DEEP: Wadsworth Falls State Park
Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection
DEEP: Wadsworth Falls State Park


CT State Parks and Forests Main Page

Park Location
721 Wadsworth Street
Middletown
(Directions)

Park Contact Information
Wadsworth Falls
State Park
c/o Cockaponset State Forest 18 Ranger Road
Haddam, CT 06438
(860) 345-8521

 

 
{Symbol for Handicapped Accessibility}
ACCESSIBILITY
This park offers:
{Symbol for Handicapped Accessibility} Bathrooms
{Symbol for Handicapped Accessibility} Parking
{Symbol for Handicapped Accessibility} Picnic Tables

HOURS:
The park is open from  sunrise to sunset. Gates are open year-round.

WATER QUALITY:
Current information on swimming water quality.

PETS:
Pets on a leash are permitted in picnic areas and on hiking trails.

STATE PARKS CONTACT INFORMATION:
Email:
 
Telephone:
(860) 424-3200
Seasonal Water Quality Information:
(866) 287-2757
(Toll Free in CT)
Fax:
(860) 424-4070

{Wadsworth Falls} Wadsworth Falls
State Park
Middlefield/Middletown
Enjoy hiking or biking the varied trails of the park or spend some time enjoying the beautiful falls.  For a longer stay, visit the designated swimming and picnic area of the park.  Please note that swimming and picnicking are prohibited at the Big Falls - it is an area intended for short visits to view the scenic falls.
Activities Facilities Geology Directions Map Overview
Activities
{Hiking} Hiking {Pond Fishing} Stream Fishing
Mountain Biking {Swimming} Swimming (permitted in designated swimming area only)
{Picnicking} Picnicking (permitted at designated picnic area only)
Facilities
Bathrooms, Picnic Tables
Note to Swimmers:  Please read the Beach Rules and Swimming Safety Information before entering the park
{Wadsworth Falls State Park}
Wadsworth Falls State Park, Middlefield/Middletown
Geology
The Geology of Wadsworth Falls State Park
Directions
From Hartford area: Take I-91 south onto Route 9 south. Follow Route 9 south to Middletown. Take Middletown – Meriden Exit 15 onto Route 66. Stay on Route 66 through Middletown for 6-7 traffic lights – look for the signs Wadsworth Falls State Park and Route 157 at a traffic light near a Walgreen’s Pharmacy. Take a left onto Route 157. Stay on Route 157. Wadsworth Falls State Park will be on the left.
From New Haven area: Take I-91 north onto Route 66 (Middletown – Meriden Exit 15). Follow Route 66 towards Middletown. Look for the signs Wadsworth Falls State Park and Route 157 on the right. Follow Route 157 to Wadsworth Falls State Park.
From Westbrook/Shoreline areas: Take Route 9 north onto Route 66 (Middletown – Meriden Exit 15). Follow Route 66 through Middletown for 6-7 traffic lights. Take Route 157 off Route 66 near a Walgreen’s Pharmacy. Stay on Route 157 to Wadsworth Falls State Park.
Fees
 
There are separate weekend/holiday fees at Wadsworth Falls State Park. Gates are open year-round.
More Information
Map
Park Map - Color
Park Map - Black and White

Overview
Clarence C. Wadsworth, noted scholar and linguist, had held the rank of Colonel in the New York National Guard before marrying and settling in Middletown. There he became involved in a forty-year effort to preserve the natural beauty of Wadsworth Falls for all people. By his will which established The Rockfall Corporation, a non-profit organization to administer his plans for the land, the 267 acres were given to the State in 1942.
The Coginchaug River, flowing north along the western fringe of the park has been an important stream providing industrial waterpower. Only the sluiceway of a textile mill remains by Wadsworth Falls in the southwest corner of the park. Nearby, one of the first pistol factories in Connecticut was operated during the 1800's by Simeon North, developer of the interchangeable parts system for firearms used in the Civil War.
Gunpowder was made at the factory established by Jehosophat Starr at Powder Mill Pond in 1794, until the business literally blew up in 1892. Today, the waters of this pond are used as a reserve to replenish the Bone Mill Pond below.
The swimming pool, a saucer-shaped basin hollowed out of the level plain south of Route 157, is paved with a soil cement to prevent water from leaching out. Water pumped from a series of inter-connected wells located near the river is directed into the pool creating a circulating effect.
There is a level walk from the parking area on Cherry Hill Road, off Route 157, to the brink of the falls. A trail system connects the falls with the main swimming/picnicking area and other scenic areas of the park. From a stone bridge used by the Colonel, the trail passes through densely wooded areas, the Little Falls and several meandering streams.
Others may wish to explore or fish the cold waters of the Coginchaug River. Here, beneath great hemlocks and noble oaks, nature provides her own air-conditioning. Wadsworth Falls was designated as a park in 1942.

Other Nearby State Recreation Areas Include:
Chatfield Hollow State Park, Killingworth
Location: 1.5 miles west of Killingworth Center on Route 80 
Activities: Hiking, Ice Skating, Picnicking, Pond and Stream Fishing, Swimming
Charge: Daily, in season
{Wadsworth Falls State Park}
Wadsworth Falls State Park
Cockaponset State Forest, Haddam
Location: 9 miles south of Middletown off Route 9
Activities: Fishing, Hiking, Hunting
Charge: None

Related Links
Connecticut Tourism Information
Fishing Information
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