Cockaponset State Forest-Chester/Deep River

Category: Outdoors and Nature

on: Nov 6, 2015


Great place to learn to snowshoe or cross country ski on many forest roads.

Short on time, but need to get out?  Looking to start building up some endurance?  Like to explore or rock climb?  Then, the Pine Ledge Section of Cockaponset State Forest, in Chester and Deep River, may just be the place for you.

Three roads, Cedar Swamp, Hoopole and North Pine Ledge, transect the forest and provide miles of walking, both easy and challenging.  Also, a great place to cross country ski and it’s popular with horseback riders.  Cedar Swamp Road continues north to intersect with Baker Road in Chester and along the way passes near an Atlantic White Cedar swamp a National Natural Landmark.

North Pine Ledge Road tees into Cedar Swamp Road approximately ¼ mile north of the parking lot.  This road is about 2-1/2 miles long and features a steep hill near its eastern end.  This is a great place to do a 5-1/2 mile (or less) forest road walk.  Along the way, look at the ongoing work that is being overseen by the DEEP forester to improve the health of the forest.  At the east end of North Pine Ledge Road, near RT 9, you’ll find a large cliff that is popular with rock climbers.

You will see numerous un-blazed trails in this section of forest, many ending at private properties.  Please respect the landowners’ wishes on any posted property.  DEEP asks trail users to stay off of un-blazed trails.

Directions: Easiest access to the parking lot is via the Deep River end of Cedar Swamp Road.

More Information: There are no official maps of this section of State Forest.  Please stay on the forest roads unless you have a smart phone with gps enabled Google Maps.