Sugar Brook Field Trial and Wildlife Management Area
Estimated 400 acres in Plainfield, CT
Parking: Large dirt lot at the end of Sugar Brook Rd near 161 Black Hill Rd Plainfield, CT
I was initially confused by Sugar Brook. Google Maps lists it as a state park, but no DEEP information (other than the hunting map) mentions it. However, after becoming a bit more familiar with how these work, Sugar Brook is one of Connecticut’s 105 Wildlife Management Areas. They follow the same pattern, no information online, but generally a wealth of old paths and logging roads.
There are a number of fields to explore right off the parking lot that are maintained for Field Trial purposes. Just beyond the fields are wood roads, caution should be taken in these areas for possible hunting. Heading back down the dirt road a bit will reach the 4.7 mile blue-blazed loop trail. The trail starts on Wyndham Land Trust property at the Tillinghast Preserve. The preserve is only 30 acres so the trail soon enters Sugar Brook property looping around the fields, through pine forest, and heading north towards the Quinebaug River.
Though it is well blazed, for the most part, it can get confusing when crossing the more obvious woods roads. The sections along the Quinebaug River are beautiful with a wide overlook at a bend in the river. The route seems well traveled and somewhat maintained. The second half passes through old stone walls and along a ridge around a beaver pond. It is moderately difficult with a few steep climbs/descents and it could be muddy in the spring.
DEEP – State Wildlife Management Areas a Benefit of the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Programs (dead link 2019)