Hiking the Zoar Blue Blazed Trail in Newtown

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Priton Brook, Zoar Trail, Sandy Hook - Newtown CT
Priton Brook, Zoar Trail, Sandy Hook - Newtown CT
The Zoar Trail is a 5 mile loop along the banks Lake Zoar and the Housatonic River in Newtown CT. This moderately difficult hiking trail includes panoramic vistas, deep woods, and picturesque waterfall on Priton Brook.



Zoar Scenic Trail, Paugussett State Forest, Newtown CT
Zoar Scenic Trail, Paugussett State Forest, Newtown CT


There are few loop trails on the list of CT Blue Blazed Trails.The Zoar Trail is one of them, which is convenient for a lone-wolf hiker like myself. In most cases I have to hike a trail twice - once out, and once back.

So, I had every intention of hiking the whole trail, all 7 miles of it in one 3 hour shot. And, had I not decided to go swimming in Priton Brook in January I might have met my goal.

So, it turns out, that the logs that cross streams are ice covered in January, and it also turns out that the streams which are normally trickles, are rushing and pooling - 4 ft deep in some places. Naturally I decided to scamper across an ice covered log over a 4ft deep pool of fresh melted refreshingly chilled winter water. What could possibly go wrong?

Being soaked up to my chest, and after 60 seconds of panic, I decided to cut part of my hike. I continued alongside Priton Brook up in elevation until I met the Blue Blazed trail where it crossed again on the double-back. That cut out a mile or two, and most of the scenic panoramas of Lake Zoar from higher elevations.

Surprisingly, I wasn't shivering my way towards hypothermia. This unusually warm and mild January afternoon I was actually quite warm and hiked the remainder of the trail without a hat or mittens. In fact, I was sweating though most of it.

The whole trail is worth the going. The 'back 40' so to speak is even more thrilling than the waterfront trails in some ways. There were exhilarating climbs through the ravines of Paugusett State Forest. And, all around the melting snow fed rushing streams and rivulets.

But, Pryden Falls is the destination on The Zoar Trail. I can imagine that in summer it is mostly dry. But, in the Winter or Spring it is an impressive falls.

This is where Priton Brook spills over several cascading rock falls and feeds into Zoar Lake. In the right season, Pryden Falls would make a romantic picnic spot.

Kettletown State Park is directly across Lake Zoar (The Housatonic) from Pryden Falls. There is a decent family campgrounds with actual running water at Kettletown.

And, another great waterfall to check out is nearby in Oxford - Southford Falls.

This whole area is a welcome escape in Fairfield County. It's just a remote corner, overlooked, and never heard of, ... that is ... it was never heard of before December 2012.

Sandy Hook is still as it is described, a sandy hook in the landforms along The Housatonic River.

Winter Forest, Paugusett State Forest, Newtown CT


Zoar Blue Blazed Trail

COUNTY: Fairfield
COMMUNITIES: Newtown

TOTAL MILES:7 Miles

POINTS OF INTEREST: Housatonic River, Lake Zoar, Pryden Falls


Directions and Trail Map


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Click Map Image to load the full interactive map.

Address for your GPS: 999 Great Quarter Rd Sandy Hook, CT 06482
| coordinates: N41.402212,W073.188089 |
From Bridgeport30 Minutes
From New Haven40 Minutes
From Hartford1 Hour
From New London1.5 hours
From Providence2.5 Hours
From New York1.5 Hour


Photos

Priton Brook, Zoar Trail, Sandy Hook - Newtown CT


Dew Drops, Zoar Trail, Sandy Hook - Newtown CT



Pryden Falls, Priton Brook, The Zoar Trail, Newtown CT
Pryden Falls, Priton Brook, The Zoar Trail, Newtown CT


Lake Zoar, The Zoar Trail, Sandy Hook - Newtown CT
Lake Zoar, The Zoar Trail, Sandy Hook - Newtown CT

Pryden Falls, January 2013, The Zoar Trail, Sandy Hook - Newtown CT
Pryden Falls, January 2013, The Zoar Trail, Sandy Hook - Newtown CT

Pryden Falls, The Zoar Trail, Sandy Hook - Newtown CT
Pryden Falls, The Zoar Trail, Sandy Hook - Newtown CT

Pryden Falls, The Zoar Trail, Sandy Hook - Newtown CT
Pryden Falls, The Zoar Trail, Sandy Hook - Newtown CT

Snowman on The Zoar Trail - January 2013 - Sandy Hook - Newtown CT
Snowman points the way on The Zoar Trail - Newtown CT



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