Indian Well State Park

Connecticut - Indian Well State ParkThe Indian Well State Park is a popular well developed spot for family picnics and outings in the Derby-Shelton area of the state of Connecticut. It is on the western bank of the scenic Lake Housatonic that is actually shaped more like a River than a lake. People engage in a wide variety of activities when visiting the park. These include picnicking, hiking, swimming, boating, and fishing. The main attractions are the lake itself, picturesque waterfalls, and a splash pool.

The parks name does not actually come from its being a historical well for Indians. It was never used by Native Americans then as such. Instead, its name comes from a story amongst the tribes of the area that is very similar to the Shakespearean play Romeo and Juliet. The parks name comes from the waterfalls and the splash pool.

It has a sandy beach that people frequent for swimming and picnics. During winter, the beaches, sand washes away. It is replenished regularly in early spring. The area of the beach is not large and although the lake is not affected by the tides, it does have a slight current. Those interested in swimming should familiarize with safety rules imposed by the park’s management. In the summer, people often go to the splash pool to cool off. Swimming is not allowed in this area.

Boating is another attraction. The only boat launch on the lake available to the public is the one operated by the Indian Well State Park. It is important for the safety of all concerned that boaters stay 300 feet away from the lake’s upstream side and about 1,500 meters from the Lake Housatonic Dam. The lake itself is slightly more than 300 acres. Kite skiing and parasailing are prohibited half an hour before and after sunset. Those who indulge in this activity should bring in their boats via trailer. The New Haven Rowing Club also conducts Sculls’ Regata and Derby Sweeps every year on the lake.

Fishing is another activity that people find interesting. It is best to fish during the weekdays though. The large number of boats in the weekend makes these days inadvisable for fishing. The fish that may be caught are largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, White catfish, Yellow perch, white perch, American Eel, Walleye, Sunfish, and Carp.

The Paugassett blue-blazed hiking Trail can be accessed through Indian Well State Park at two different locations. One is through white trail that starts at the offseason parking area. The other access, is close to the waterfall trail, a trail which is popular particularly in the summer. This trail meanders along the lake and terminates at the Stevenson Dam portion of the park. The rest of the trail from this poin onwards is outside the park area.

Much of the park’s main area for recreation is along the lake’s shore. It is a picnic area that has several amenities such as tables and grills scattered throughout the place. As having a picnic is one of the most popular reasons families or groups of friends frequent the park, bringing along grills and tables is advisable, especially during peak season. Alcoholic beverages are not allowed from June to September. On other day, if the liquor brought is less than a liter, it may be permitted but only in the picnic area and not on the beach. Rest rooms and a snack bar are also one of the park’s amenities.

During certain dates, pets are prohibited from being brought to the main recreation portion of the park. These days are from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Walking pets on the trails is allowed as well as in the Maple Picnic Area. This activity is popular off season.

Park fees at Indian Well State Park vary with the season and whether it is a holiday or not. During weekends, it is generally more expensive while on weekdays, fees are cheaper by about a third of the weekend price. On holidays, the price is the same as the weekend fee. Those who go to the park on a regular basis might want to avail of season passes. Residents of the area also pay a lower fee than non-residents. The park opens at eight in the morning and closes at sunset. For more details, the parks toll free number is (866) 287-2757. They may also be reached via email at dep.stateparks@ct.gov.