Lake Mohegan Open Space
Acquired:  1967-1985
Acreage:  170.4 acres


Numerous parking areas:  Lake beach parking lot; Morehouse Highway and and Mohican Hill Road;  Morehouse Highway just south of the Merritt Parkway; East Field Circle; Morehouse Highway just south of the beach parking lot .

We parked in the northwestern area:

Merritt Parkway north to exit 46; turn right onto Jefferson Street; at the T-intersection, turn right onto Easton Turnpike; cross over the Merritt Parkway and turn left onto Congress Street; turn left onto Morehouse Drive heading south; turn left onto Primrose Lane; in a short distance turn left onto Mohican Hill Road; in a short distance, at the intersection with Morehouse Highway, turn left and enter the open space property at the sign for the park; continue to the two parking areas, both on the left; park.  Mill River is straight ahead at the more southern parking area. 


The park is located in the Mill River Valley.  The highest point in the park is at 270 feet above seal level in the eastern part of the property.  The lowest point is the outlet from Lake Mohegan at 80 feet above sea level. 

The Cascades are located 1,000 feet south of the Merritt Parkway.  This is a short section of rapids on Mill River created by a narrow gap through large rock outcrops.  The cascade flows down a series of rock ledges heading to Lake Mohegan.


1800's  --  Mohican Spring Bottling Company bottled spring water and sold it throughout the country. 

The 17-acre Lake Mohegan and North Pond were both created as a result of a gravel mining operation.

1974  --  a plaque on a rock states: Cascades: Thirty acres of wood and stream; a gift of General Electric Company to the people of Fairfield; May 10, 1974.


hiking, picnicking, fishing, horseback riding, wetland protection, wildlife protection, playground, lake beach (at southern end)


There are two primary trails:

Yellow  -- 2.5 miles around the perimeter of the property.

Red  --  1.6 miles; follows the edges of Lake Mohegan and the Mill River.

The Orange and Blue Trails are connecting trails to the red and yellow trails. 

11/26/2005.  On a cold, overcast day, Rosemary Cooney, Sarah-David Rosenbaum, Ceferino Santana, dog Sonar and parked  at the small northwestern parking area of the open space property. We walked over to the Mill River and found the red trail.  The red trail heads south along the Mill River and then along the western side of Lake Mohegan.  The trail heads uphill a short ways and then onto to Morehouse Highway at around its intersection with Canterbury Lane.  The yellow and red trail go together here for a short ways.  The walker has to hike along the roadway to the asphalt parking lot at the end of the southern end of Lake Mohegan.    Across from house #951, turned left to go into the parking lot.  Walked south across the parking lot to pick up the yellow trail.  The trail heads through a small swampy area on a boardwalk and then uphill to a small horseshoe turn and west back on to Morehouse Highway. 

Turned around and walked back on the yellow trail down to the main parking lot.  Headed over to the east side of Lake Mohegan.  Walked along the hill parallel to a small fence and the red trail on the left.  Came across a large field on the right which we investigated.  Walked back to the main trail and turned right to keep heading north.  There are lots of dogs here in the park.  I estimate we came across 50 or more, almost all of them big dogs off their leashes.  At least all of them were pretty well-behaved and happy.  The informal trail going parallel to the river heads uphill to the more formal red trail. Turned left on the red trail.   

Come to a power cut for electric lines.  When the red trail turns left, the orange trail goes straight north.  We come to the area of the cascades and then shortly after that to the Cascade Bridge over Mill River.  On the west side of the river, we turned left to follow the red trail that heads south parallel with Mill River on the east.  Head over the electric power cut and then on to the entrance road and the northwestern parking area.  Turned left and walked back to the car. 

This open space is really a treat with a lake and a pond and a river, woods, fields and a power cut.  Lots of different habitats makes for lots of variety of plant species, which makes us botanists like ourselves very happy.  Dr. Patrick L. Cooney.  

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney, Sarah-David Rosenbaum 11/26/2005

Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple))
Ailanthus altissima (tree of heaven)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Betula populifolia (gray birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Ilex opaca (American holly)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Picea abies (Norway spruce)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)
Populus grandidentata (big-toothed aspen)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Prunus sp. (cherry)
Pyrus sp. (crab apple)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus coccinea (scarlet oak)
Quercus palustris (pin oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)
Salix sp. (willow)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)

Alnus serrulata (smooth alder)
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Cephalanthus occidentalis (buttonbush)
Clethra alnifolia (sweet pepper bush)
Cornus amomum (swamp dogwood)
Decodon verticillatus (yellow loosestrife)
Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Ilex verticillata (winterberry holly)
Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel)
Ligustrum sp. (privet)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle)
Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus flagellaris (northern dewberry)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Spiraea alba var. latifolia (meadowsweet)
Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry)

Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Cuscuta sp. (dodder)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Smilax rotundifolia (round-leaved greenbrier)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis sp. (grape)

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Asclepias incarnata (swamp milkweed)
Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)
Aster spp. (aster)
Chelidonium majus (celandine)
Cirsium sp. (thistle)
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace)
Epifagus virginiana (beech drops)
Epilobium sp. (willowherb)
Euthamia graminifolia (grass-leaved goldenrod)
Geum canadense (white avens)
Glechoma hederacea (gill over the ground)
Gnaphalium obtusifolium (sweet everlasting)
Iris sp. (blue or yellow flag)
Lespedeza capitata (round-headed bush clover)
Linaria vulgaris (butter and eggs)
Ludwigia alternifolia (seed box)
Lycopus sp. (bugleweed)
Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife)
Oenothera biennis (common evening primrose)
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel)
Phytolacca americana (pokeweed)
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain)
Plantago major (common plantain)
Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed)
Polygonum lapathifolium (nodding smartweed)
Potentilla recta (rough-fruited cinquefoil)     *
Potentilla simplex (common cinquefoil)
Prunella vulgaris (self-heal)
Pycnanthemum sp. (mountain mint))
Rumex crispus (curled dock)
Rumex obtusifolius (broad dock)
Saponaria officinalis (bouncing bet)
Solidago spp. (goldenrod)
Stellaria pubera (star chickweed)     *
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion)     *
Thalictrum pubescens (tall meadowrue)
Trifolium pratense (red clover)
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)
Vernonia noveboracensis (New York ironweed)

Juncus tenuis (path rush)

Carex laxiflora type (loose-flowered type sedge)
Cyperus esculentus (nut sedge)
Scirpus sp. (validus) ?  (soft-stem bulrush) ?

Eleusine indica (zipper grass)
Elymus sp. (wild rye grass)
Panicum clandestinum (deer-tongue grass)
Panicum virgatum (switch grass)
Phragmites australis (giant reed grass)
Schizachyrium scoparium (little blue stem grass)
Setaria faberi (nodding foxtail grass)

Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)