HALEY FARM STATE PARK:

BLUFF POINT STATE PARK:

GROTON, CONNECTICUT

-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-

Last Updated:      October 09, 2011

Length:                Haley Farm SP to Bluff Point SP; 1.8 miles

                              Bluff Point SP Loop Trail; 3.7 miles

Difficulty:           Haley Farm SP Trail; Easy. Flat, stone dust surface.

                              Bluff Point SP Trail; Moderate. First section mostly flat, hard packed surface. Second section more hilly with rougher surface.

Directions:

Take exit 88 off of I-95 to Route 117 south.

To start from Haley Farm SP; Turn left on Route 1 east and go 0.9 miles. Turn right onto Route 215 south and go a ½ mile. Take a right on Brook St, go a ½ mile and then turn right on Haley Farm Rd to the parking lot.

To start at Bluff Point SP; Turn right on Route 1 west and go 0.2 miles. Then turn left onto Depot Rd and bear right after a ¼ mile, passing underneath the railroad tracks. Continue down the gravel road to the parking lot.

Connecticut's first governor, John Winthrop Jr., owned part of the Haley Farm in 1648. Over the years the land passed through various hands, including the Chester family in the 18th century, whose headstones are still on the property. When Caleb Haley owned and farmed the land in the late 19th to 20th centuries, he had a very unique hobby which can be seen throughout the park: the building of stone walls. Boulders found on the property were extracted and placed by an ox drawn stone-puller. 

Bluff Point was a popular vacation destination in the 1920's and 30's and even had a small amusement park along with the summer cottages. However, the Hurricane of 1938 destroyed much of the area and in 1975 it became a state park. For more information visit;  BLUFF POINT SP & HALEY FARM SP .

From the Haley Farm State Park parking lot; The trail starts to the left of the sign board. You'll see a "bike route" sign. You pass by a small pond and nature trail to your left. You then go alongside a massive stone wall that Caleb Haley built using a stone puller, which was drawn by oxen and could move a 3 ton boulder. This trail consists of stone dust and soon enters the shade of the woodlands. After a ½ mile, the trail comes to an intersection at a green gate.

Note; Turning right takes you down the Mystic-Groton Bike Route along a utility corridor and ends in a residential neighborhood at Midway Oval. The first ¼ mile is a hard packed surface, while the last 0.6 miles is old pavement.

To continue towards Bluff Point SP, follow the trail left over a bridge spanning the railroad tracks. This is a busy railroad corridor and while there we saw three trains go by. After you cross over the tracks, the trail takes a sharp right at the sign for Bluff Point. Don't go straight down the utility line path. You then ride alongside the railroad tracks for a ½ mile. You will pass by one green gate on your left before the trail veers left back towards the woods at a second green gate. To your left is a view of Mumford Cove. Be sure to travel straight along the stone-dust trail, as there are a lot of side trails along this section. After 1.8 miles you come to Bluff Point SP.    

From the Bluff Point State Park parking lot; The trail starts to the left of the sign board, which has a map of the area. The trail is a hard packed/gravel surface that runs alongside the Poquonnock River. You quickly come to a Y in the trail, this is where the trail loops back to. Head right along the river. Just shy of a mile you come to the crossover trail that leads up to the Winthrop Home Site on your left, however, continue to the right. After 1.5 miles, you’ll pass by the beach entrance on your right. As you head up the trail, there will be two outhouses on your left and another sign board on your right. Just after the sign board is the trail up to Bluff Point. Great views of Long Island Sound from this rocky bluff.  After visiting the bluff, continue up the trail, where another trail leads to a second overlook. From here the trail turns inland and becomes rougher and hillier. At just over two miles, their will be a bench on the left side of the trail. Across from this bench is a small trail that leads down to the shoreline of Mumford Cove. At about the 2.5 mile mark is a sign for Sunset Rock. This trail leads to a huge boulder where sunset religious services were once held. The trail climbs uphill to the site of the Winthrop Home, near the 2.8 mile mark. Some of the old foundation is among an overgrown meadow. This was the former home of Connecticut's first governor, John Winthrop. A side trail leads to Mumford Cove. Take the trail that says "picnic area". This heads downhill, on a rocky trail, to where it loops back in to the main trail. You coast back into the parking lot after a 3.7 mile round trip.

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CLICK HERE FOR HALEY FARM SP MAP:

CLICK HERE FOR BLUFF POINT SP MAP:

 

BEFORE YOU SET OUT BE SURE TO READ THE

WAIVER OF RESPONSIBILITY AND DISCLAIMER

 

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