Topstone Park

Ownership

Town of Redding

Acreage

274

Entrance

Off Topstone Road

Parking

End of entrance road, in season; at entrance, off season

Trails

Saddleback, 1.02 mile; Pond, 0.86; Stuart Chase Long View, 0.4; Boulder Top, 0.35; Old Redding Road Trail, 0.22; Topledge Road Trail, 0.34; Topstone Mt. Base Trail, 0.24; South Topstone Mt. Trail, 0.26

Total all trails: 3.69 miles

Background: Topstone Park, formerly part of the estate of the photographer Edward Steichen, was purchased by the Town of Redding in 1971. (An additional 117 acres were purchased by Redding Open Lands, Inc. Forty of those acres were subsequently deeded to Connecticut Audubon Society-see "Huckleberry Swamp.")
Topstone is Redding's only municipal park. With a 25-acre pond as its principal feature, the park is managed primarily as a swimming club for Redding residents who pay an annual fee. Parking, picnic facilities, floats and canoes are provided for the convenience of residents.

Key Features: The pond is the best of it, and the view from Topstone Mountain.
Just short of a mile in length, the Pond Trail is a gem with its frequent views of the water.
The Saddleback Trail ascends an easy grade to emerge at last on Old Redding Road.
Possibly the most exciting trail at Topstone is the Stuart Chase Long View Trail, named for Redding's own "Mister Open Space" and for the "Long View" title of the newspaper column he wrote over the years. Ascending Topstone Mountain steeply at first, the trail levels out across the top of the escarpment, affording views of the pond to the east, and finally, at trail's end, a very long view in all seasons to Long Island Sound. Here, perhaps, is one of the best overlooks in all of Redding. To avoid backtracking the entire way, most hikers prefer to descend the mountain (fear not-it is truly but a hill) on the South Topstone Mountain Trail to the Topledge Trail, then back to the Pond Trail and the parking lot. ❧