Indian Well State Park
Shelton, Fairfield County, CT

The park goes along the east side of the Housatonic River.


Take the Merritt Parkway and get off at exit 53; turn right onto Rt. 110 north (Main Street/River Road/Howe Avenue; drive about 7.8 miles and make a right turn onto the park entrance road (Indian Well Street).

For the start of the Paugusset Trail and/or the waterfall:

drive 0.3 of a mile (just past Maple Road) and turn into the parking area.  Cross the street; there are two paths (the lower one goes the short ways to the waterfall, while the slightly upper one leads to the blue path on the left heading uphill).

For the beach/picnic area/boat launch:

drive an extra 0.3 of a mile (for a total of 0.6 of a mile) past the first parking lot to make a right turn into the main park area.  (Another Paugussett Trail parking area is just a little ways past the main parking area, on the left). 


The Paugussett Indians had their main seat at what is now Derby.

 Indian Well State Park retains the historic gathering place of the Paugusett Indians; they made use of the well.

1928  --  the area established as a park.  (The city filled the well with boulders.)

1930s and 40s – the CCC built a lot of the stone walls and developments in the park.


hemlock grove, ridge top, brooks, swamp


beach, boating, picnicking with grills


This is and out-and-back trail. It is 3.75 miles long one-way but you can turn around any time you get tired.

The Paugussett Trail travels north from the Indian Well State Park running along the Housatonic River to Stevenson Dam and then travels west to East Village.

The trail starts from the left of the access road after crossing the stonewall bridge on Indian Well Road. The hiker heads through a small hemlock grove and then the climb begins to the top where there is a view of the Housatonic River Valley.

You will cross the Bridgeport Hydraulic Company pipeline and the Upper White Hills stream. Turn left onto paved Okenuck Way, turn right on Boulder Path, cross Princess Winona Way and then begin an ascent. The end of this part of the trail is reached at blacktopped Thoreau Drive, which is actually outside and north of Indian Well State Park. Return the way you came.

From here see the hiking trail for Webb Mountain Park. There is limited parking on Thoreau Drive.


Connecticut Forest and Park Association; Connecticut Walk Book

Indian Well State Park Shelton, CT


Dr. Patrick L. Cooney (very brief stop on February 16, 2002); * = plant blooming on 10/03/2005

Acer pensylvanicum (striped maple)
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharinum (silver maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Ailanthus altissima (tree-of-heaven)
Betula alleghaniensis (yellow birch)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Carya cordiformis (bitternut hickory)
Carya tomentosa (mockernut hickory)
Catalpa sp. (catalpa)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Morus alba (white mulberry)
Ostrya virginiana (American hop hornbeam)
Picea abies (Norway spruce)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)
Populus deltoides (cottonwood)
Populus grandidentata (big-toothed aspen)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)
Ulmus rubra (slippery elm)

Alnus serrulata (smooth alder)
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Cephalanthus occidentalis (buttonbush)
Chimaphila umbellata (pipsissewa)
Cornus amomum (swamp dogwood)
Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Forsythia sp. (golden bells)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel)
Ligustrum sp. (privet)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle)
Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Salix discolor (pussy willow)
Viburnum acerifolium (maple-leaf Viburnum)

Calystegia sepium (hedge bindweed)
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Smilax rotundifolia (round-leaved greenbrier)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis sp. (grape)

Acalypha sp. (three-seeded mercury)
Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Allium vineale (field garlic)
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed)
Ambrosia trifida (giant ragweed)
Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut)
Apocynum sp. (dogbane)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Aster cordifolius (heart-leaved aster)     *
Aster divaricatus (white wood aster)      *
Aster spp. (small white aster)     *
Circaea lutetiana (enchanter's nightshade)    
Commelina communis (Asiatic dayflower)     *
Conyza canadensis (horseweed)
Daucus carota (Queen Anne’s lace)     *
Desmodium sp. (beggar-ticks)
Epifagus virginiana (beech drops)
Euthamia graminifolia (grass-leaved goldenrod)
Fragaria virginiana (wild strawberry)
Galium sp. (bedstraw)
Geum canadense (white avens)
Gnaphalium obtusifolium (sweet everlasting)     *
Hepatica americana (round-leaved hepatica)
Hieracium canadense (Canada hawkweed)
Impatiens sp. (jewelweed)
Linaria vulgaris (butter and eggs)     *
Lobelia inflata (Indian tobacco)
Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife)
Oenothera biennis (common evening primrose)  *
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel)     *
Peltandra virginica (arrow arum)
Pilea pumila (clearweed)
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain) 
Plantago major (common plantain)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose smartweed)     *
Polygonum virginianum (jump seed)
Potentilla sp. (cinquefoil)      *
Prunella vulgaris (self-heal)
Pyrola elliptica (round-leaved pyrola)
Rumex obtusifolius (broad dock)
Saponaria officinalis (bouncing bet)     *
Solanum carolinense (horse nettle)
Solidago caesia (blue-stem goldenrod)     *
Solidago rugosa (rough-leaved goldenrod)     *
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion)     *
Trifolium pratense (red clover)     *
Trifolium repens (white clover)     *
Vallisneria americana (water celery)
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)
Veronica officinalis (common speedwell)
(water lily)

Juncus tenuis (path rush)

Carex laxiflora type (loose-flowered type sedge)
Cyperus strigosus (umbrella sedge)

Bromus inermis (smooth brome grass)
Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Digitaria sp. (crab  grass)
Eragrostis spectabilis (purple love grass)
Leersia virginica (white grass)
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Panicum clandestinum (deer-tongue grass)
Panicum dichotomiflorum (fall panic grass)
Phragmites australis (giant reed grass)
Schizachyrium scoparium (little blue stem)
Setaria faberi (nodding foxtail grass)
Setaria glauca (yellow foxtail grass)
Tridens flavus (purple top grass)

Athyrium filix-femina (lady fern)
Dryopteris carthusiana (toothed wood fern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Polypodium sp. (rockcap fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)


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