The Mattatuck Blue Blazed Trail


Cunningham Tower - Mattatuck Trail
Cunningham Tower - Mattatuck Trail
The Mattatuck mainline trail is a 36 Mile Blue Blazed Trail. It's Southern point begins at the Waterbury reservoirs in Wolcott and passes through: Plymouth Thomaston, Watertown, Morris, and Litchfield. It is Fragmented in Litchfield, but picks up again in Cornwall, drops into Goshen for a few miles and finishes at a junction with The Mohawk trail in Cornwall.

Along the trail you will pass through the Mattutuck State Forest, Black Rock State Park, and The White Memorial Foundation and Conservation Center The word Mattatuck is American Indian and means loosely: the place without trees. The place refereed to is now Waterbury. But, in a historic irony land which now makes up the Mattatuck State Forest and Black Rock State Park was deforested; the wood being used as fuel for foundries and brass milling in the nearby Naugatuck Valley.

While we lament the loss of heavy industry in Connecticut, it is fair to consider the cost of industry on our environment. During the depression, the Civilian Conservation Corp embarked on a massive reforestation project - planting tens of thousands of trees and instituting erosion control. The forests you are able to hike through on The Mattatuck Blue Blazed Trail is a product of extreme economic exploitation and extreme economic devastation. <



Section 1 - Buttermilk Falls
Buttermilk Falls
Buttermilk Falls
Traveling mainly through The Mattatuck State Forest in Thomaston and Watertown, The Mattatuck Trail is one of Connecticut's Blue Blazed Trails. The section in Terryville and Plymouth includes Buttermilk Falls - a 60ft three tier waterfall. This section also passes two caves and a large pond. This trail is not excessively difficult. But, the stones near the falls can be wet and very slippery. The pine and hardwood forests that encase this trail are wide and deep, but there is a lengthy section that must be hiked on sidewalks along Allentown Rd. If you want to just see the falls, you can park on pull-off shoulders along Lane Hill Road. The falls is only a five minute walk from the road.

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Section 3 - The Mattatuck State Forest & Legend of the Leatherman
 
Leatherman's Cave
Leatherman's Cave
The Mattatuck is a Blue Blazed Trail featuring 36 miles of trail through state forests and parks in North-Western Connecticut. It passes through nine towns. The section presented here traverses The Mattatuck State Forest and Black Rock State Park. It is a loop trail and is moderately strenuous. The pine forests that cover this section of trail make it ideal for any season. Two lookouts provide good vistas. The trail also passes through a cave that the legendary and mysterious Leatherman slept in once every 34 days. The lore of the Leatherman has reached far enough to become known to Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam, who wrote a song entitled: Leatherman.


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Section 5 - White Memorial Foundation Preserve
 
White Memorial Preserve
White Memorial Preserve
The Mattatuck Trail is a Connecticut Blue Blazed hiking trail that extends 36 miles through Litchfield County. The 6.5 miles of the Mattatuck which passes through the white Memorial Foundation is the 5th section of the overall trail. The White Memorial Foundation is a 4000+ acre wildlife sanctuary. It includes a vast network of supplementary trails to the Mattatuck. The trail along this section is wide and easy. Any level hiker will be comfortable hiking this section. This section is also open to bicycling.

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Section 7 - Mohawk Mountain State Park
 
Cunningham Tower
Cunningham Tower
The Mattatuck Trail is a 36 mile Connecticut Blue Blazed Trail traveling through Litchfield County. Section 7 of this trail travels through Mohawk Mountain State Park and the trail terminates at a junction with The Mohawk Blue Blazed Trail. This section of trail is not well traveled and includes two difficult rocky climbs. The are several interesting features along this section including a 360 panoramic view from the summit of Mohawk Mtn, and the ruins of Cunningham Tower - an bizarre pet project of the former wealthy owner of this land.


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MATTATUCK TRAIL MAP

COUNTY: Litchfield, Hartford
COMMUNITIES:  Plymouth Thomaston, Watertown, Morris,
Litchfield, Goshen, Cornwall
TOTAL MILES: 36 Miles
POINTS OF INTEREST
Buttermilk Falls
Indian Jack Cave
Leatherman's Cave
Crane's Lookout
Prospect Mountain
Mohawk Mountain
Cunningham Tower
ARTICLE LINKS:
The Mattatuck Trail & The Legend of The Leatherman - Connecticut Explorer
The Mattatuck Trail - Buttermilk Falls - Connecticut Explorer