Zoar Trail

Newtown, Connecticut 06470

Zoar Trail

Zoar Trail Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"On the west shore of Lake Zoar in Lower Paugussett State Forest, this blue-blazed loop celebrates lake, woods, and rolling terrain and offers a side trip to a waterfall. The Department of Environmental Protection has designated the first 2.4 miles as “scenic trail.”

A portion of the trail within that designation is subject to a seasonal wildlife closure for nesting raptors. The regal fliers have deemed this area suitably wild for occupation."

More Zoar Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Best Easy Day Hikes: Fairfield County (Falcon Guides)
Steve Mirsky
View more trails from this guide book
"As part of the Lower Paugussett State Forest, a portion of the Lake Zoar Trail covered in this hike is designated as scenic, often providing close-up lake views hugging the shore under a dense canopy of extremely tall hemlocks. Depending on the season, it’s difficult to discern that you are not in the backwoods of Vermont or Canada instead of southern New England. The trail begins close along the steep shore through thick yet wide-open hemlock forest. Steep rugged banks plunge into the water on the opposite shore to your right, making the views extra beautiful. A public pavilion will come into prominent view through light tree cover at 0.52 mile. Here the shore is about 25 feet away from the trail and pretty level with the water." Read more

Zoar Trail Reviews

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9/27/2015
Trail starts at the end of great quarter rd. Not on adahi trail.
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10/24/2010
The first 2.4 miles was beautiful along the lake. The rocky trail made it a little challenging, but it was well marked, and the view made it all worthwhile. There was a little beach area partway which made for a nice break and photo session. The confusion we encountered was at the turn at the 2.4 mile mark. Suddenly the trail blazes changed color and were hard to find. We walked uncertain for quite a while until finally we found the blue blazes once more. Someone needs to get out there and paint some new blazes in the one part. But it is a lovely hike with a few steep parts and mostly lots of rolling ups and downs.
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11/15/2009
This is my first hike that wasnt flat smoothe trails. loved the rocks to jump and little streams. Lake Zoar was gorgeous and the waterfall was so pretty.
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10/12/2008
Did entire trail including "nesting area", which was open for hiking. Parts can get strenuous, but great diversity in hiking terrain makes it entertaining. Speed of hike will determine level of difficulty.
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11/14/2005
Magnificent trail with spectacular views of Zoar Lake. Prydden Falls, perhaps the best and tallest falls in the state, can only be seen by boat or by hiking in for two miles. Those first two miles are a pleasant and relatively easy hike. The remaining four miles of the loop are extremely rugged and remote. Many hikers are surprised at how long and hard a hike this is to complete. Many times, I will cut the hike short by going to Prydden Falls and back, but the complete hike is well worth the effort. By the way, that's the town of Stevenson under the water there. It was moved in the early 1900s when the dam was built and it flooded the Housatanic River valley to create Lake Zoar.
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8/6/2005
This is a very nice hike. The first 2.5 miles are designated a scenic hike by the CFPA and it was easy to see why. We went on a beautiful summer afternoon starting at about 3pm and finishing at about 5:30pm. There is enough change in elevation to make this a decent workout. It's definitely not too easy but it definitely isn't too hard either. There is one particularly intense climb somewhere in the middle of the hike that had me feeling a nice burn in the glutes and quads. The worst part about the hike was that we did it while the last section of the trail was closed. The section that is closed until August 15th is the section with the view of the lake. There are some nice views of the lake on the lakeside portion that begins the trail but they are not from a very high elevation. The other thing that may or may not bother some people is that on the Saturday afternoon when we went the lake had plenty of boats and jet skis buzzing by making noise and generating wakes that reached the shore shortly after. Also the recreation directly across the lake at Kettletown State Park had some group that was blasting music from the pavilion. The point is that there isn't a great feeling of seclusion in the first section of the hike at least on a weekend afternoon in the summer. It is very pretty though. After the hike leaves the lakeshore you can't hear the noise from the lake and the feeling of seclusion returns.
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3/7/2005
We thorougly enjoyed this hike and the trails were very easily navigated even in ankle deep snow. The first part of the trail had been trekked earlier in the day, which made traversing it rather easy. The second stage was snow-covered but still manageable. I found the entire trek to be very, very, enjoyable and I'd suggest it to anyone looking for a moderate hike that could take 3+ hours if desired.
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5/6/2004
We enjoyed this hike a lot, nice place down by the lake to stop and have lunch and the waterfall was very scenic. Only setback I had on this trail was that my dog decided to anchor himself to the rocks when it was time to cross the streams (apparently he didn't want to get wet) and he caused me to put a whole leg in one of the more rapid ones. Overall a good hike with decent scenery, beware of anchor-dogs at the stream crossings though.
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3/27/2004
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10/27/2002
This was a nice walk, but there are a few steep parts later on. The fall foliage was colorful. There are two creeks that you need to cross, so it can be muddy. Finally, there is a half mile walk between the trailhead and exit.
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Zoar Trail Photos

Trail Information

Newtown
Nearby City
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
6.9
Distance
500 feet
Elevation Gain
Loop/Lollipop
Trail Type
Moderate
Skill Level
4-6 hours
Duration
Year-round
Season
Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, State Forests, (860) 424-3200 or (866) 287-2757 (toll-free in CT); www.ct.gov/dep
Local Contacts
State forest map (available online at www.ct.gov/dep); Southbury 7.5-minute USGS quad; Connecticut Forest and Park Association (CFPA) Connecticut Walk Book, West (available from CFPA, www.ctwoodlands.org/bookstore)
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018