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Friday, September 29, 2023

Day Pond State Park - Colchester

Day Pond State Park Guide

We have had a very wet Connecticut summer. It has rained most weekends and September was sort of like "keep it coming". After two days of heavy rain, I decided to head to one of the state parks with a waterfall (there are several) to see what the water levels were like after #SoggySeptember. After a quick google search, the start to many adventures, I headed north to Day Pond State Park in Colchester to hike to Day Pond Brook Falls and I was not disappointed.
The park itself is beautiful with a stone dam, swimming lake, fishing area, picnic area, rentable pavilion, and expansive trail network including Connecticut's blue blaze hiking trail system. There is a 3.5 mile loop that takes you through the park and up to Day Pond Brook Falls in the northern section of the park. I brought Piper and the dogs and on an overcast Tuesday in September, we had the entire trail to ourselves. In true KW style, I made quick notes to come back with my horse to ride the yellow blazed CT Horse Council trail system, and to bring back the kids to swim in the summer.

Day Pond State Park Trail
Day Pond State Park Blue Blazed Trail


Day Pond State Park is home to the former Day Family Farm. The now swimming and fishing pond was damed to power a historic sawmill at the farm. The state acquired the land in 1935 not as Day Pond State Park, but instead as a section of the Salmon River State Forest. 

Civilian Conservation Corp "CCC"
Day Pond State Park is one of the CT State Parks where the Civilian Conservation Corp "CCC" handiwork can easily be seen. The CCC was a public works program which began in 1933 and ran until camps closed in 1942 after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The program was offered to unemployed men between the ages of 18 to 25. The CCC Boys lived in military style camps and were paid one dollar a day to work in what are now state and national forest and park systems. The CCC handiwork is seen in the restored Day Pond dam. Following World War II, the land was transferred to the parks division and has been used as a state park and popular swimming area.

Day Pond State Park CCC Dam
Day Pond State Park CCC Dam


Picnicking, swimming, pond fishing, hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding are all welcomed in the park. The equestrian trail recommended by the CT Horse Council is marked with a yellow diamond and starts at Comstock Bridge and ends at Day Pond. While the beach is small, the pond is an official swimming area. The pavilion at the park is rentable through Reserve America.

Day Pond State Park Pavilion
Day Pond State Park Pavilion


Flush toilets, pavilion, potable water source, picnic tables with grills

Day Pond Brook Falls
Day Pond Brook Falls

Day Pond Brook Falls
Day Pond Brook Falls

Day Pond State Park Trail Map
Day Pond State Park Trail Map

Waterfall Loop Hike

This hike covers about 3.5 miles with about 500 feet of elevation gained. Follow the blue blazed trail around the park including the offshoot up to Day Pond Brook Falls. This is a great hike for older kids or kids who can sit in a carrier. There is some incline and the mileage may make it hard for smaller kids. You reach the waterfall about halfway through your hike. It is a tiered waterfall and the trail borders the stream and waterfall. You can find a trail map here. 

Day Pond Brook Park Blue Red Offshoot trail
Day Pond Brook Park Blue Red Offshoot Trail


Yes, allowed on-leash at the park on the trails and picnic areas. They are not allowed in the pond, beach, or the pavilion. 

Red Tape

The park is open from 8 am to sunset. Gates open on the third Saturday in April. They close for the season after Columbus Day weekend. Off season parking is available along Day Pond Rd and on either side of the front gate.

Also in the area

Airline Trail - a great multi-use trail (including equestrian use!)
Salmon River State Forest - covered bridge, swimming spots, and more

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