ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Exploring Connecticut: Gay City State Park

Updated on July 16, 2011

A Gem of a Park in the Heart of Connecticut

Let's get the snickering out of the way and acknowledge that yes, Gay City State Park was named in a different era. Once that's over we can begin to explore this absolutely beautiful park located in Hebron, Connecticut. It has everything a state park could want - camping, hiking, swimming and a little bit of local history. Although I've only been there in the summer, this is a year-round access park. With New England's reputation for fall foliage, one can easily imagine it's splendor in autumn.

Old Mill Sluice Gate
Old Mill Sluice Gate | Source

What's in a Name?

Gay City, Connecticut was settled in the late 1700s by a religious sect led by Elijah Andrus and Rev. Henry Sumner. The Gay family made up approximately 25% of the town, and when they selected a name for the town that sprung up around their mill business it was only appropriate to name the city after it's most prominent family. The town's success fluctuated during the War of 1812 through the Civil War, when many of it's young residents left to find urban jobs or were killed in active service. Nature reclaimed the land and in 1944 the state created a park around it. Today only a few foundations, cellar holes and gravestones remain to indicate it's forgotten past.

Main Pond at Gay State Park
Main Pond at Gay State Park | Source
Water Antics at Gay City
Water Antics at Gay City | Source
The beach picnic area
The beach picnic area | Source
Bridge on the White Trail near the north edge of the pond.
Bridge on the White Trail near the north edge of the pond. | Source

Activities at the Park

A variety of activities are available at Gay City, most notably swimming, hiking and group camping. Fishing, biking and picnicking are also popular.

Swimming is available in the main pond, inside the roped area. A sand beach is adjacent, and also a large picnic area and restrooms. No boats are allowed in the park.

Camping is for youth groups only, such as Boy and Girl Scouts, church groups and 4-H. Reservations can be made with the DEP by calling 860-454-3200.

There are five main hiking trails in Gay City State Park. Hiking difficulty of all trails is easy to moderate.

  • The White Trail runs from the beach area spur south to the Old Mill Site or north and around the pond, terminating near the entrance to the park.
  • The Red Trail is the giant loop trail. Almost 5 miles long in it's entirety, it overlaps with all other trails at one point or another. It's also the roughest and most strenuous of trails.
  • The Orange Trail is a small connector trail between white and red trails, offering access to the north end of the park while avoiding some of the most strenuous parts of the red trail.
  • The Blue Trail is an east-west bisector trail running from the paved road to the west edge of the park and into nearby Blackledge Falls Park.
  • The Yellow Trail is a wide, easy trail connecting the blue to the red trail's southern edge, offering access to the southern edge of the park without the length and difficulty of the red trail.

Directions and Hours

Gay City State Park is located just north of the intersection between SR-85 and SR-66 in Hebron, CT. Unfortunately it doesn't have an exact address but we did find it in our GPS, which then took us past the park entrance, so once you get within a few miles, trust your eyes over your GPS.

  • Open daily 8 am - sunset. Summer parking is available April through September.
  • There is a day use/parking charge on weekends and holiday through peak season. $9 for residents and $15 for non-residents of Connecticut.
  • Pets on leash allowed in hiking and picnic areas only.
  • Handicap parking provided. Beach is somewhat wheelchair accessible (gravel roads).

Comments

Submit a Comment

No comments yet.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)