Hiking The Saugatuck Trail

 Saugatuck Resevoir
Saugatuck Resevoir

The Saugatuck Trail climbs and falls through thick forests along the picturesque Saugatuck Reservoir. It is a welcome scenic get-away around the corner from urban population centers in Fairfield County and NYC. There are a number of parking spots, making it easy to split up this trail into two or three out-n-backs. Or you can create some loops by using connecting trails from the adjacent Devil's Den Preserve.




view of saugatuck river snow covered and ice forming on January first - taken from the Saugatuck trail nearest Deer Hill RD.
Saugatuck River, Saugatuck Trail- Redding CT


Connecticut's territory extends West to the Pacific Ocean --- says the English Colonial Charter. Unfortunately, The Duke of York's land was in the way. Suffice it to say that some epic centuries-long squabbles took place and the end result was the CT panhandle encompassing Fairfield County in all of its glory, while a mile wide strip beginning in Ridgefield that extends North to Massachusetts known as The Oblong was given to NY in exchange. Ha! Take that New York. Consider that a Yankee Prank.

Being a Fairfield County resident, It is difficult to understand why this land was fought over. It seems to be an armpit overrun with cars and primadonnas more than a panhandle or a region of enormous wealth and resource. But, that's just an opinion ... and all is not lost. There are some terrific preserves and state forests that have been carved out the jungle-of-human-madness-and-consumer-disease that is my fair Fairfield County. If you meet someone out on the Saugatuck Trail they are likely to say hello to you rather than show you their middle finger - and that is indeed refreshing.

(To those not accustomed to kindness and human decency, beware. It may take many walks along the Saugatuck before your numbness and paranoia subsides --- "Hello" is in fact a greeting used by others to acknowledge and show respect for your presence and an invitation to return a warm gesture.)

Life in all seasons on The Saugatuck Trail, Redding CT
Life in all seasons on The Saugatuck Trail, Redding CT
Speaking of refreshing, it is the first day of a new year and a crisp 35 degrees. A 5 inch blanket of powdered snow lays fresh on the ground, and where the water is still along The Saugatuck, thin sheets of ice are crystallizing.

This may not seem like an ideal time for a 6 mile hike. But, I found that the scenery was more spectacular in the monochrome contrast of Winter. Vistas unknown in Summer are revealed through bare limbs. Life (abounds) clinging in protected crags. These micro-ecological communities can easily become extended metaphors for the resiliency of life in nearby NYC. Around every corner, at every hour of the day, in every season Life grabs hold and is busy with the activity of survival

It is haltingly quiet in the valleys along The Saugatuck in this season. Have you been fooled into believing that the land beneath your feet is asleep? Have you been fooled into believing that you are standing in a vast wilderness far distant from the urban crush? For a few hours on a sunny afternoon I was just such a happy fool.

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The Saugatuck Reservoir, From The Saugatuck Trail in Weston CT
The Saugatuck Reservoir, From The Saugatuck Trail in Weston CT


Saugatuck Blue Blazed Trail

COUNTY: Fairfield
COMMUNITIES: Redding, Weston

MILES: 7 Miles Linear

POINTS OF INTEREST: Saugatuck Reservoir

ARTICLE LINKS:East of the Oblong - A Walk on The Saugatuck
-Connecticut Explorer
I Came, I Saugatucked, I Conquored - CTMQ


Directions and Trail Map


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Address for your GPs:
Deer Hill RD. Trail Head:  41.293511,-73.379598 | 50 Deer Hill Rd. Redding CT
Davis Hill RD. Trail Head:  41.248973,-73.353034 | 190 Davis Hill Rd. Weston CT
From Bridgeport15 Minutes
From New Haven50 Minutes
From Hartford1 Hour
From New London1.5 hours
From Providence2.5 Hours
From New York1.5 Hours


Phtos



The Saugatuck River, along The Saugatuck Trail, Redding CT
The Saugatuck River, along The Saugatuck Trail, Redding CT

 

Wood like Stone, along The Saugatuck Trail, Redding CT
Wood like Stone, along The Saugatuck Trail, Redding CT
The Saugatuck Trail, Blue Blazed, in Redding CT near Tudor Rd
The Saugatuck Trail, Blue Blazed, in Redding CT near Tudor Rd

The Saugatuck Trail, Redding CT
The Saugatuck Trail, Redding CT