lower Paugussett State Park
Newton, Fairfield County, CT
approximately 1,100 acres
Source: Connecticut Forest and Park Association; Connecticut Walk Book
The park is located along the Lake Zoar portion of the Housatonic Rive.
Take the Merritt Parkway and get off at 49 for Route 25 north. Turn right on Route 111 (Monroe Turnpike) and travel to its intersection with Route 34 in Stevenson. 100 yards west of the intersection of Route 34 and Route 111, turn left and shortly turn right onto Great Quarter Road; drive 1.3 miles to a turn-around with parking.
There is also parking on Stone Bridge Road.
The old town of Stevenson was flooded when the Stevenson dam was completed about 1919.
hemlock forest, floodplain
Here is the Zoar Trail. The first 2.4 miles are a DEP-designated "scenic trail." This will cover only this 2.4 miles since this is an out-and-back trail. The trail itself is a circular one that goes some 6.5 miles.
Heading counterclockwise on the blue-blazed trail along the shore. Along a forest road are the remains of a burned cottage. At 1.63 miles you can take a small detour down an unmarked side trail on the right to Prydden Falls, lake shore and picnic area.
Back from the detour pass through a hemlock forest at 1.8 miles. (The hemlock forest is closed from April 15 to August 15 to protect wildlife, so you have to take a detour going left following blue/yellow dot trail of .3 of a mile to rejoin the blue trail at 3.35 miles.)
Outside the April 15 to Aug 15 period, continue straight on the blue trail through the hemlock forest, 100 feet above Lake Zoar.
Before coming to a private community, called Cedarhurst at 2.53 miles, you may want to turn around. To continue see the Connecticut Walk Book.
Dr. Patrick L. Cooney (brief stop February 16, 2002)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus palustris (pin oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)
Chimaphila maculata (spotted wintergreen)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Smilax sp. (greenbrier)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed)
Ferns and Fern Allies:
Lycopodium sp. (clubmoss)
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