Mashamoquet Brook State Park
GOOD FOR: Ages 9-12

Source:Outdoors with Kids Boston (AMC Books)
Address:US 44, Pomfret Center, CT
Hours:Pedestrians: Dawn to dusk daily; vehicles: 8 a.m. to dusk
Fee: Parking: $15 on weekends and holidays for nonresidents
Contact:; 860-928-6121

Bathrooms: Near the parking lot as well as near the pond
Water/Snacks: Water fountains near the bathrooms

This state park has a variety of outdoor attractions, from caves and rock formations to brooks and swimming.

Putnam Wolf Den at Mashamoquet Brook State Park.
Photo by: Kim Foley MacKinnon

Kids will find a lot to do at Mashamoquet State Park, from hikes leading to rock formations and a cave to activities like swimming in a pond and fishing in a brook. Mashamoquet is a Mohegan word for “stream of good fishing.” The region was once the domain of the Mohegan chief Uncas.

The park encompasses almost 1,000 acres and offers an excellent full-day trip as well as overnight camping. Leave your car at the park entrance, where you can visit a museum that was once a cider mill, gristmill, and wagon shop. In this area of the park, the Mashamoquet Brook rushes by and you can swim in a small pond or use the grills to cook out.

From the parking lot, you can take one of two trails—blue or red—that lead to the Putnam Wolf Den, a cave made famous when, in 1742, a man named Israel Putnam crept in and shot what was thought to be the last wolf in Connecticut. Putnam later became famous as a major general in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. Close to the Wolf Den, you’ll find Table Rock and Indian Chair, cool natural stone formations. The trails can be a bit challenging at times for younger kids. The blue trail is longer, while the red trail is more of a direct path. They converge at one point, which is where you’ll head to see the Putnam Wolf Den and Indian Chair. Painted signs on rocks point the way.

Remember: Two camping areas are open mid-April through Columbus Day—the more rustic Mashamoquet Brook Campground has 20 wooded sites, while the Wolf Den Campground has 35 sites, plus shower facilities. The overnight fee is $24 for non-Connecticut residents.

Plan B:

The Connecticut Audubon Society’s Grassland Bird Conservation Center at Pomfret, just 2 miles away, features nature exhibits and is adjacent to the 700-acre Bafflin Sanctuary at Pomfret Farms (Trip 92).

Where to Eat Nearby:

Drive on US 44 East and then north on CT 169 toward Pomfret Center for dining options.


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