Sunset Rock State Park / Crescent Lake
Connecticut State Park and Southington Town Park
18 acres in Plainville and Southington, CT
Parking: Large lot near 403-, 537 Shuttle Meadow Rd, Southington, CT
Trail Map Trails: 2 miles Rating: ★★★★☆
Sunset Rock State Park unfortunately is technically only a small 20.5 acre piece of property between I-84 and Ledge Road (not pictured on the map above see image in History section). However in spirit it is combined with the Crescent Lake Town Park for a great combination that allows for rugged hikes to a great overlook as well as fishing and boating on the water.
- Orange: 2.5 miles; rigorous & hilly
- Red: 1.5 miles; rocky and muddy, but generally easy
- Green: 0.5 miles; open trail, some elevation
- Metacomet: 3.6 miles, up, then ridge, then down
Trails start from the main parking area next to Crescent Lake with the red blazed trail heading off along the water’s edge and the orange/blue blazed trail right off the backside of the parking lot. The inner red blazed loop hugs the edges of the water and is a comparatively easier hike since it lakes the elevation gain of other trails though it tends to be muddier and is still rocky.
The orange/blue trail takes you up towards the ridges and overlook on well traveled but very rocky ground. A green blazed trail branches off for a slightly wider loop option but soon rejoins.
After about 0.4 miles the trail climbs a very steep hill between rocky outcrops where it joins the blue blaze Metacomet Trail / New England Trail. The trail follows this mostly wooded section of the Metacomet Ridge past and old chimney to the Sunset Rock overlook. Now to be honest, this isn’t the Sunset Rock since the state park is the ridge a bit northwest but for our modern purposes this overlook is the best one for sunset views.
Metacomet – This section of the Metacomet enters from a roadwalk off Long Bottom Road gradually gaining elevation heading northeast to the steep ledge. It follows the ledge until joining up with the Orange Crescent Lake Trail past the overlook briefly dipping down off the ledge along the rock face before climbing back again. There are a number of other seasonal views but none as open and clear as the first. After 1.6 miles you’ll come to the Red/Blue Junction (this trail used to be the mainline connecting to Ledge Road and crossing over I-84 using Rt. 536). The Metacomet takes a hard right turn heading east away from the ridge and descending to Esther St.
Previous Section: 0.8 mile road walk coming from Ragged Mountain
Next Section: 1.2 mile road walk to connect to Will Warren’s Den
Crescent Lake also known as Plainville Reservoir is 50.18 acres with a concrete ramp boat launch at the southwest corner. Boats are electric motor only and swimming is prohibited. The lake has a max depth of 15 feet.
The main climbing face here is called Firewall and the area has a number of classic climbs as well as trad, sport, and bouldering problems. See the Mountain Project for more information.
Established as a state park in 1928.
Southington purchased the lake property in 2000. The area was the subject of legal battles roughly from 2016 to 2018 when TILCON wanted to expand its quarry.
- CTMQ – Metacomet: Section 7 (2007)
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Last updated February 26th, 2023
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