The Saugaway


Town of Redding, Redding Land Trust, Centennial Watershed State Forest


100 yards east of West Redding Firehouse, southside of Umpawaug Road;

Off Fox Run Road (access Stormfield);

off Wayside Lane (access the Fitzpatrick Preserve)


West Redding Firehouse parking lot; elsewhere at other entrances, though somewhat limited


In sequence, north to south:
Firehouse, 1.24 mile, blazed white. Hardwood, 0.28, blue. Knapp Way, 1 mile, white. Moffat's Brook, 0.32, blue. Halley's Comet, 0.04, white. Raccoon Lane, 0.25, unblazed. Link, 0.41, blue. Fitzpatrick, 0.08, white. Accessway to Wayside Lane, 0.27, white.

Total length: 4 miles

Background: A portion of the Saugatuck Valley Trails system that runs through Redding, Saugaway represents a linking of trails already established through Town and Land Trust properties with new trails across private lands to which the landowners have generously granted hiking access. The good will of the landowners has made possible a scenic, four-mile excursion through some of the loveliest parts of Redding.

Key Features: Starting at the north (Umpawaug Road) entrance, the Firehouse Trail passes through a grove of towering white pines, then skirts a ferny swamp harboring hardwoods. Deeper woods are entered via a boardwalk, and soon there are glimpses of the Saugatuck River. After a short scramble, the hiker has an open view of the peaceful river from an overlook.
Thereafter, the Firehouse Trail winds past bold rock formations and a boulder-strewn basin, overlooks a long-ago mill pond and ascends to the Hardwood Trail in Saugatuck Falls Natural Area. A left on Hardwood Trail brings the hiker into Knapp Way, which may be followed to the natural area's entrance off Diamond Hill Road (2.5 miles from start).
Down the unpaved access road, the Saugaway is picked up 140 feet west across Diamond Hill Road and, as the Moffat's Brook Trail, proceeds along that brook to Halley's Comet Trail in Stormfield. There, turning right, the Comet runs into Raccoon Lane (an abandoned wood road). Some 400 yards south on Raccoon Lane, the Link Trail takes off on the right through a break in a stone wall. It angles down to a quiet brook with mossy rocks and restful pools, and passes a great fissured rock embellished with ferns and trees. At 3.72 miles from the Firehouse entrance, the Link Trail joins the Fitzpatrick Trail, which, turning right, leads to Wayside Lane. ❧