40 Indian Well Road
Length: 8.7 miles (one way)
Difficulty: 99% Easy to Moderate and 1% Difficult (rock scrambling). The less agile will have difficulties with portions of this trail. A few sections are steep.
Features: Indian Well Falls; views of the Housatonic Valley, Stevenson Dam, and Lake Zoar. Campsites are available at Webb Mountain. Park in Monroe. CFPA usually sponsors a group hike each year on National Trails Day.
General Description: There are over 700 miles of "Blue-Blazed" hiking trails in Connecticut maintained by volunteers of the Connecticut Forest and Park Association, a private, non-profit conservation organization. Founded in 1895, CFPA has been managing popular trails throughout the state with names like the Mattatuck, Tunxis, and Paugussett.
The Paugussett Trail of today is a mere remnant of what it once was. In 1946, the Paugussett traversed the entire length of Shelton, entering in the north along the Housatonic River, passing near Trap Falls Reservoir, and ending at Roosevelt Forest in Stratford. But much of the trail was lost when developments such as Aspetuck Village went in. Hiking was not so popular as it is today, and there was little interest in preserving trails. Blue-blazed trails are often located on private property and may be closed at any time if the landowner so chooses.
Today the Paugussett Trail runs a total of 8.7 miles from Indian Well State Park to East Village, Monroe. Along the way hikers take in hilltop views of Lake Zoar and the Stevenson Dam. It's a bit of work to get to these views. While most of the trail is gentle, a couple of rock scrambles have to be negotiated, as well as a few hills. And Blue-Blazed trails can be more difficult to follow than some other trails, so it helps to have the CFPA's map and description of the trail to keep from getting lost. This is certainly the most challenging of all the trails in Shelton.