Where is Devil’s Hopyard State Park
Devil’s Hopyard is a Connecticut State Park located near Chapman Falls on the Eight Mile River. The origin of the park’s name remains somewhat of a mystery. One theory suspect that the park received its name from a tenant who used to live in the area. Supposedly he grew hops for beer production. Another theory suspects the stone pothole formations found in the park inspired the name. Today, we know these pothole formations were formed by slow moving stones caught in water flowing in the area. However, early settlers seemed to expect these holes were crafted by the devil. The closest city to the Devil’s Hopyard State Park is East Haddam. The park is located 34 miles and about a thirty-minute drive south of Hartford and 74 miles and about an hour and a half drive southwest of Providence, Rhode Island.
How Large is Devil’s Hopyard State Park
Devil’s Hopyard State Park covers over 1,000 acres. The park's geography mainly consists of woodland ecosystems and riparian environments. The trail system in Devil’s Hopyard US State Park consists of six individually blazed trails that cross over several streams and meander throughout the Connecticut woods. The park also provides visitors with several access points to the Eightmile River. Wildlife within the park is abundant. The park provides a home to a variety of woodland species including white tailed deer, squirrels, turkeys, and more. Devil’s Hopyard State Park also consistently hosts a variety of avian species that either reside or migrate to the area.
Devil’s Hopyard State Park Weather
The weather at Devil’s Hopyard State Park changes frequently throughout the year. In the summer, temperatures in the park average between 60- and 85-degrees Fahrenheit. In winter, these temperatures cool considerably and average between 24- and 40-degrees Fahrenheit. The warmest temperatures of the year arrive at the park in June, July, and August, and the coldest temperatures find the park in December and January. On average, Devil’s Hopyard State Park receives around 90 days of rain per year. These 90 days of rain accumulate to a yearly average of around 50 inches. In winter, Devil’s Hopyard State Park frequently experiences snow and freezing rain. Yearly snowfall totals in the park average around 27 inches.
When did Devil’s Hopyard Become a State Park
Devil’s Hopyard State Park officially became a state park in 1919. The former Connecticut State Park and Forest Commission constructed Devil’s Hopyard State Park to mainly protect the Chadman Falls which reside within the park. These falls once powered a mill that was in production until the mind 1890’s. Years before a state park was in the minds of the Connecticut Government, the area was the site of an attack by the Sons of Liberty on a British-owned mill that sat on the property. Nowadays the park is maintained and managed by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
Things to do in Devil’s Hopyard State Park
Devil’s Hopyard State Park offers visitors a truly unique getaway completes with various outdoor recreation options. The most popular adventures and experiences found in the park are listed below:
Set Up Your Campsite in the Park’s Campground
The campground at Devil’s Hopyard State Park contains 21 sites that are tucked away into the park’s woodlands. The campground operates solely based on reservations. Reservations can be made via the park’s website and reservation portal. Our State Park Visitors Guide suggests to visitors looking to stay in Devil’s Hopyard State Park during the summer season should make reservations months in advance. The campground frequently reaches capacity during the season.
Hike the Orange Trail
Hikers looking for a challenging and diverse experience should embark down the Orange Trail in Devil’s Hopyard State Park. The trail is the longest and most strenuous trail located in the park. The Orange trail takes visitors through the main section of the park’s forest before revealing a hidden vista.
Hike the Blue Loop
Hikers looking to experience the park’s woodlands and vistas, but not quite up for the strenuous Orange Trail, should venture onto the Devil’s Hopyard State Park’s Blue Loop. The Blue Loop is much shorter than the park’s Orange Trail and also traverses easier terrain and less changes in elevation.
Fishing in Devil’s Hopyard State Park
Anglers from all around the country descend upon Devil’s Hopyard State Park to fish for brook trout in the park’s streams. All visitors of Devil’s Hopyard State Park looking to drop a line in the park’s waters should obtain a valid Connecticut State Fishing license and be up to date on all state fishing regulations. Licenses can be purchased online through the park’s official outdoor license website. Additional regulations apply for brook trout and other sensitive species.
Bicycling in Devil’s Hopyard State Park
While all trails in Devil’s Hopyard State Park are open to foot traffic only, several roads throughout the park offer great biking routes. These routes venture through the park’s woodlands and nearby riparian ecosystems. Additional information regarding these routes can be found on the park’s trail map.
Wildlife enthusiasts visiting Devil’s Hopyard State Park should look to spot several woodland species while hiking on the park’s trails or fishing in the park’s streams. Common species that are spotted in the park include white-tail deer, squirrels, wild turkeys, racoons, opossums, skunks, and other woodland mammals. Several amphibians and reptiles also call the park home.
Birding in Devil’s Hopyard State Park
Devil’s Hopyard State Park has consistently been a popular Connecticut location for birding and birding enthusiasts. Extensive information surrounding the list of species often spotted in the park can be found across the internet. These species range from larger birds of prey to diverse flocks of woodland songbirds.
When to Visit Devil’s Hopyard State Park
Devil’s Hopyard State Park is open year-round. However, the park is mostly visited in the spring and summer. These seasons offer warm temperatures, continuous sunshine and the potential to experience a variety of activities in Devil’s Hopyard State Park. Fall and winter are also good times to visit the park. Though temperatures can drop quite drastically from day to day and overnight. This cooling can make camping, hiking, and other park activities uncomfortable to complete.
Must Have Items to Bring to Devil’s Hopyard State Park
Every trip outdoors requires packing and planning, and a trip to Devil’s Hopyard State Park is no exception. Below is a list of essential items visitors may want to consider bringing along with them to the park.
Water & High-Energy Snacks
Water is an essential item for every trip outdoors, and List of Parks advises hikers and campers should bring additional supplies of water with them to Devil’s Hopyard State Park. The best snacks for hiking and other outdoor activities are lightweight, easy, and full of energy. Beef jerky, protein bars, dried fruit, and trail mix are great options for visitors to bring with them to the park.
There are quite a few camping supplies visitors looking to camp within Devil’s Hopyard State Park will want to remember to bring with them. Obvious items include tents, sleeping bags, sleeping mats, and blankets. However, campers will also want to bring flashlights, extra batteries, camping pillows, and other camping equipment. The best way to make sure you have packed all of your camping equipment before leaving the house is to create and utilize a camping checklist.
Wildlife Field Guides
The best way to view and learn about Devil’s Hopyard State Park’s wildlife is by utilizing a wildlife field guide. There are several different field guides on the market. Visitors should look to purchase a field guide with color images. These images will make field identification easy and enjoyable.
The terrain in Devil’s Hopyard State Park can be quite treacherous. Every visitor to Devil’s Hopyard State Park should be equipped with a sturdy pair of hiking boots. Hikers and other outdoor recreators may want to invest in a lightweight and waterproof pair for added protection and comfort.
Hikers visiting Devil’s Hopyard State Park should look to access and study park trail maps. These maps can be found online and at the park’s entrance stations.
Where to Stay in Devil’s Hopyard State Park
Visitors looking to stay within Devil’s Hopyard State Park will want to obtain a reservation for one of the park’s campgrounds. These reservations can be made through the park’s website and reservation portal. Visitors looking to stay in a hotel near the park will want to first check out options in East Haddam or Salem. Additional lodging options can be found thirty minutes away from the park in Hartford.
Food Near Devil’s Hopyard State Park
The closest food to Devil’s Hopyard State Park is located in East Haddam and Salem. These towns contain several restaurants and a few grocery stores that can suit most visitors' needs. However, visitors looking for additional options or a larger culinary scene can make the thirty-minute drive to Hartford. One of the more populated cities in Connecticut, Hartford contains an unlimited array of restaurants, bars, and grocery stores.
Airports Near Devil’s Hopyard State Park
The closest airport to Devil’s Hopyard State Park is located north of Hartford. The Bradley International Airport is located 48 miles and about an hour drive north of Devil’s Hopyard State Park. The next closest international airports to Devil’s Hopyard State Park are located in New York City and Boston. The John F. Kennedy International Airport is located 121 miles and a two-hour drive from the park. The Boston Logan International Airport is located 118 miles and also about a two-hour drive from the park.