Wadsworth Falls State Park

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Wadsworth Falls State Park
Connecticut State Park
Wadsworth Falls State Park - falls.jpg
Named for: Clarence C. Wadsworth
Country United States
State Connecticut
County Middlesex
Towns Middlefield, Middletown
Elevation 174 ft (53 m) [1]
Coordinates 41°31′39″N 72°41′25″W / 41.52750°N 72.69028°W / 41.52750; -72.69028Coordinates: 41°31′39″N 72°41′25″W / 41.52750°N 72.69028°W / 41.52750; -72.69028 [1]
Area 285 acres (115 ha) [2]
Established 1942
Management Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
Location in Connecticut
Website: Wadsworth Falls State Park
Wadsworth Estate Historic District
Location 15, 30, 33, 59, 73, 89 Laurel Grove Rd., Wadsworth Falls State Park, and 421 Wadsworth St., Middletown, Connecticut
Area 270 acres (1.1 km2)
Built 1900, 1909 and 1917
Architect Hoppin, Francis L.V. ; Olmsted, John C.
Architectural style Colonial Revival
NRHP reference # 96000775
Added to NRHP July 25, 1996

Wadsworth Falls State Park, or simply Wadsworth Falls, is a public recreation and preserved natural area located on the Coginchaug River in the towns of Middletown and Middlefield, Connecticut. The state park's 285 acres (115 ha) offer trails, fishing, swimming, and picnicking. It is managed by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.[3]

History[edit]

The park bears the name of Colonel Clarence C. Wadsworth (1871–1941), an academic, linguist, conservationist, and member of the New York National Guard. Wadsworth developed the property that the park occupies in the early years of the 20th century as part of his Long Hill estate.[4] He established the Rockfall Corporation as a charitable foundation to administer his properties and further his conservationist interests.[5] Following his death, the corporation gave 267 acres (108 ha) of Wadsworth's estate to the people of Connecticut for preservation as Wadsworth Falls State Park.[3]

In 1996, the portion of the park that lies within the town of Middletown, some 130 acres, was added to the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Wadsworth Estate Historic District.[6] The district's central feature, the Wadsworth Mansion at Long Hill, lies adjacent to the park and may be reached from the park by way of the purple-blazed hiking trail.[4]

Waterfalls[edit]

Two natural waterfalls lie within easy reach by park trails: the Big Falls,[7] on the Coginchaug River, and the Little Falls,[8] on Wadsworth Brook. The larger of the two, Wadsworth Big Falls, drops the 52-foot breadth of the Coginchaug River some 30 feet (9.1 m) over a shelf of Hampden basalt.[9] Wadsworth Little Falls is found along Wadsworth Brook and descends approximately 40 feet (12 m) over an outcrop of sandstone known as Portland arkose.[9]

Activities and amenities[edit]

In addition to scenery and heavily forest lands, the park features picnicking facilities, stream fishing, and trails for hiking and mountain biking. Swimming is offered in a lifeguard-supervised pond with sandy beach, soil cement paving, and water pumped from water wells located near the Coginchaug River.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Wadsworth Falls State Park". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. 
  2. ^ "Appendix A: List of State Parks and Forests" (PDF). State Parks and Forests: Funding. Staff Findings and Recommendations. Connecticut General Assembly. January 23, 2014. p. A-4. Retrieved March 20, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c "Wadsworth Falls State Park". State Parks and Forests. Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. September 2017. Retrieved October 3, 2017. 
  4. ^ a b "History". Wadsworth Mansion. Retrieved September 7, 2016. 
  5. ^ "The Wadsworth Legacy". Rockfall Foundation. Retrieved September 7, 2016. 
  6. ^ Cunningham, Jan (November 30, 1995). "Wadsworth Estate Historic District" (PDF). National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. National Park Service. Retrieved October 3, 2017. 
  7. ^ "Wadsworth Big Falls". New England Waterfalls. Retrieved July 14, 2017. 
  8. ^ "Wadsworth Little Falls". New England Waterfalls. Retrieved July 14, 2017. 
  9. ^ a b "The Geology of Wadsworth Falls State Park". State Parks and Forests. Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Retrieved October 3, 2017. 

External links[edit]