Elevation: 1,369 ft
GPS: 41.917, -73.38 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 14,049 total · 517/month
Shared By: Dales DeadBug on Mar 2, 2020
Admins: Morgan Patterson

Description

Housatonic State Forest consists of over 10,000 acres in the NWCT hills of Canaan/Falls Village, Cornwall, Sharon, and North Canaan on many dis-continuous parcels that range from 50 acres to over 3,000 acres.  Unless noted otherwise, hiking, hunting, snowmobiling, mountain biking are all allowed.  There are a number of long-established classic boulder problems and many more that remain unclimbed.  Rock quality is several different mineral blends of the Dalton-Cheshire Formation (Cambrian) and the Housatonic Highlands Massif (Pre-Cambrian), and ranges from mossy to excellent, slabby to steeply overhanging, fine-grained granitic gneiss boulders and single-pitch ledges.  Terrain is among the steepest and most rugged in the state, and cell phone service is slim or non-existent - bring your backcountry skills, high-visibility clothing, bug spray and bear spray.

From CTDEEP’s letterboxing description of the area:  “More than 3,000 acres of original purchases for the state forest were from one iron company in 1927. This gives a hint of the region’s land use history. Most of the picturesque hills that make up the topography of Housatonic State Forest were once repeatedly clearcut to feed the charcoal demands of the iron industry. Abundance of charcoal mounds across the landscape (round, flat-top mounds approximately 20 feet across) is evidence of this history. Today, the trees have re-grown, and the rugged hills of the state forest provide a panoramic backdrop for the scenic Housatonic River, producing what is arguably the most beautiful region of Connecticut.
Today, this land is a multiple-use state forest. Housatonic State Forest is managed for its diversity of native wildlife, high quality forest products, watershed protection for the Housatonic River, scientific research, a variety of recreational activities, and for the aesthetic beauty that is hard to beat anywhere else in the state.”
The state forest is also home to two different Connecticut Natural Area Preserves: Gold’s Pines and the Canaan Mountain Natural Area Preserve. DO NOT CLIMB IN THEM. The management plan for those two NAP’s is located at: https://www.ct.gov/deep/lib/deep/forestry/management_plans/goldspinemgtplan.pdf

Getting There

Parking information from DEEP:  Look to individual sub-areas for detailed parking info.

Mine Mountain Block: This block is most commonly accessed via the Appalachian Trail.

Sharon Mountain Block: From the junction of Route 7 and Route 128 in West Cornwall (opposite the Cornwall covered bridge), turn north on Route 7 and take an immediate left on West Cornwall Road. Follow 3.6 miles to the Forest entrance on the right.

Cream Hill Block: From the junction of Route 7 and Route 128 in West Cornwall, proceed east on Route 128 for 0.2 mile (passing through the covered bridge). Turn left on River Road and follow for 3.9 miles. Turn right on Music Mountain Road and follow 0.9 miles to the parking area on the left.

Canaan Mountain Block: This block is most easily accessed via Beckley Furnace State Park. Gold's Pines Block: From the junction of Route 128 and Route 125 in Cornwall, proceed west on Route 128 for 1.1 miles to the forest entrance on the left.
Fee:

There is no parking fee at this forest.

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Classic Climbing Routes at Housatonic State Forest

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
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