OS 94, 55 & 56 Birchbank Mtn
Housatonic Riverbank lands north of Indian Well State Park.

Photos, Maps & Video

Park Map

Photos April 2007

Video of Encroachments, April 2007 

Features:  Paugussett "Blue Dot" Trail, unique riverbank habitat along the Housatonic River, colonial roads which may have been Native American trails, White Hills Brook and waterfalls, unmarked but substantial trails, old chimney from Monroe Rod & Gun Club.  Adjacent to Indian Well State Park and water company lands.

Ecosystem:  The cool riverbank provides habitat for species not commonly seen elsewhere in Shelton. In April many trillium and dutchman's breeches are in bloom, and wood ducks nest in the water company ponds adjacent to the Open Space. (See photos).

History:  "Old Farm Road" ROW was probably part of the main colonial road that followed the river north.  Another old road heading up the riverbank, now used by illegal ATVs, appears on a map from the 1800's and was reportedly used by farmers of White Hills to bring their produce to the river for transportation to market.  The old road, which goes up the steep river bank through a "pass" of sorts along White Hills Brook, was probably an Indian Road before Colonial times.

A large fieldstone chimney next to White Hills Brook marks the former location of the Monroe Rod & Gun Club's meeting house.  The building burned down in the 1960s or 70's.  The overgrown site is now a beautifully secluded picnic area, complete with waterfalls, except for the fact it is also a favored 'party' location and littered with trash.  The Chimney is located about a hundred yards upstream from the Paugussett Trail.

Parking & Access:  Indian Well Road (Birchbank Road) just before the road crosses a set of RR tracks. Walk along the Old Farm Road ROW, which borders the eastern edge of the park. A prominant old road leads left up the riverbank.

Encroachments:  Illegal paintball, Airsoft (BB Guns) and ATV activity are common in this open space.  Erosion from ATV traffic is serious due to the nature of the steep riverbank.