The Town of Stratford owns and operates this 250 acre forest for the benefit of Stratford residents and their guests. It contains Boy Scout and Girl Scout campgrounds, picnic areas, walking trails, restrooms, a WWII vintage Quonset hut, and a police shooting range (off-limits to the public).
The Blue trail is the best maintained and most consistently and clearly labeled. Many trails are clearly blazed except where they aren't blazed at all, as if the responsibility were given to a scout troop with limited attention spans. The Fox Trail, for example, is completely unmarked, and the Yellow Trail makes some unmarked turns. Bringing a map along is recommended if you're on a tight schedule. Otherwise, just enjoy the wander and trust that you can only get lost for so long.
What Makes It Great
The scenery is lovely mixed deciduous forest, filled with maples, sassafras, and hickory. Some sections are so open that the forest floor is flooded with light, resulting in an abundance of ferns and wildflowers. The ponds and wetland areas are home to many species of birds, and according to the website, you might even spot a flying squirrel.
Because parking within the park is restricted to Stratford residents, the trails are lightly used. On a weekday you may have the whole place to yourself. The scout camps guarantee that the park will be a hub for area children and families on weekends.
Who is Going to Love It
Families, explorers who don't want to stray far from home.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Parking for Stratford residents only: 700 Peters Lane. The gravel parking lot is at the end of the street. Lot closes at 4pm sharp.
Don't have proof of Stratford residency yet? There are street parking options: