Collis P. Huntington State Park
Sunset Hill Road, Redding/Bethel, Connecticut
700 acres

Source: Anderson, Katherine S.; Hardy, #25


Directions:

From the junction of CT 302 and CT 58 in Bethel, drive south on CT 58 Putnam Park Road; bear left and then right on Sunset Hill Road; drive 1.4 miles and turn left into the park entrance (flanked by wildlife tableaus by Anna Hyatt Huntington).


History:

early 1600s  -- the Indian Chief Warrups and his associates, deserters from the Paugussett and Pootatuck Indian tribes, roamed the area .

colonial period -- the land was used for farms.  

late 1800s  --  the Luttgen family acquire the property.  Later the Starratt family purchased the property.

1930s  --  Archer M. Huntington, the stepson of Collis P. Huntington (1821-1900), acquires the property.  (Collis Potter Huntington is well known for his work on the first transcontinental railroad.)   Archer Huntington was a poet, art patron, Spanish scholar, and founder of the Hispanic Society. It was at this homestead that Archer's second wife, Anna Hyatt, started her career as a sculptress. She was noted for her equestrian statues. She kept horse, cows, and other animals so that she could study them for her statues.

1950  -- Archer donates the area for use as a state park.

On the grounds are two sculptures by Anna Hyatt Huntington.


Habitats:

South Pond, Lake Hopewell, East and West Lagoons, swamp, fields, marsh, woods


Trails:

There are old woods roads meandering through the park. You can make many different circular walks of different lengths.

4/5/2002.  I took a short loop walk. Walked east towards the woods, then turned left at the woods road. Met the blue trail on the right and headed down to South Pond. Kept following the blue trail north for a ways to its intersection with the orange trail that heads northwest through a white pine grove to Lake Hopewell. This lake is a mountain lake with just a little shoreline. Take the white trail left heading south and southwest and take a left turn onto the blue trail that now heads south back to where you started on the blue trail.


7/16/2005.  On an overcast day, Rosemary Cooney, Sarah-David Rosenbaum, Ceferino Santana, dog Sonar and I all took a nice walk through the northwestern section of the park.  We parked at the parking lot of Dodgingtown Road.  We spent some time looking along the shores of Lily Pond (in Bethel, Connecticut). 

Then we took the white path south between West Lagoon and East Lagoon. There seems to be a problem with the map. They got us all fouled-up.  I won't confuse you by trying to explain their mistake.  Let's just say that when you take the white trail south, take what appears to be a side trail off to the right (west).  Another problem: they don't continue the white markers all the way down to the bridges at East Lagoon.  But keep following this trail (hard to make a mistake as it is covered on both side by mountain laurel).  The trail comes out to the bridges.

We ate lunch at one of the bridges.  After lunch we followed the red trail down the least side of Lake Hopewell.  We then switched to the white trail to head west to the blue trail.  We spent some time examining the marsh at the south end of Lake Hopewell. 

Reaching the blue trail, we turned right and headed north back to our parking area. 

We wanted to see a large field and we knew we would find one at the southern entrance on Sunset Hill Road.  So we drove down to that parking area.  We walked through the fields.  Going over a stonewall led us to an even larger field.  We found a sign saying "Couch Hill Preserve" and "Conservation Commission, Town of Redding."  The field was really beautiful.  The weather made it even more entrancing because it was not too hot; (I hate a field in the hot, scorching sun). 

After we thought we had gotten most of the plant species from the area, we turned around and went back to the car. Dr. Patrick L. Cooney.


PLANT LIST:
Dr. Patrick L. Cooney, Sarah-David Rosenbaum

April 5, 2002 and * = plants blooming on dates of field trips, 4/5/2002 and 7/16/2005.  


Trees:
Acer palmatum (Japanese maple)
Acer pensylvanicum (striped maple)
Acer platanoides (Norway maple)
Acer rubrum (red maple) 4/5/2002
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Aesculus sp. (horse chestnut)
Ailanthus altissima (tree of heaven)
Betula alleghaniensis (yellow birch)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Betula populifolia (gray birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya glabra (pignut hickory)
Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
Carya tomentosa (mockernut hickory)
Castanea dentata (American chestnut)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Morus alba (white mulberry)
Picea abies (Norway spruce)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Pinus sylvestris (Scots pine) 
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Pyrus malus (apple)
Pyrus sp. (crab apple)
Quercus alba (white oak) 
Quercus prinoides (chinquapin oak)  planted
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)  
Taxus sp. (yew)
Thuja occidentalis (arbor-vitae)

Shrubs and sub-shrubs:
Alnus serrulata (smooth alder)
Aronia arbutifolia (red chokeberry)
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry) lots and lots
Cephalanthus occidentalis (buttonbush)     *
Chimaphila maculata (spotted wintergreen)     *
Clethra alnifolia (sweet pepperbush)
Cornus amomum (swamp dogwood)
Cornus sericea (red osier dogwood)?
Decodon verticillatus (swamp loosestrife)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Gaultheria procumbens (true wintergreen)
Gaylussacia baccata (black huckleberry)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Hydrangea sp. (hydrangea)
Ilex verticillata (winterberry holly)
Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel)     *   lots
Ligustrum sp. (privet)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush) 4/05/2002
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle)
Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)
Myrica pensylvanica (bayberry)
Pachysandra terminalis (pachysandra)
Rhamnus cathartica (common buckthorn) 
Rhododendron maximum (rosebay rhododendron)     *
Rhododendron viscosum (swamp azalea)     *
Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus hispidus (swamp dewberry)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Salix sp. (willow)
Spiraea tomentosa (steeplebush)
Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry)
Vaccinium sp. (a low-bush blueberry)
Viburnum acerifolium (maple-leaf viburnum)
Viburnum dentatum (smooth arrowwood viburnum)
Viburnum prunifolium (blackhaw viburnum)?
(Harry Lauder's walking stick)  planted

Vines:
Apios americana (hog peanut)
Calystegia sepium (hedge bindweed)     *
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet) lots and lots
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Smilax rotundifolia (round-leaved greenbrier)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vincetoxicum nigrum (black swallowwort)     *
Vitis labrusca (fox grape)
Wisteria sp. (wisteria)

Herbs:
Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)
Ajuga reptans (ajuga)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)     *
Allium vineale (field garlic)
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed)
Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut)
Antennaria plantaginifolia (plantain-leaved pussytoes)
Apocynum cannabinum (Indian hemp)     *
Arabis glabra (tower mustard)
Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla)    
Arctium sp. (burdock)
Arisaema triphyllum (Jack in the pulpit)
Asclepias incarnata (swamp milkweed)     *
Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)     *
Aster spp. (asters)
Bidens connata (swamp beggar ticks)    
Bidens sp. (beggar ticks) 
Cardamine impatiens (narrow-leaved bittercress)
Cerastium vulgatum (mouse-ear chickweed)     *
Chelidonium majus (celandine)     *
Chenopodium album (pigweed)
Chrysanthemum leucanthemum (ox-eye daisy)     *
Chrysosplenium americanum (golden saxifrage)
Circaea lutetiana (enchanter's nightshade)     *
Cirsium arvense (Canada thistle)     *
Cirsium vulgare (bull thistle)
Conyza canadensis (horseweed)
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace)     *
Dianthus armeria (Deptford pink)     *
Erigeron annuus (daisy fleabane)     *
Eupatorium rugosum (white snakeroot)    
Euthamia graminifolia (grass-leaved goldenrod)
Galinsoga sp. (quickweed)     *
Galium aparine (cleavers)
Galium mollugo (wild madder)     *
Galium tinctorium (Clayton's bedstraw)     *
Geum canadense (white avens)     *
Hackelia virginiana (Virginia stickseed)     *
Hesperis matronalis (dame's rocket)     *
Hieracium paniculatum (panicled hawkweed)     *
Hypericum mutilum (dwarf St. Johnswort)     *
Hypericum perforatum (common St. Johnswort)     *
Hypericum punctatum (spotted St. Johnswort)     *
Lamiastrum galeobdolon (golden dead nettle) hort. escape
Lapsana communis (nipplewort)     *
Lemna sp. (duckweed) 
Leonurus cardiaca (motherwort)     *
Lepidium virginicum (poor man's pepper)    
Linaria canadensis (blue toadflax)     *
Linaria vulgaris (butter and eggs)     *
Lindernia dubia (false pimpernel)     *
Lobelia spicata (spiked lobelia)     *
Lotus corniculatus (birdfoot trefoil)     *
Ludwigia palustris (water purslane) 
Lycopus sp. (bugleweed)
Lycopus virginicus (Virginia bugleweed)  
Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower) 
Medeola virginiana (Indian cucumberroot) 
Medicago lupulina (black medick)     *
Melampyrum lineare (cowwheat)     *
Melilotus alba (white sweet clover)     *
Melilotus officinalis (yellow sweet clover)     *
Monotropa uniflora (Indian pipe)
Nymphaea odorata (fragrant white water lily)     * 
Oxalis sp. (yellow sweet clover)     *
Penthorum sedoides (ditch stonecrop)     *
Phytolacca americana (pokeweed)     *
Plantago major (common plantain)
Polygonatum pubescens (true Solomon's seal)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose smartweed)     *
Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed)
Polygonum hydropiper (water pepper)     *
Polygonum hydropiperoides (mild water pepper)     *
Polygonum sagittatum (arrow-leaved tearthumb)      *
Polygonum virginianum (jumpseed)
Potentilla norvegica (rough cinquefoil)     *
Potentilla recta (rough-fruited cinquefoil)     *
Prenanthes serpentaria (lionís foot rattlesnake root)
Prunella vulgaris (self-heal)
Ranunculus acris (tall buttercup)     *
Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima (black-eyed Susan)     *
Rumex crispus (curled dock)
Sedum acre (mossy stonecrop)
Silene latifolia (white campion)      *
Silene vulgaris (bladder campion)     *
Sisymbrium officinale (hedge mustard)     *
Sium suave (water parsnip) 
Solidago rugosa (rough-leaved goldenrod)
Solidago canadensis var. scabra (tall goldenrod)
Sparganium sp. (burreed) 
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion)     *
Thalictrum pubescens (tall meadowrue)     *
Triadenum virginicum (marsh St. Johnswort)
Trifolium aureum (yellow clover)     *
Trifolium pratense (red clover)      *
Trifolium repens (white clover)     *
Tussilago farfara (coltsfoot) 
Urtica dioica var. procera (tall nettle)  *
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)     *
Verbena urticifolia (white vervain)     *
Vicia cracca (cow vetch)     *
Vicia tetrasperma (slender vetch)     *

Rushes:
Juncus tenuis (path rush)

Sedges:
Carex laxiflora type (loose-flowered type sedge)
Carex lurida (lurid sedge)
Carex ovales type (ovales type sedge)
Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)
Carex stricta (tussock sedge)
Eleocharis sp. (spikerush) 
Scirpus atrovirens (dark green bulrush)
Scirpus cyperinus (woolly grass bulrush)

Grasses:
Anthoxanthum odoratum (sweet vernal grass)
Bromus inermis (smooth brome grass)
Glyceria canadensis (rattlesnake mannagrass) 
Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Lolium perenne (wild rye grass) 
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass) 
Phalaris arundinacea (reed canary grass)
Phleum pratense (Timothy grass)
Poa annua (annual bluegrass)
Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem grass)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Lycopodium obscurum (ground pine) 
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Dryopteris marginalis (marginal woodfern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)
Osmunda claytoniana (interrupted fern) 
Osmunda regalis (royal fern) 
Polypodium sp. (rock cap fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
Thelypteris noveboracensis (New York fern)
Thelypteris palustris (marsh fern)

Others:
Sphagnum sp. (sphagnum moss)

 

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