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Chatfield Hollow State Park

A trailhead for the Covered Bridge Trail takes hikers over a brook and into the woods.
A trailhead for the Covered Bridge Trail takes hikers over a brook and into the woods. Marisa Nadolny/The Day

Chatfield Hollow State Park

Town: Killingworth

Directions: Take I-95 to Exit 63. Follow Route 81 north to Route 80 west.

Where to Park: Free parking for hikers just inside park entrance, in front of gate. There are separate parking fees for cars that wish to park within Chatfield Hollow.

Description: The trip to get to Chatfield Hollow along the picturesque Route 80 corridor is reason enough to visit. Once you get there, numerous blazed hiking trails offer varying degrees of exercise, and a paved loop is ideal for dog-walkers and families. Picnic areas and a large beach/swimming area make for great gathering spaces. Several spots will beckon to fishermen. The Paul F. Wildermann Boardwalk takes walkers on an alternate route through the park's abundant foliage — a prime location for bird watching.

Regulations: Pets on a leash are permitted. Health regulations require that pets be kept off the beach and out of the water in the swimming pond.

Amenities: Bathrooms, changing rooms, picnic shelters, picnic tables, pond and stream
fishing, beach and swimming area.

Natural Features: From a bedrock of Monson Gneiss, "Chatfield Hollow Brook flows toward Long Island Sound between two high ridges covered with oak, beech, and hickory," according to the CT DEP website.

A hike on the Chimney Trail (blazed in green) takes hikers to a large outcrop of Monson
Gneiss in which the adventurous will find small rock-fall caves.

Other features include the seven-acre Schreeder Pond, a cooling promenade of tall pines and a designated trout pond.

Fees: Fees are charged per vehicle, if parking within Chatfield Hollow. Weekdays: $6 CT registered vehicle, $10 out-of-state registered vehicle; Weekends and holidays: $9 CT registered vehicle, $15 out-of-state registered vehicle

Things to Note: The park is open from sunrise to sunset. Gates open at 8 a.m. on the third Saturday in April, to coincide with opening day of fishing, and close the day after
Columbus Day, in October.

Owned by: State of Connecticut

More information: http://www.ct.gov/dep/cwp/view.asp?A=2716&Q=325182#facilities

A waterwheel spins near the trout pond at Chatfield Hollow.
A waterwheel spins near the trout pond at Chatfield Hollow. Marisa Nadolny/The Day
The beach and swimming area draws hundreds of visitors to Chatfield Hollow every summer.
The beach and swimming area draws hundreds of visitors to Chatfield Hollow every summer. Marisa Nadolny/The Day
Trailhead for Chatfield's West Crest Trail.
Trailhead for Chatfield's West Crest Trail. Marisa Nadolny/The Day
A sign at the Chatfield Hollow trout pond advises fishermen of their daily catch limits.
A sign at the Chatfield Hollow trout pond advises fishermen of their daily catch limits. Marisa Nadolny/The Day
Exposed remnants of glacial melt.
Exposed remnants of glacial melt. Marisa Nadolny/The Day
A hoofprint is shown off to the side of the paved loop at Chatfield Hollow. Horses and riders are welcome at the park.
A hoofprint is shown off to the side of the paved loop at Chatfield Hollow. Horses and riders are welcome at the park. Marisa Nadolny/The Day
Tall pines provide a cool picnic area on the quieter side of Schreeder Pond.
Tall pines provide a cool picnic area on the quieter side of Schreeder Pond. Marisa Nadolny/The Day
The Paul F. Wildermann Boardwalk offers an alternate route through some of Chatfield Hollow’s flora.
The Paul F. Wildermann Boardwalk offers an alternate route through some of Chatfield Hollow’s flora. Marisa Nadolny/The Day
The picnic shelter at Chatfield is available for rentals. Grills and tables are situated close to the pavilion.
The picnic shelter at Chatfield is available for rentals. Grills and tables are situated close to the pavilion. Marisa Nadolny/The Day

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