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Shenipsit State Forest

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Shenipsit State Forest

Shenipsit State Forest
View from Soapstone Mountain summit lookout tower in Connecticut's Shenipsit State Forest.
Location Connecticut, USA
Nearest city Stafford
Coordinates

41°58′32″N 72°23′12″W / 41.97556°N 72.38667°W / 41.97556; -72.38667Coordinates: 41°58′32″N 72°23′12″W / 41.97556°N 72.38667°W / 41.97556; -72.38667

Area 7,000 acres (28 km2)
Established 1927
Governing body Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection

Shenipsit State Forest is a Connecticut State Forest and is located in northeastern Connecticut with parcels scattered between Somers, Ellington and Stafford along with its headquarters there.[1] The forest is popular with hikers and mountain biking enthusiasts and is an active forest in terms of timber harvesting. Nearby attractions are Shenipsit Lake and the Shenipsit Trail.

Geography

The forest is located mainly within the Eastern New England Uplift and contains tracts along the eastern edge of the Connecticut River Valley. The highest point wholly within the state forest is Soapstone Mountain at 1,075', but the Town of Somers owns adjacent land that includes the 1,121' summit of Bald Mountain, the highest point along the eastern edge of Connecticut River Valley from Long Island Sound to the Vermont border.

The terrain rises up to 800' from the surrounding Connecticut River Valley, though most mountains and hills rise 3-500' from the surrounding terrain elsewhere in the forest. The forest floor is scattered with boulders and large rocks from the last ice age.

Unique features

Bald Mountain, the highest point along in the Connecticut River Valley from Long Island Sound to the Vermont border is adjacent to the State Forest in Somers.

Soapstone Mountain used to be the site of a Soapstone quarry in Colonial days.

The Forests' headquarters are also home to the Eastern Civilian Conservation Corps Museum. The museum houses memorabilia from CCC camps throughout the Eastern United States.[2]

Recreation opportunities

Soapstone Mountain features an auto road and numerous hiking trails that can be used for hiking, mountain biking or equestrian travel. The area is known for it varied terrain with wonderful vistas for novices and challenging terrain for experienced hikers/riders. The summit also has the only lookout tower in northeastern Connecticut. The Shenipsit Trail, which runs over 40 miles from East Hampton to Somers, passes through the Shenipsit State Forest and passes over the summit of Soapstone Mountain.

Camping is not allowed in this forest, though several commercial campgrounds are available in the area.

References

External links

  • Shenipsit State Forest - official site
  • Map of the main recreation area of the forest
  • Some Trail Reviews
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