Colis P. Huntington Park Overview
878 acre Collis P. Huntington State Park may be a small, undeveloped park that offers little in the way of amenities, but approximately 10 miles of well-maintained, secluded doubletrack and a good network of multi-use singletrack trails are available for mountain biking, hiking and horseback riding. The trails wind through tranquil open fields, dense woodlands and skirt around five ponds.
Take note of the life-like sculptures of bears and wolves created by the world-renowned sculptress, Anna Hyatt Huntington at the park entrance on Sunset Hill Road. (This was formerly the Estate of the Huntington family. See historical note below).
Mountain Bike Trails - Colis P. Huntington State Park
The trails are closed to motorized vehicles. While most of the trails require moderate mountain bike handling skills; this is also great park trail system for those either looking to take their mountain bike skills to the next level or just want easier mountain bike ride options that take advantage of the park's natural features.
The shorter, easier mountain bike routes can be found on the relatively flat, well worn double track loop trails which circle around the ponds. For tougher mountain biking, use the trails located away from the ponds. New boardwalks were recently constructed to provide drier, less muddy access to a series of trail loops in the northern section of the park. These interconnect to form easy to more diffuclt loop ride options over a variety of terrain.
Colis P. Hunting State Park is not well-mapped and many of the trails are un-marked, however it's hard to get lost as this beautiful suburban park, bordering the towns of Bethel, Newtown, and Redding, CT. A Trail Kiosk with map is located at the entrance to Colis P. Huntington State Park.
Trail Highlights and Nearby Points of Interest
Wildlife Watch & Photo-Ops, Bike & Kayak
Over 149 bird species have been observed at this tranquil park. These include a kaleidescope of warblers and songbirds, neo-tropical migrators such as Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting and Scarlet Tanagers, bird of prey such as Osprey, Bald Eagles and a whos hoot list of owls and more.Look for Green Herons, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret around lagoon edges more secluded areas of the Lagoons in the northern area of the park.
While Lake Hopewell with a wooded islet in the middle is not very large, it's the perfect location to spot a varety of waterfowl such as Hooded Mergansers, Ring-necked Duck, Wood Ducks, Mallards and Double Breasted Comorant.
Swimming is not permitted, though fishing is allowed (you'll need a State license).
Colis P. Huntington State Park Trail Connections
Aspetuck Valley Trail
Mileage / Blaze: 6.8 miles
Located within the Aspetuck River Valley area of Fairfield, Connecticut. This scenic trail route connects with existing trails in Collis P. Huntington State Park in Newtown and Redding, CT. Trail use rules and other information can be found at newly installed kiosks at trail access points.
Collis P. Huntington State Park, named after the railroad tycoon who completed the first transcontinental railroad, was willed to the State by his son, Archer M. Huntington, a noted poet, Spanish scholar and art patron.
It was there that his wife, Anna Hyatt Huntington, the world-renowned sculptress worked with clay and scaffolding in her studio. Her sculptures of bear and wolves still welcome visitors at the Park entrance. Her interest in animals and natural history, was sparked as a young girl by her father, who was a zoologist and paleontologist. The Park was opened to the public in 1973.
Off I-84: take Exit 5. Take Route 53 south for 3.4 miles, at Route 53 and Route 302 follow Route 302 east for 1.6 miles. At Route 58 and Route 302, follow Route 58 south for 4.6 miles then take a left onto Sunset Hill Road. Collis P. Huntington is 0.8 miles on the right.
Off Merritt Parkway: take Exit 42. Take Route 136 north for 5.2 miles, at the intersection of Route 136 and Route 58, follow Route 58 for 7 miles then take a right onto Sunset Hill Road. Collis P. Huntington is 0.8 miles on the right.
Connecticut Dept. Of Energy & Environmental Protection: https://portal.ct.gov/DEEP