Nehantic State Forest/Lyme section

The swimming area at Uncas Pond is a popular summertime spot.
The swimming area at Uncas Pond is a popular summertime spot. Judy Benson/The Day

Nehantic State Forest/Lyme section

Town: Lyme

Directions: From I-95, take Exit 70, straight off ramp, following signs to Rt. 156. Pass shopping centers; at second light turn right onto 156 West towards Hamburg; approximately 3 miles to right at sign for entrance to park; follow dirt road about 1.5 miles to boat launch; another 3/4 miles to parking, picnic and swimming area at Uncas Pond near trailhead.

For north side entrance, continue on 156 (past park entrance sign) another 3.6 miles to right on Beaver Brook Road, then right onto Keeny Road. There is another parking area and trailhead less than one-quarter mile from the northern boundary of the park, where there is a sign.

Where to Park: Lot near Uncas Pond picnic area or off the northern end of Keeny Road.

Description: 4.5-mile network of blue-blazed trails maintained by the Connecticut Forest & Park Association. 3-mile blue Nayantaquit Trail; .7-mile blue-green Uncas Pond Connector Trail; .6 mile blue-yellow crossover trail. Also a network of unblazed trails and gravel forest roads.

Regulations: Pets on leash permitted; no alcohol. Hunting permitted in season.

Amenities: Pit toilets, picnic tables and swimming area (without lifeguard) at Uncas Pond. Uncas and Norwich ponds suitable for kayaks and rowboats; also for fishing.

Natural Features: 1,667-acre second-growth hardwood forest with two picturesque ponds, smaller beaver ponds and marshes and several trout streams. Trails can be steep and rocky in places; scenic vista at the top of Nickerson Hill off the blue-blazed trail.

Fees: Free.

Owned by: State Department of Environmental Protection

More information: http://www.ct.gov/dep

A dirt road off Route 156 leads into the forest.
A dirt road off Route 156 leads into the forest. Judy Benson/The Day
The forest has a mix of mature and young hardwoods.
The forest has a mix of mature and young hardwoods. Judy Benson/The Day
The forest is a pleasant spot for a fall hike.
The forest is a pleasant spot for a fall hike. Judy Benson/The Day
Rustic footbridges cross wetlands along the trail.
Rustic footbridges cross wetlands along the trail. Judy Benson/The Day
Large boulders left by glaciers can be found throughout the forest.
Large boulders left by glaciers can be found throughout the forest. Judy Benson/The Day
Old stone walls traverse the forest.
Old stone walls traverse the forest. Judy Benson/The Day

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