Steep Rock Preserve

Washington, Connecticut

Steep Rock Preserve

fast facts

Location: Washington, Connecticut
Size: 974 acres
Owner: Steep Rock Association
Trails: 5.9 miles
Difficulty: Easy / Moderate
Entrance Fee: N/A
Main Attraction(s):
Riverine Hemlock Forests
“The Clam Shell”
Old Railroad Tunnel

overview

Steep Rock Preserve, one of three parcels in Washington, Connecticut administered by the Steep Rock Association, offers hikers a host of diverse sights and hiking experiences. The bulk of the trails here contour the wide bends of the picturesque Shepaug River, a refreshingly clean stream that courses beneath the shade of surrounding hemlock forests. One of the most intriguing sights at Steep Rock Preserve is certainly the “Clam Shell”, a sloping dome of rock bordered on three sides by a broad loop in the Shepaug River. This unique landmark can be fully appreciated from the summit of “Steep Rock” (the namesake of the Preserve), a rocky hill contained within the Preserve that directly overlooks the “Clam Shell”. While the natural treasures of Steep Rock are enough to make this hike a Trails of Freedom favorite, there is also a measure of human history here, too. Visitors can actually walk through an old rail tunnel cut from the bedrock of a small hill.

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directions

nearby attractions

Hidden Valley Preserve & Macricostas Preserve

These two preserves represent the rest of the holdings of the Steep Rock Association, all of which are located in Washington, Connecticut (and are within a short drive of Steep Rock Preserve). Hidden Valley offers hikers a few miles of trails beside another stretch of the Shepaug River, while Macricostas Preserve contains sprawling open meadows, important wetlands, and rocky ridges.

more resources

Trail Map of Steep Rock Preserve (full-color)
Steep Rock Association

History and Timeline of Steep Rock Association
Steep Rock Association

Full Listing of Tree and Plant Species at Steep Rock Reservation
New York, New Jersey, Connecticut Botany Online (NYNJCTBOTANY.ORG)

The Shepaug River
Shepaug River Association

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Responses & Comments
Debi
May 20, 2012
Thank You.woke up this morning after I had a dream oh hawks flying off SteepRock over the Clamshell. Thank you for a chance to look at it again,
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Trails of Freedom, LLC
8 Simos Lane
West Haven, CT 06516
Phone: (203) 887-5187
leighanne@trailsoffreedom.com