It seems that JavaScript is not working in your browser. Renowned for its beauty, rolling hills and abundance of trees and water, one secret to Union's tranquility is that one-third of the town's area is set aside as state park and forestland: Bigelow Hollow State Park, the Mountain Laurel Sanctuary and Nipmuck State Forest. Eastbound on I-84: take Exit 72. Mountain Laurel Sanctuary, Nipmuck State Forest, Union Apparently there used to be many more laurels here, as only a portion remains today. Go west onto Route 190. Monson road is also quite nice, several houses were built in the mountain laurel forest along that road. The sanctuary entrance is a short distance from the intersection and well marked. Take Exit 73 … Among projects undertaken by the young men from Camp Connor were construction of the road that runs to the top of Soapstone Mountain and creation of the unique Mountain Laurel Sanctuary in Nipmuck State Forest. I’m sure this place is beautiful in June. Case Mountain State Park, Manchester. Take a close look at the bowl-shaped blossoms that grow in bunches resembling white and pink exploding fireworks. Take Exit 73 to … The beautiful mountain laurel sanctuary in Nipmuck State Forest in Union was a corps project. Nipmuck State Forest is a Connecticut state forest. The laurel was not in bloom then, so I wrote things like how I’d be sure to visit in mid-June someday. And though they can be found all over the state, the best place to see the delicate pastel blossoms up close and in great numbers is the Nipmuck State Forest in Union. Required fields are marked *. The mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) is Connecticut’s official state flower. And you should go there. Of course there is also the Laurel Sanctuary located in the Nipmuck State Forest in Union, Connecticut. I-84 to Exit 73 or 74, then follow Route 190 north to Route 171 east to the park entrance. Nipmuck State Forest and the adjoining Bigelow Hollow State Park offer over 9,000 acres of recreation opportunities including miles of hiking trails, and an 18-acre pond in Eastern Connecticut. The sanctuary entrance is a short distance from the intersection and is well marked. Go west onto Route 190. The laurels in the area flourished after inmates from Somers prison were paid 25 cents a day in the 1950s to clear grape vines and trees to showcase the bushes. Follow Route 89 north to the intersection of Route 89 and Route 190. Union is the least-populated town in Connecticut and contains the point of highest elevation in the eastern-half of the state. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. For generations these plants have been pruned and … I think it’s pretty cool that they “cared” in some small way to retain pretty things back then. Take Exit 73 to visit another area of Nipmuck State Forest. The name … Last Visited: Sunday; July 1, 2012 What to do here: Bigelow Hollow State Park is part of Nipmuck State Forest in Northeastern Connecticut. COVID-19 Information: Connecticut residents are urged to continue taking precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Hm. Connecticut’s State Forests Officially, These are lands managed on a multiple-use basis for silviculture and harvesting of forest products, protection of watershed quality enhancing fisheries, wildlife habitat including game species harvesting, and natural resource protection. All combined, there are nearly 34,000 acres of forestland in Union. While the sanctuary is in Union, Snow Hill’s summit is mere feet across the border in Ashford. Last-minute getaway? Your email address will not be published. Other Amenities: Boating, Cross Country Skiing, Fishing, Hunting, Scuba Diving, Snowmobiling, Hiking Trails. I’ll trust that the laurel “extends deep into the forest.” I had Damian in the car with me and the deer flies were swarming as I poked around quickly. The first parcel was acquired in 1905. State Parks, Forests, Reserves, Preserves, & WMAs, Best, Historic, & Unique Restaurants & Foods, Firsts, Onlies, Oldests, Largests, Longests, Mosts, Smallests, & Bests, Houses, Communities, Libraries, & Businesses, Towers, Bridges, Tunnels, Roads, Canals, Dams, Airports, & Ferries. Reaching Connecticut’s second oldest state forest, located within its least populous town, can be a bit of a (gorgeous) trek. We found the blossoms peaking in heavy clusters of white or pink flowers. Nipmuck Trail: Breakneck Pond to Perry Hill Road is a 16.7 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Stafford Springs, Connecticut that features a lake and is rated as moderate. 86: Snipsic Lake Road, Ellington 190 east of Stafford. From what I gathered, the laurel is pretty much along the road and doesn’t really penetrate the woods to any crazy degree. In 2014, The Courant’s Peter Marteka wrote: According to an informational kiosk in the sanctuary, the mountain laurel’s name “came from the settlers who noticed a resemblance to an unrelated laurel plant that is found in Europe. DEEP is continuing to carry out its mission and provide services while keeping both the public and our workforce safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. This week, try to get out and check out our beautiful mountain laurel. Mountain laurel is a shrub that reaches 20 feet in height. Dogs are … This place was begun as a beautification project of the Civilian Conservation Corps from Camp Conner in 1935. Located on Snow Hill Road off Route 190 in Union, the entrance to the park, which is part of Nipmuck Forest, is well marked. Near intersection of routes 89 and 190 Union, CT Phone: 860-424-3200. I recommend walking through and watching the wind swaying the blossom-laden branches. Marty Podskoch, who spoke recently at the Mansfield Historical Society, collects corps alumni stories. The recreation area in Bigelow Hollow was established in 1949 by the State Park and Forest Commission. 2016 CT.gov | Connecticut's Official State Website, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Nipmuck State Forest & Bigelow Hollow State Park. Connecticut News A SANCTUARY FOR THE SENSES With more than 40,000 acres of parkland, and under 1,000 residents, it boasts a playground for the hunting, boating, fishing, and hiking enthusiast in Bigelow Hollow State Park, Nipmuck State Forest, and the Mountain Laurel Sanctuary. Take Exit 73 to visit another area of Nipmuck State Forest. Its 9,000 acres (3,600 ha) surround Bigelow Hollow State Park in the town of Union and include parcels in Stafford, Ashford, and other towns. Nipmuck State Forest Mountain Laurel Sanctuary Eastbound on I-84: take Exit 72. Follow Route 89 north to the intersection of Route 89 and Route 190. All combined, there are nearly 34,000 acres of forestland in Union. A Flower-filled Sanctuary. The first table lists state parks and reserves, the second lists state park trails, the third list state forests, and the fourth lists other state-owned, recreation-related areas. It’s right off of I-84 at the Ashford/Union line. The sanctuary entrance is a short distance from the intersection and well marked. Approximately one-third of the town is state park land, including Bigelow Hollow State Park, Nipmuck State Forest and the Mountain Laurel Sanctuary. Additional lands in the towns of Stafford, Ashford, Willington, and Woodstock have been added to the forest over the years. Explore camper reviews and photos of the campgrounds in Nipmuck State Forest. So here… here’s what it looks like at peak from the state’s tourism site: Here’s the weird thing: There aren’t really any trails here. The Laurel Sanctuary, a tiny section of the Nipmuck State Forest and a little-known gem among state recreational lands, is in bloom. The sanctuary road, constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, runs for about a mile and is bordered by laurels that extend deep into the surrounding forest. July 2018. Bluff Point State Park, Groton. Go west onto Route 190. Union has the highest elevation in the state east of the Connecticut River. Apr 13, 2016 - 'Olympic Fire' will set your garden ablaze with dark red buds eruptining into beautiful pink flowers making a sensational color contrast against the dark, evergreen foliage. Well. I forgot. Bigelow Hollow State Park, the Mountain Laurel Sanctuary and Nipmuck State Forest all call Union home. The forest is part of a larger network of forest lands making up some 40,000 acres (16,000 ha) in … 85: Joshua's Tract Conservation and Historic Trust, Nature Preserve: 11. to attain the all-important highest point in Windham County on Snow Hill. Nipmuck State Forest is a Connecticut state forest. Not to mention the Yale School of Forestry. And if there’s anything I know about people, it’s that they love finding single-track dirt roads at the Ashford/Union line. Hotels near Nipmuck State Forest; Hotels near Stafford Library; Hotels near Stafford Motor Speedway; Near Airports. This is a list of state parks and reserves in the Connecticut state park system, shown in four tables. So I revisited in mid-July and… it was as bloomy as it was in late December. Pachaug State Forest, Voluntown. Get the facts at ct.gov/coronavirus. Nipmuck State Forest Mountain Laurel Sanctuary. Destroying the myth that there is nothing to do here, Peak Failage Besides, I honestly think this place was prettier in the snow. This is mountain laurel time in Southern New England and you’d be hard pressed to find a better spot than along the narrow dirt road that cuts through Connecticut’s Mountain Laurel Sanctuary in Nipmuck State Forest. There’s Snow Hill Road which is the gravel/dirt road that traverses the 3/4 mile or so of the sanctuary. On New Years Eve Day in 2016, I visited this place with my son Calvin. Bigelow Hollow State Park & Nipmuck State Forest Parks Directory of the United States / State Parks / Connecticut Location:Park is 2 miles east of Union on Route 197. Viewing is best in June and July, when the laurel are in bloom. Bradley Park, Wilton. Mountain Laurel Sanctuary Connecticut’s Official State Flower gets its proper due in the Mountain Laurel Sanctuary within Nipmuck State Forest in Union. Another section of the Natchaug State Forest trailed entirely by the Nipmuck Trail.From the trail kiosk along Perry Hill Rd the trail heads uphill passing a long standing log book attached to a tree. Camping near Nipmuck State Forest is easy with Hipcamp, where private landowners offer one-of-a-kind camping experiences. Leisurely walking trails wind through the mountain laurel, Connecticut's official state flower. I was through here most recently in June 2020 when completing my thru hike of the Nipmuck Trail though I’m fairly certain Steve from CTMQ and I left a note when we hiked this section in 2017. Mountain laurel that towers alongside 1,000 feet of road in the Nipmuck State Forest in Union -- designated by the state as a mountain laurel sanctuary -- has benefited from the … The campers also helped local towns with clean-up after the flood of 1936 and the hurricane of 1938. The laurels in the area flourished after inmates from Somers prison were paid 25 cents a day in the 1950s to clear grape vines and trees to showcase the bushes. Hotels near (BDL) Bradley Intl Airport; Hotels near (ORH) Worcester Airport; All things to do in Stafford; Things to do near Nipmuck State Forest. I apologize for not having any dazzling “mountain laurel in bloom” pictures for you, but it’s our state flower! If you want to enjoy and explore nature, this is where you go. Nipmuck State Forest Mountain Laurel Sanctuary After all, it IS Snow Hill on Snow Hill Road. One-third of the town is set aside as park and forest land and includes: Bigelow Hollow State Park, Mountain Laurel Sanctuary, Nipmuck State Forest, and Yale-Myers Forest (managed by Yale’s School of Forestry). Today Nipmuck State Forest and Bigelow Hollow total over 9,000 acres. DEEP COVID-19 Response. It could be because it is not supported, or that JavaScript is intentionally disabled. The forest is part of a larger network of forest lands making up some 40,000 acres (16,000 ha) in all. The sanctuary road, constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, runs for about a mile and is bordered by laurels that extend deep into the surrounding forest. © Facilities:Picnic tables (é), hiking trails, boat launch ramp, pit toilets. Go west onto Route 190. Approximately one-third of the town is state park land, including Bigelow Hollow State Park, Nipmuck State Forest and the Mountain Laurel Sanctuary. A portion of the Yale-Myers Forest and Hull Foresters are located in Union. West Hartford Reservoir, Farmington. Eastbound on I-84: take Exit 72. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Eastbound on I-84: take Exit 72. There are better stands of our state flower (mountain laurel, duh) in the northwest hills. Viewing is best in June and July, when the laurel are in bloom. Follow Route 89 north to the intersection of Route 89 and Route 190. The sanctuary entrance is a short distance from the intersection and well marked. BUT! This area is just off of Rt. Visitors to the sanctuary can drive through the preserve or park anywhere along the road and walk. Filed Under: Biology & Geology, Everything Else, New Post, State Parks & Forests Tagged With: nipmuck state forest, Tolland County, Union, Your email address will not be published. Its 9,000 acres (3,600 ha) surround Bigelow Hollow State Park in the town of Union and include parcels in Stafford, Ashford, and other towns. Spoons and other small utensils used to be carved out of the wood of mountain laurel so the name spoonwood can be used when referring to this shrub.”. ... Upper Paugussett State Forest, Newtown. We do… but we merely drove through it then to attain the all-important highest point in Windham County on Snow Hill. Mountain Laurel Sanctuary in Nipmuck State Forest. Who visits a Mountain Laurel Sanctuary in the dead of winter? Bigelow Hollow State Park Nipmuck State Forest and the adjoining Bigelow Hollow State Park offer more than 9,000 acres of recreation opportunities including hiking trails, an 18-acre pond for boating and fishing, cross country skiing, hunting, picnicking, scuba diving, and snowmobiling. Here you can take a mile-long hike amidst the laurel, first planted in 1935 by the federal Civilian Conservation Corps. It is also the Connecticut state flower. Nipmuck is the second oldest state forest in Connecticut. This property was acquired and/or developed with the assistance of the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Content last updated October 2019. Some of the features on CT.gov will not function properly with out javascript enabled. Connecticut Waterfalls To Photograph This Winter - Whereaboutss. A portion of the Yale-Myers Forest and Hull Foresters are located in Union. You’ve all seen it a million times. 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