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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Fall Leaf Peeping in Connecticut--Check Out the State Forest



The New England states are renown for their glorious fall color, and Connecticut is not lacking when it comes to vibrant autumn foliage. Like the tourism promotion folks love to shout, "When it comes to autumn, Connecticut is much more than seemingly limitless shades of reds, oranges and yellows waving in the trees and wafting to the ground - though visitors will definitely find that throughout the state."

RVers all want to know: Where can I park the bus to appreciate all this spectral beauty? Here's a tip--try the state  forests.  One of these is Pachaug, Connecticut's largest state forest, rolling with forests over 24,000 acres. If the name's a bit different, consider that it's a native term meaning, "bend or turn in the river."

Pachaug is an area rich with history.  Indians of the Narragansett, Pequot, and Mohegan tribes in habited this area in great number.  During the last half of the seventeenth century, the Narragansetts and Pequots were defeated by the combined force of the Colonists and the Mohegans, when in 1700, a six mile square tract was granted to the Indian War Veterans.  Eventually, the central portion of this land grant became "Volunteer's Town," incorporated as Voluntown in 1721.

Old cellar holes and miles of stone fence winding through the woods give evidence that the entire forest was once farmed or pastured.  Abundant water encouraged the establishment of a mill industry as early as 1711.  Nearly every brook has several old mill sites and dams.  Homestead farming and small industry succumbed to advancing modern technology; the forest reclaims its land.

Fall is one of the finest times to visit the forest. And one campground in Pachaug is open at this time of year: Mount Misery Campground off State Route 49 is north of Voluntown. You'll find 22 wood sites waiting, on a "non reservation" basis, but at $11 a night, it may be a bargain in today's economy. Call the forest folks at 860-376-4075 for more information.

1 comment:

  1. Just a heads up, Connecticut started charging a $5 surcharge for out of state campers on April 1st, 2009.

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