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Wadsworth Falls State Park
Wadsworth Falls State Park - falls.jpg
Location Middlefield & Middletown, Connecticut, United States
Area 285 acres (115 ha)
Elevation 174 ft (53 m)
Designation Connecticut state park
Established 1942
Named for Clarence C. Wadsworth
Administrator Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
Website Wadsworth Falls State Park
Wadsworth Falls State Park
U.S. Historic district
Contributing property
Part of Wadsworth Estate Historic District
NRHP reference No. 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 trail hiking and fishing. Swimming, picnicking, and alcohol are no longer allowed. It is managed by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

History

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. He established the Rockfall Corporation as a charitable foundation to administer his properties and further his conservationist interests. 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.

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. 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.

Waterfalls

Two natural waterfalls lie within easy reach by park trails: the Big Falls, on the Coginchaug River, and the Little Falls, 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. Wadsworth Little Falls is found along Wadsworth Brook and descends approximately 40 feet (12 m) over an outcrop of sandstone known as Portland arkose.

Activities and amenities

In addition to scenery and heavily forest lands, the park features stream fishing, and trails for hiking and mountain biking.

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