Stoddard Hill State Park

41.460391, -72.065988

Website

★★☆☆☆

Stoddard Hill State Park

Connecticut 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.

Hiking

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.

Boating / Fishing

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.

History:

Established as a state park in 1954.


Links:

Auntie Beak – Stoddard Hill State Park

The Day – Stoddard Hill State Park

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Last updated February 10th, 2020

Posted in State Parks and Forests

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