Indian Well State Park - Trail Running

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The Paugussett Trail is a 9-mile trail that starts at several locations; giving you as a trail runner the options too chose your starting point. The Paugussett Trail at Indian Well State Park has several trails the White-Blazed access trail and the Blue Blazed trail.

Written by

Stephanie Chang


9.0 miles

Paugussett Trail has several starting points and each visitor of the trail can choice where to begin.

Destination Distance From Downtown

10.5 miles


3 of 5 diamonds

Indian Well State Park gets a 3 star rating for its rocky terrain, its complex hiking trails, obstacles such as wet mud, trees, large wall boulders and broken tree branches in front of your path as you hike up the Blue Blazed Trail.

Time To Complete

4 hours

Paugssett Trail is 9 miles in total and might take up to 4 hours to complete depending on which town and distance you decided to trail run from. Another factor that determines your time is your experience and skill.


All Seasons

The best time to visit the Paugussett trail is Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. In the Fall you will experience the leaves turning a bright yellow and the winter you can see the Indian Well Falls frozen and it is quite beautiful.

Dog Friendly

On Leash Only

The Paugussett trail does not restrict any dogs as long as they are on a leash and you are able to pick up all of the dogs droppings. However, at the Indian Well State Park beach area and boating ramp, dogs are not allowed.

Fees Permits


CT registered vehicles on Weekends/Holidays is $9 and $5 dollars after 4pm. For non-registered vehicles it is 15 dollars and $6 dollars after 4pm. On the weekdays it is $5 dollars for registered vehicles and $6 dollars for unregistered vehicles. However, in the fall there is sometimes no fees when parking at the main parking lot throughout the weekdays.



The Paugusset Trail is not for those who are faint-hearted, it is for those who are willing to take risks, immerse themselves fully in nature, and understand that nature and wildlife will be all that surrounds them for miles to come.

What Makes It Great

The Paugussett Trail is a 9-mile trail that starts at several locations; giving you as a trail runner the options too chose your starting point.  The Paugussett Trail at Indian Well State Park has several trails the White-Blazed access trail and the Blue Blazed trail. The scenic views at the Paugussett Trail vary from fair to extraordinary. For most of your trail run within Shelton’s Paugussett Trail you may be surrounded by the view of trees that are followed by local residential houses in the far distance. However, once you make your way up towards the Blue Blazed Trail you will be welcomed with a beautiful view of the Housatonic River.

As you trail run in the Paugussett Trail it is important to remember to always be aware of your surroundings at all times. The trail can be quite dangerous due to large amounts of obstacles from ankle twisting boulders, to large tree broken down tree branches, to fallen trees, slippery mud, and of course weather conditions. The terrain in which trail runners will have to face on the Paugussett Trail is considered to be an expert trail. The trail is filled with the most glorious parts of mother nature, from tall tulip trees that on a brisk September morning one can see the leaves are already turning bright yellow, to wildlife that ranges from large birds to deer.

Who is Going to Love It

The Paugussett Trail will be enjoyed by expert trail runners who know how to read marked trails and follow a map to identify their location. This is because the Paugussett Trail is a long and complex. However, beginners can surely enjoy it. If you are a beginner and it is your first time on Paugussett trail I suggest you begin at the stone bridge located near Indian Hole Brooke. Here you can enjoy scenic views, the Indian Well Falls, and be able to start at a point that is near the Indian Well parking area.

The Paugussett Trail is great for those who want to escape to admire mother nature for a day. Shelton is close to the city of New Haven, with the drive being about 17 minutes.  If you want a day where you will be surrounded by all types of nature, from beautiful trees, stone walls, water falls, wildlife, and a great view of the Housatonic River, then the Paugussett Trail is one to consider.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

To access the Paugussett Trail one has several options. The first is reaching Indian Well State Park and using its main entrance for parking and walking towards Paugussett Trail. To reach Indian Well State Park one can take Route 8 to Exit 14, Route 110 (Howe Avenue) north.  As you make your way down Howe Avenue travel 22 miles to the park access road entrance. Indian Well State Park will be on the right with a large sign that indicates you have reached its entrance. You will drive over the railroad tracks and make a right into the main parking lot. This option is going to cost a fee for parking depending on what season you plans of visiting.  To park at the main entrance of Indian Well State Park the fees are different for registered state cars and non-registered state cars. The parking fees throughout the spring and summer are enforced due to the high capacity of visitors using the beach area of the park.  The fees are as follows: On Weekends/Holidays the fees for resident registered cars are $9 dollars before 4pm and $5 dollars. For out of state registered cars the fee is $15 dollars before 4pm and $6 dollars after 4pm. On Weekdays the fee may be a $6 dollars resident registered car before 4pm and $5 dollars after 4pm and $10 dollars for non-registered cars before 4pm and $6 dollar after 4pm. The parking area at Indian Well State Park has recreation area, restrooms, picnic Pavilion, and information office.

If you chose to park in the main entrance of Indian Well State Park then you will have to walk to the starting point of Paugussett Trail. To reach the Paugussett Trail you would want to cross the road from the parking area. The trail will begin when you see a stone bridge and leads towards the edge of Indian Hole Brooke. What is great about starting at this location on Paugussett Trail is that one can reach the Indian Well Falls in 0.15 miles.  The Indian Well Falls have a scenic view, as well as a folklore attached to its surrounding location.  Native American legend tells of two star-crossed lovers who suffered a similar fate as Romeo and Juliet near the falls.  The beauty that surrounds the Paugussett Trail is truly remarkable and well maintained. Shelton’s community has spent many hours fixing and cleaning up trails for visitors to enjoy.

The Paugussett Trail allows pets as long as they are on a leash. Indian Well State Park has a no dog rule near the beach area and boating ramp. However, one can sit with their dog near the Maples Picnic area as long as they have a leash.

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Indian Well State Park

1 Indian Well Rd
Shelton, CT, 06484
41.33816, -73.123612

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