Topstone Park
Topstone Road, Redding, Fairfield County, Connecticut
274 acres


From Route 53, turn onto Umpawaug Road and follow past the Fire House and Red Schoolhouse, continue up Umpawaug, Topstone is the second road on the right, park at Topstone Town Park about a mile down the road on the left.


Merritt Parkway to Route 7 north. Turn right on Simpaug Road (not far past the Amish Outdoor Furnishings store) not far north of Branchville. Drive 0.6 of a mile and turn right onto Topstone Road (going through a one-lane tunnel). Drive 0.7 of a mile and turn left into the entrance for the parking area.


The land was at one time owned by famous photographer Edward Steichen, who also owned Huckleberry Swamp (see that walk for a brief bio of the man).  The park area was purchased in 1971 by the Town of Redding.


There are  3.7 miles of trails.

Did not see the "Residents Only" until I got back and looked at the sign.

Head south passed the gate on a wide road and take the white trail that leads down to a lake where they offer swimming. Near the gate there is a red trail going up the hill on the right.

The white trail goes around the lake apparently. I took it to the dam at the north end of the lake. I then took the blue trail (called the Topstone Mountain base trail) off the white trail. It soon hooks back up with the white trail (this one a detour up from the lakeshore called the Topledge Road Trail). The blue trail goes off on the right up South Topstone Mountain. (And probably comes back down via the Stuart Chase Longview Trail.) The sign for the latter trail says it was dedicated to Stuart Chase on March 18, 1978 on his 90th birthday.

Saw a pileated woodpecker.

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney; brief visit March 7, 2002

Acer rubrum (red maple)
Betula alleghaniensis (yellow birch)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Betula populifolia (gray birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)?
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Picea abies (Norway spruce)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)
Ulmus sp. (elm )

Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Chimaphila maculata (spotted wintergreen)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel)
Leucothoe sp. ? horticultural escape
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle)
Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)
Rhododendron maximum (rosebay rhododendron)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Vaccinium corymbosum (high bush blueberry)

Celastrus orbiculatus (black swallowwort)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)

Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)
Cirsium vulgare (bull thistle)
Dianthus armeria (Deptford pink)
Pyrola rotundifolia (round-leaved shinleaf)
Ranunculus ficaria? (lesser celandine)
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)
snow drops? in bloom

Juncus effusus (soft rush)

Carex laxiflora (sedge)
Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)
Carex stricta (tussock sedge)

Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Tridens flavus (purple top grass)

Lycopodium obscurum (ground pine clubmoss)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)

rock tripe lichen



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