Bear Mountain Reservation
Rt. 37, Danbury, Fairfield County, CT
140 acres
JFK Hiking Trails; located along lower Lake Candlewood (adjacent to the Federal Correctional Institution of Danbury).


US 84 east to exit 5. Keep going straight, curving right on Route 37. Travel 3.8 miles on Route 37 and turn right onto Bear Mountain Road (shortly after passing the Federal Correctional Institution of Danbury). Drive 0.3 of a mile and turn right into the park.



Dedicated May 29, 1987 by Mayor James E. Dyer.

meadows, oak forest, lake


Here is a circular walk. Pick up a trail map at the kiosk. The red trail passes two meadows and then forks. Took the right fork (southeast) to the orange trail that takes the hiker down to Candlewood Lake. There are lots of private homes on the other side of the lake. Met a fellow hiker, Tony Comito, and talked about the drought, environmentalism, politics, and spiritualism. Went with him up to Bear Mountain Peak and back to the parking lot. Returning to the red trail turn right (northeast) on that trail. It takes you to the white trail that heads northwest to the violet trail. Then the yellow trail takes you on a small circular walk to Bear Mountain (no view) and back to the violet trail. Follow the violet trail west and turn right onto the white trail, and follow the white trail south to the red trail at the southeastern end of the upper meadow. At this point the red path is a diagonal trail that crosses the upper meadow and returns the hiker to the place where the red path first forked on the out-going trip. Follow the red trail back to the kiosk.

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney, February 25, 2002

Acer rubrum (red maple)
Amelanchier arborea (shadbush)
Betula alleghaniensis (yellow birch)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
Carya tomentosa (mockernut hickory)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus sp. (ash)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Larix sp. (larch)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Pinus sylvestris (Scots pine)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)

Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Chimaphila maculata (spotted wintergreen)
Cornus amomum (swamp dogwood)
Cornus racemosa (gray dogwood)
Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel)
Ligustrum sp. (privet)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)
Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Vaccinium corymbosum (high-bush blueberry)
Vaccinium sp. (a low-bush blueberry type)
Vinca minor (periwinkle)

Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Smilax glauca (sawbrier)
Smilax sp. (greenbrier)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)

Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)
Centaurea maculosa (spotted knapweed)
Cirsium vulgare (bull thistle)
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace)
Leonurus cardiaca (motherwort)
Monotropa uniflora (Indian pipe)
Rumex crispus (curled dock)
Solanum carolinense (horse nettle)
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)

Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)

Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Lycopodium digitatum (ground cedar)
Lycopodium obscurum (ground pine)
Dryopteris marginalis (marginal woodfern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)


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