A man flyfishing in a river in the fall (Instagram@globetrotterscommunity)

Housatonic State Forest

Sharon, CT

The “wilder” version of its park counterpart, Housatonic Meadows State Park. Housatonic State Forest’s over 10,000 acres of rocky mountain ridges, river gorges, and rugged forest, including some of New England’s most impressive white pine tree stands, make the ideal outdoor wonderland. Go for a chest-thumping climb along Connecticut’s only stretch of the world-famous Appalachian Trail — and the only letterbox location on the entire trail! Or embrace the tranquility, soaking in the panoramic river views from one of park’s many overlooks or catching a glimpse at some of the diverse wildlife that call the park home.  When it comes to an abundance of recreational activities, aesthetic beauty, and solitude, it’s hard to beat Housatonic State Forest.

Fun fact: Most of the picturesque hills that make up the topography of Housatonic Meadows State Forest were once repeatedly clearcut to feed the charcoal demands of the iron industry. The remaining charcoal mounds across the landscape (round, flat-top mounds approximately 20 feet across) provide evidence of this history.  

The forest is also home to two different Connecticut Natural Area Preserves: Gold’s Pines and the Canaan Mountain Natural Area Preserve.

Views from the Park

90 US-Route 7
Sharon, CT 06069


Open Daily
(8:00 a.m. – Sunset)


Main (860) 927-3238

A family sitting at a campsite in the summer (Instagram@inouehd)




The forest includes five distinct sections or “blocks”, each with different access points: 

  • Mine Mountain Block: Access via the Appalachian Trail.  
  • Sharon Mountain Block: From the junction of Route 7 and Route 128 in West Cornwall (opposite the Cornwall covered bridge), turn north on Route 7 and take an immediate left on West Cornwall Road. Follow 3.6 miles to the forest entrance on the right.  
  • Cream Hill Block: From the junction of Route 7 and Route 128 in West Cornwall, proceed east on Route 128 for 0.2 mile (passing through the  covered bridge). Turn left on River Road and follow for 3.9 miles. Turn right on Music Mountain Road and follow 0.9 miles to the parking area on the left.  
  • Canaan Mountain Block: Access via Beckley Furnace State Park.  
  • Gold's Pines Block: From the junction of Route 128 and Route 125 in Cornwall, proceed west on Route 128 for 1.1 miles to the forest entrance on the left.





Head into the backcountry and stay in one of the park’s two backpacking campsites along the Mohawk Trail — once part of the Appalachian Trail, before it was rerouted to the west side of the Housatonic. Sites available by reservation only. To reserve a permit, submit your application at least two weeks before your intended stay.




Find letterboxing clues to enjoy during your hike.






Pass through some of the more rugged Connecticut hills along this 10.6-mile trail with opportunities to challenge the beginner as well as the expert. Offering several excellent vistas, Clay Beds Road is the site of a historic mining operation. Please use caution in the Mount Easter section. Many wildlife food plots are located here and easily damaged by snowmobile compaction.

Find the snowmobile trailhead on Mount Easter Road, the gravel road off West Cornwall Road (Caulkintown Road), just beyond Miles Pond. 






Yes, on leash