is pretty rugged and aside from the couple forest roads, feels pretty remote.  I missed a side trail up Walnut Mountain which used to have a fire tower, but I suspect there is an eastward view.  There are dense stands of mountain laurel and as you near Burr Pond a view of a marsh.

The trail is named in honor of the naturalist John Muir and I wonder if it was selected by Bacca.


I’d guess the trail was blazed sometime in the 80s but haven’t yet dug into when specifically.


Mary Feeney – Hikers Honor Torrington Trailblazer (1995)

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Last updated December 11th, 2022

Sunnybrook State Park


41.850667, -73.127916

Sunnybrook State Park Connecticut State Park 464 acres in Torrington, CT Parking: Small lot near Newfield Rd, Torrington, CT Trail Map            Trails:…

Burr Pond State Park


41.870437, -73.093909

Burr Pond State Park Connecticut State Park 438 acres in Torrington, CT Parking: Small lot near 384 Burr Mountain Rd, Torrington, CT Trail Map       …