Black Rock State ParkWatertown, CT
Excellent swimming, hiking, scenic views, and Indian legend all tucked into the rolling hills of the Western Highlands. From the steep, wooded ledges covered with pine, hemlock and oak shading sparkling Black Rock Pond to the commanding rock face offering views of Thomaston, Watertown, and Waterbury, Black Rock’s 444 acres offer no shortage of opportunity for adventure, solitude, and family fun.
Both fact and legend account for the name "Black Rock." The Mohegan, Paugussett, and Tunxis tribes were the first to explore the park’s lands—arrowheads, stone implements, and other artifacts are still discovered to this day. Around 1657, early settlers to the Naugatuck Valley were given rights to mine graphite lead, or “black rock”. The name persisted and in 1926, Black Rock was given to the people of Connecticut in 1926 through the efforts of Black Rock Forest, Incorporated, a citizen's conservation group interested in woodland preservation.
2065 Thomaston Rd.
Watertown, CT 06795
Open Daily (8:00 a.m. – Sunset) from Memorial Day to October 1. Weekends only from second Saturday in April to Memorial Day. No Alcohol.
Main (860) 283-8088
The Black Rock State Campground offers 78 campsites—some wooded, some open—and four rustic cabins within walking distance to the beach, fishing pond, recreation field, and hiking trails. The camping season begins in mid-April and ends Columbus Day, with rustic camping permitted during the off-season.
Black Rock Campground
2023 Season: April 22 – October 10
30 RV/Tent Sites
- $17 resident/$27 non-resident plus processing fee
- Open and wooded sites with picnic table, fire ring, and grate
- Accessible campsites available by reservation
- Six-person maximum per site
- Available weekends only through May 26.
- Maximum stay: 14 days
Four Rustic Cabins
- $50 resident/$60 non-resident – plus processing fee, 15% occupancy tax, and refundable $50 security deposit
- Two-room cabins with double bed and two bunk beds
- Comfortably sleeps four people with space up to six
- Available weekends May 27 through June 20, and daily June 20 through September 5.
- Minimum rental: Seven nights (Sunday to Sunday only)
- Processing Fee: $9 for reservations or $3 for walk-ins
- ADA access
- Bathhouses with hot showers, dishwashing, and potable water*
- Dumping station
- No electric or water hookups available
- *Early season is designated as rustic camping only - no bathrooms, showers or running water available. Portable toilets available near campground office.
Reserve a Campsite
Online: Reserve America
By phone: 1-877-668-CAMP (2267)
Know Before You Go
- No pets
- No alcohol
- Camping in Connecticut State Parks and Forests
With its many bubbling streams and shimmering calm waters of Black Rock pond, Black Rock State Park is a favorite for anglers. And as one of Connecticut’s 13 designated trout parks, regularly restocked throughout the spring and fall, Black Rock Pond is a family-friendly destination for even the youngest anglers.
Types of fish: Brown Trout, Largemouth Bass, Rainbow Trout
Know Before You Go
Bisected by the Connecticut Forest and Parks Association’s Mattatuck Trail and home to a network of intersecting trails and footpaths, Black Rock offers something for every hiker, from 30-minute strolls to all-day treks.
Black Rock Loop (Red Blaze to Blue Blaze)
- 1.6-mile loop with scenic views
- Level of difficulty: Moderate to strenuous
One of the park’s main attractions, this circuit offers a highlight reel of many of the park’s key features including a jaw dropping view of the park’s namesake black rocks. Starting at the footbridge near the main parking lot, head up an unmarked footpath toward the blue-blazed Mattatuck Trail, which brings you up a heart-pumping half-mile climb, then rewards you with a panoramic view of Naugatuck Valley. After the power line corridor, hang right on the red-blazed trail for a more leisurely walk back to the footbridge.
Black Rock Pond Path (Unmarked)
- Footpath with pond views
- Level of difficulty: Easy
For a closer look at the pond, follow the unmarked footpath that meanders along the banks of the pond. For a shorter hike, head back in the direction you started when you’re ready or keep going to eventually link to the Mattatuck Trail (blue blaze) and Bidwell Hill Road, which travels back to the park.
Know Before You Go
Relax beside Black Rock Pond and enjoy a waterside picnic lunch at one of the park's picnic tables or in a pavilion, available to rent in advance.
Open Air Picnic Shelter Rentals
- 32 x 36-ft. picnic shelter
- Space for 80 people, eight picnic tables, four grills, and access to nearby restrooms and beachfront
- Available: Memorial Day through Columbus Day
- Rental Fee: $150 (plus $9 processing fee)
- Reserve: Visit Reserve America or call 1-877-668-CAMP (2267)
- Learn more about our picnic shelter rental polices and reservation details
FREE – In-State Registered Vehicles
$15 – Out-of-State Vehicles (Weekends/Holidays)
$10 – Out-of-State Vehicles (Weekdays)
$112 – Out-of-State Vehicles (Season Pass)
Picnic Areas/Hiking Trails
Yes, on leash