Located inside the Nipmuck State Forest, Bigelow Hollow State Park can offer over 9,000 acres of pristine nature for visitors to enjoy. Miles of excellent hiking trails are available to explore as well as an 18 acre pond. The first parcel of land that makes up the park was acquired in 1905. Over the years, surrounding towns of Stafford, Ashford, Willington, and Woodstock have added to the forest land. The State Park and Forest Commission established the Bigelow Hollow State Park in 1949.
Bigelow Hollow State Park probably draws in the most visitors because of the sheer variety of landscape to be found there. The hilly landscape is contrasted by a mix of rocky, grassy and forested areas. This variety of landscape draws visitors back again and again to enjoy the varied natural beauty available. This variety in the landscape also makes the park ideal for a number of outdoor activities, including boating, picnicking, and swimming. On weekdays there is no admission to enter the park, but there is an entrance fee charged on weekends and holidays.
The name with which the park is dubbed is something of a local mystery as no one with the name “Bigelow” is known to have been associated with area. Some of the elders in the area claim that the name is derived from “Big Low”, which they say is what the deep valley area where the 18 acre pond resides used to be called. Along with the pond, the area is also home to a 300 acre lake. Fishing is available at the both the pond and lake, but boats are only allowed on the lake.
A variety of hiking trails wind through the park and cater to everyone from those interested in a casual stroll in nature, to someone who wants to hike all day. Short trails are available to the west of Park Rd. Trails up to 6 miles in length are available for those seeking a longer trek. The trail system is managed by the Connecticut Forest and Park Association, which provides organization of volunteers to assist in maintaining the trails.
While the park doesn’t offer anything in the way of camping, picnic areas are available for use by day visitors. Hiking, fishing and a varied natural landscape draw visitors in the summer months. Fishing continues to be of interest into the fall, as do seasonal hunting opportunities. In the winter months, seasonal hunting continues and the hiking trails become available for use with snowmobiles.
For more details about Bigelow Hollow State Park, contact them directly using the information provided below.
Mailing Address: Nipmuck State Forest, c/o Shenipsit State Forest, 166 Chestnut Hill Rd., Stafford Springs, CT 06076
Website: <a href=”http://www.ct.gov/dep/cwp/view.asp?A=2716&Q=325066″>http://www.ct.gov/dep/cwp/view.asp?A=2716&Q=325066</a>