Stoddard Hill State Park
55 acres in Ledyard, CT
Parking: Medium lot near 1917 CT-12, Gales Ferry, CT
Trail Map Trails: Less than a mile Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Stoddard Hill is one of Connecticut’s ‘scenic reserve‘ state parks that primarily serves as a fishing spot along the Thames River with a short trail, an old cemetery, and a mediocre seasonal overlook.
From the parking area the trail starts just up the hill past the picnic area. I was surprised to find the trails well traveled as they follow the high bank above the train tracks and beyond that the river. You soon reach a massive jumble of boulders.
The trail starts to fade away about 0.3 miles out but turns inland and I assumed it would loop back around the far side of the boulder jumble, instead it dead ends at the backside of private property just off Tanager Ln. There is definitely a missed opportunity for a loop trail here, I retraced my steps and took a side path to the old cemetery.
The graves here date from late colonial to civil war era and have been restored in recent years. A faint trail along the cemetery stone wall leads up the hill behind it to a rocky hilltop above the boulder jumble that stands 183 feet above sea level. On my February visit it amounted to a seasonal overlook with views south along the Thames River, the DEEP says it was once an Indian lookout during times of conflict.
Just off the parking lot is the shallow Stoddard Cove with a gravel car-top boat launch. The river is just beyond the railroad and there is a small bridge to pass under which may limit boat size and launch times.
It does seem to be a popular fishing spot, but I can’t find many reports/anecdotes on it.
Established as a state park in 1954.
Auntie Beak – Stoddard Hill State Park
The Day – Stoddard Hill State Park