Cornwall and the surrounding area offer a wealth of state parks and forests to explore along with a number of preserves and protected lands.

State Parks & Forests

Mohawk State Forest, also known as Mohawk Mountain State Park, encompasses over 4,000 acres and is home to rugged hills, a wildlife sanctuary, and a unique plant community. From atop the 1,683-foot Mohawk Mountain, you can see stunning vistas of surrounding hills and even the Catskill Mountains on a clear day.

Hiking, Picnicking, Scenic Overlook, Fishing Pond and Stream Fishing, Cross-Country Skiing, Camping, Youth Group Camping.

Mohawk State Park Points of Interest

Black Spruce Bog is one of the few bogs in the state, the 19-acre Black Spruce Bog is considered an outstanding example of a late stage peat bog.

An old stone tower stands along a trail in the northern section of the forest. It was constructed by Litchfield resident Seymour Cunningham after he bought land for sheep farming on Mohawk Mountain in 1912.

Mohawk Mountain (elev. 1683 feet) is the highest point on the blue-blazed Mattatuck Trail. The summit offers views of the Taconic Mountains and Berkshire Mountains to north and northwest including Bear Mountain, Canaan Mountain, and Cream Hill in Connecticut as well as peaks in Massachusetts (Race Mountain, Mount Everett, Mount Greylock) and the eastern Catskills in New York State.

Accessible on foot via the blue-blazed Mohawk Trail (a former alignment of the Appalachian Trail), Red Mountain (elev. 1652 feet) occupies the northernmost section of Mohawk State Forest. Its eastern slope is the site of the Red Mountain Shelter, a log cabin built by CCC crews based in Housatonic State Forest. Due to the shallow bedrock of the peak, the higher elevations of the mountain sport shrubby oak trees and distant vistas.

The southern section of the state forest encompasses Mohawk Pond, a 16-acre kettle pond stocked with trout and noted for largemouth bass. The pond has a maximum depth of 26 feet (8 m), an average depth of 15 feet (4.5 m), and a boat launch on its southern shore

The Meadows

Housatonic Meadows State Park is a public recreation area covering 452 acres (183 ha) along the Housatonic River in the towns of Sharon and Cornwall, Connecticut. The state park offers opportunities for camping, hiking, picnicking, canoeing, and fly-fishing. It is crossed by the Appalachian Trail

The main park entrance is a great place to start when it comes to getting information at the main park office. This is also where the campground is located along with river access.

Just across the river the river from Cornwall Bridge is a portion of the State Park that locals fondly call “The Meadows”, which offers a great place to picnic and check out the Housatonic River. This is a popular place to stop on your Cornwall journey and the meadows also provides river access to anglers and other recreational opportunities.

Pine Knob Loop Trail (Blue Blazed) is probably the most popular hike in the area and offers stunning views on top of Pine Knob of the surrounding hills. The portion of the trail that climbs Pine Knob is a steep and hard scrapple hike towards the top. It is also used a spur trail that connects to the Appalachian Trail (White Blazed).

Nature Preserves

Cathedral Pines is a 42-acre nature preserve. It is an old-growth white pine and hemlock forest which had been donated in 1967 by the Calhoun family who had purchased it in 1883 to prevent logging. It was mostly destroyed by tornadoes in July 1989 and has become a study site for ecological restoration. It was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1982. The blue blazed Mohawk Trail also transverses the pines so it is a popular trailhead access point.

The CCT is a local nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of our town’s natural assets. You can visit their website to learn more about other nature preserves and protected lands to explore.