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Devil's Hopyard State Park, East Haddam

(4.3/5 based on 90+ reviews on the web)
Devil's Hopyard State Park is a state park located in the town of East Haddam, Connecticut at scenic Chapman Falls on the Eightmile River. The 1000acre park is used for hiking, stream fishing, bird watching, bicycling, picnicking, camping, and youth group camping.HistoryIn 1775, the Sons of Liberty attacked a mill owned by pro-British loyalists on this site. A portion of the broken millstone was found at the foot of the falls in 2002. The story is related in signs that were erected after the discovery (pictured at left).The park's falls powered "Beebe's Mills" (named after the original owner) until the 1890s. The site was acquired by the state for use as a state park in 1919 in response to logging operations that were taking place in the area.On March 26, 2012, a large brush fire occurred in the park. Firefighters from fourteen towns worked to control the blaze, including burning out the area behind two threatened households. The fire consumed more than fifty acres of the park over two days before authorities decided to let it burn itself out. It is unclear how the fire started, but officials noted that hikers may have been the cause.NameAt some time prior to 1800, there was a malt house on George Griffin’s farm near a small tributary of the Eightmile River called Malt House Brook. The malt house was abandoned prior to 1814, but during the period of its operation Griffin grew hops in a small clearing—the "hopyard"—beside the road running through the area now called Devil's Hopyard.There are a number of theories as to why the area was named “Devil's” Hopyard, ranging from a landowner named Dibble to supernatural explanations for the naturally occurring potholes near the falls. A sign in the park (pictured at left) has more on the legends of the etymology of the park's name.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This is a terrific park for a variety of reasons and good for all ages. The park itself is about 1,000 acres and includes waterfalls. People visit the park for many reasons including hiking, fishing, ...  more »
  • The sun was out and snow melting... great rush of the waterfalls.. but be prepared with hiking boots and much reccommended hiking sticks. We went to the top of the yellow trail to the Vista trail. Exp...  more »
  • We went on New Years Day and there were a lot of people there with their kids and dogs. I do have to say two things: 1) some of the trails were well marked while others were not; and 2) please keep yo...  more »
Google
  • Great place for a hike, took my dog and we all had a great time checking out the waterfall and walking the trails. Signage is bad but the trails are marked and their website has the .pdf of the map to view and download. Just realize that cell service is almost non-existent here, planning ahead to get this map will most likely be the best option.
  • Not sure how to rate this! 5 for terrain (medium level in several spots) & beauty, but please mark the trails. Signage gets a 1. Great map online, but random, inconsistent markers. Lots of lost people consoling each other. Lucky we had time to wander.
  • Fun outdoor Free stop! Hiked with the kids in the woods to find different trees and talked about how long we thought they had been there! Checked out the fish swimming under the wooden bridge and soaked our feet in the waterfalls! Picnic lunch and all!!
  • This is a beautiful State Park and the entrance has no admission fee so far, except for camping. We were there in the summer and while there were a few people by Chapman Falls, the rest of the park was relatively quiet and we were able to relax by the river and enjoy the solitude.
  • Not a bad hiking destination. Has a good sized waterfall with some local lure around it as well as a low priced campground.