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Zoar Trail

Length: 6.5 miles

Towns: Newtown

Trail Overview: The Zoar Trail is entirely within the 1,200-acre lower block of Paugussett State Forest in Newtown. The trail passes through a mixture of hardwood trees and shady hemlock groves and offers a diverse 6.5 mile loop hike with small beaches. Water is a dominant feature of the trail, which is named for the lake that it parallels. Lake Zoar is a 975-acre lake created in 1919 along the Housatonic River by the construction of the Stevenson Dam. The Zoar Trail follows the lake’s shore for 2.4 miles north of the Great Quarter Road trailhead, rewarding hikers with frequent water views, plus the forested slopes of Kettletown State Park across the river. By following the trail loop clockwise, most of the climbing is concentrated in the first two thirds of the hike, leaving the last 2.4 miles as a series of rolling changes in terrain.

South of the junction of the Zoar Trail and the Alternate Trail is Prydden Brook Falls, which tumbles down to Lake Zoar in a series of dramatic cascades. One can view the entire falls from an unmarked trail that parallels the cascades down to Lake Zoar. On the inland side of the forest, the Zoar Trail crosses Prydden Brook, which can be difficult to navigate at times of high water.  South of Prydden Brook is an overlook with a view south down the lake.

Allowed Uses: Hiking Only

Partners: Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (CT DEEP)