Pachaug State Forest - H.H. Chapman Area
Towns: Voluntown, Griswold and Plainfield
Directions: Take I-395 north to exit 85, through first light, right onto Route 138 east. Follow for nine miles, left onto Route 49 north, entrance is one mile on the left.
Where to Park: Pass the ranger station to a parking area at a grassy field.
Description: The H.H. Chapman Area is one of the main sections of the 24,000-acre Pachaug Forest, the state's largest. Sections of the blue-blazed Nehantic, Pachaug and Quinnebaug trails, maintained by Connecticut Forest & Park Association volunteers, pass through this area.
The area includes Beachdale Pond and includes trails suitable for mountain biking, cross-country skiing and horseback riding.
Regulations: Dogs on a leash allowed; park closes at sunset; no alcohol in campgrounds.
Amenities: Picnic tables, composing toilets, campground and horse camp area, trout-stocked fishing pond with boat launch and handicapped accessible fishing platform.
Natural Features: Mt. Misery overlook, at 441 feet, is the highest point in the area, offering views of the forest and Voluntown. The blue-blazed trail to the top (about a ½ hour hike one way, moderate difficulty) is part of the Pachaug Trail.
The nearby Rhododendron Sanctuary is an area with an unusual ecology. A short trail leads through the sanctuary; rhododendron usually blossom in early July.
In addition to Beachdale Pond, other waterways in the forest include Lockes Meadow Pond, Hell Hollow Pond, Mt. Misery Brook, Pachaug Pond and the Pachaug River.
Fees: None for day use; fees for camping.
Things to note: Motorcycles and snowmobiles are allowed on designated trails; hunting is permitted in specific areas. The Connecticut Horse Council maintains a network of trails recommended for horseback riding.
Owned by: State Department of Environmental Protection
More information: http://www.ct.gov/dep/cwp/view.asp?a=2716&q=325070&depNav_GID=1650