Burr Pond State Park is located about 5 miles north of Torrington, Connecticut and is compromised of approximately 436 acres. This park includes a lovely beach, footpath around the pond, concession stand, picnic tables, boat launch, and canoe and kayak rentals. There are also many trails and viewpoints for hiking and mountain biking around the park to enjoy the pond and its surrounding plants, animals, and birds.
Burr Pond was created by Milo Burr in 1851. He created a dam, Burr Pond Dam, to generate power. He used this waterpower to operate a tannery and a few sawmills. The trees that were cut down to make room for the tannery and sawmills were used to fuel the country’s steadily growing lumber needs. These clearings also became homesites, further proving how important Connecticut was to the advancement of industry in this country. A few years later, Gail Borden created the world’s first condensed milk factory at Burr Pond. Condensed milk was a necessity to soldiers fighting in the civil war and he eventually established Borden Incorporated. In 1877, the factory burned down in a fire, however its stone foundations remained intact and can be seen just off of Burr Mountain Road.
Burr Pond State Park naturally gets a lot of precipitation, with August receiving the most rain and January and February receiving the least. Laurel Crest Campground is the perfect destination for anyone who wants to camp at Burr Pond. White Pines Campground is also a nearby option. Ski Sundown becomes covered in snow during the winter and is a great destination for skiing and sledding.
The pond is approximately 88 acres and is at the center of the park. The pond has several small inlets and islands. The pond’s shores are rocky and have many drop-offs, although the pond is only about 13 feet at its deepest. Many species of fish can be fished for which include large-mouth bass, black crappie, yellow perch, chain pickerel, pumpkin seed, bluegill, and brown bullhead. The grounds surrounding the pond are complete with fire rings, grills, picnic areas and shelters, drinking fountains, and horseshoe pits.
Naugatuck Trail will lead you to East Branch Naugatuck River Reservoir, a small lake very close to Burr Pond State Park. The Naugatuck Trail will also give you a great view of Red Mountain. Other trails will eventually lead you to a bronze tablet, which signifies Connecticut’s role in the Industrial Revolution and Civil War and was mounted at the location where Borden’s factory burned down.
Sandy Brook River is full of white water rapids for the adventuresome. Still River is also full of white water and offers a great view of Walnut Mountain. Tunxis Trail leads to Farmington River which is also great for white water paddling or kayaking. Fairview Farm Golf Course is also nearby and offers a beautiful look into the landscape of the park’s wilderness. Troy Brook is a relaxing location to view and listen to flowing water. Not far from there is Mattatuck Trail which is excellent for avid hikers and adventurers.
Burr Pond State Park is near other parks including Black Rock, John A. Minetto, Mt. Tom State Park, and Topsmead State Forest. For more information about Burr Pond State Park, call 860 482 1817 or visit http://www.ct.gov/dep/cwp/view.asp?A=2716&Q=325180. The park is located at 384 Burr Mountain Road, Torrington, Connecticut, 06790.