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Chatfield Hollow State Park

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Title: Chatfield Hollow State Park  
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Subject: List of nature centers in Connecticut, Nature centers in Connecticut, Chatfield Trail, Killingworth, Connecticut, Hiking trails in Connecticut
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Chatfield Hollow State Park

Chatfield Hollow State Park
Connecticut State Park
Paul F. Wildermann Boardwalk wooden raised platform walk through swamp area in park
Paul F. Wildermann Boardwalk
Country  United States
State  Connecticut
County Middlesex
Town Killingworth
Elevation 141 ft (43 m) [1]
Coordinates  [1]
Area 412 acres (167 ha) [2]
Established 1949
Management Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
Location in Connecticut
Website: Chatfield Hollow State Park

Chatfield Hollow State Park is a Connecticut state park located in the town of Killingworth. The park offers hiking trails, a swimming beach, trout fishing, mountain biking, rock climbing, and picnicking areas. Park attractions include Indian caves, historic sites, a restored water wheel, and a reproduction covered bridge.[3] The Oak Lodge Nature Center is open seasonally and offers nature programs and information about the park.[4]


  • Geology 1
  • Activities and amenities 2
    • Hiking 2.1
    • Mountain biking 2.2
    • Rock climbing 2.3
    • Trout fishing 2.4
  • References 3
  • External links 4


All the bedrock (ledges) in the park consists of a type of gneiss called Monson Gneiss, a granitic pluton formed by the subduction of the ocean floor of the Iapetus Ocean under the North American continent; this was caused by the African Plate and Eurasian Plate.[5] The Iapetus Ocean continued to close after the formation of the pluton, and the eventual collision of Avalonia[6] with North America and subsequent intense pressure and heat caused the metamorphism of the granite into gneiss. The eventual erosion of the rock layers above over millions of years then exposed the rock seen on the surface today.[5]

Monson Gneiss is a medium to coarse-grained rock, light in color, and is mainly composed of the minerals plagioclase, quartz and biotite. In some places, trace amounts of garnet, epidote or magnetite can be observed.[5]

The valley holding Chatfield Hollow State Park is a glacial valley, which is easily validated by the steep declines on either side of the valley, and the abundant glacial erratics distributed throughout the area. These erratics are smooth, and removed of any sharp edges. Most are not moved very far, and as such the majority are composed of Monson Gneiss. However, erratics can sometimes be moved great distances, so there are examples of other rock types in the park.[5]

Activities and amenities


Approximately 20 miles of hiking trails originate within the park and extend into an adjacent section of Cockaponset State Forest. This includes the Chatfield Trail, a part of the Blue-Blazed hiking trail network. Hiking is rugged at times with many rock outcroppings and roots.[7] In addition, the 825-foot (251 m) Paul F. Wildermann Boardwalk allows visitors a means to cross an inland swamp without disturbing it.[8]

Northern terminus of the Orange (Deep Woods) and Blue (West Crest) trails

Mountain biking

Technical cross-country mountain biking is also a popular recreational pursuit along some of the most difficult trails in the state. Among the most difficult are the Lookout Trail and the Pond Trail, which is a side trail that loops off the Deep Woods Trail.

Rock climbing

There are several ledges and cliffs throughout the park with one of the most popular rock climbing routes in the state along the southern end of the Deep Woods Trail adjacent to Route 81.[9][10]

Trout fishing

Chatfield Hollow State Park is one of Connecticut's eleven Trout Parks. It gets special attention from the Connecticut DEEP with stockings on opening day as well as throughout the season. The best time to fish the Trout Parks is the period between opening day and Memorial day. The ponds and streams at Chatfield Hollow are easily accessible for young and novice anglers.[11]


  1. ^ a b "Chatfield Hollow State Park".  
  2. ^ Legislative Program Review and Investigations Committee (January 23, 2014). "State Parks and Forests: Funding" (PDF). Staff Findings and Recommendations. Connecticut General Assembly. p. A-1. Retrieved March 20, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Chatfield Hollow State Park". State Parks and Forests. Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Retrieved February 5, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Chatfield Hollow State Park". Retrieved 8 August 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d "The Geology of Chatfield Hollow State Park". Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. State of Connecticut. Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  6. ^ "Connecticut Geology". Long Island Sound Resource Center. Long Island Sound Resource Center. Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  7. ^ "Chatfield Hollow State Park". Connecticut Explorer's Guide. Retrieved August 14, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Connecticut DEP Rededicates Chatfield Hollow State Park Boardwalk in Memory of Longtime DEP Employee Paul F. Wildermann". Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Retrieved 2013-02-05. 
  9. ^ "Chatfield Hollow Main Wall". Mountain Project. Retrieved August 14, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Chatfield Hollow Climbing Area". Climbing and Bouldering. Retrieved August 14, 2014. 
  11. ^ "DEEP Trout Parks". Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Retrieved 2013-02-05. 

External links

  • Chatfield Hollow State Park Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
  • Chatfield Hollow State Park Map Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

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