Black Rock State Park
Guide

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Introduction

Nestled on the scenic slopes of the spectacular Western Highlands, Black Rock State Park is the ultimate destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Set on the edge of Mattatuck State Forest in Watertown, Connecticut, this 439-acre park has endless opportunities for outdoor recreation, from hiking, fishing and biking, to swimming, picnicking and field sports.

The name "Black Rock" comes from the color of the local boulders and graphite deposits that were mined by the resident Native Americans back in the 1600s. Today, any evidence of mining operations is long gone. In its place are hiking trails that wind their way throughout the park, a gorgeous tree-lined lake that’s built for trout fishing and a campsite that attracts traditional campers and RV holidaymakers alike.

Set up camp and enjoy an escape to nature surrounded by pine, hemlock and ancient oak trees and fresh mountain air. Admire the vistas of the Western Highlands while hiking the blue-blazed Mattatuck Trail, which connects the park to the woodland sections of the Mattatuck State Forest. But be sure to book early - the campsite takes reservations up to 11 months in advance with walk in seasons in April, May and September.

RV Rentals in Black Rock State Park

Transportation in Black Rock State Park

Driving

Located on US Route 6, Black Rock State Park is well signposted. Once inside the park, the main roads are paved and there are no driving restrictions so you shouldn’t have any problems whether you’re driving an RV or another big rig vehicle. Some sites may be long enough for longer rigs but getting in and out of them can be tricky. With an array of trails throughout, hiking and biking are pleasant ways to navigate the park once you’ve set up camp.

Parking

Public Transport

Campgrounds and parking in Black Rock State Park

Campsites in Black Rock State Park

Reservations camping

Black Rock Campground

Black Rock Campground offers a total of 78 gravel campsites for tents and RVs or popups up to 35 feet in length, each with a fire pit and picnic table. There are also four basic cabins for those who prefer not to rough it. The campsites are located within walking distance of the beach and fishing pond.

While electricity, water and sewer hookups are not available, campers can make use of two full bathhouses with hot showers and flush toilets, public drinking water taps as well as an RV dump station.

Other facilities include playing fields, a recycling center and several hiking trails ranging from half an hour hikes to full day trips. The campsite takes reservations up to 11 months in advance, but note that there are walk in seasons in April, May and September. The park welcomes dogs as long as they are kept on a leash.

First-come first-served

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in Black Rock State Park

In-Season

Hiking

Black Rock State Park is home to a collection of excellent hiking trails that range from half-hour strolls to a full day hike. Take the blue-blazed Mattatuck Trail from the Grey Stone section of Waterbury to the Wigwam Reservoir in Morris for an exceptional view over the Naugatuck Valley, including Black Rock, or take the red-blazed park trail for a more leisurely stroll. There are many side trails to follow where you can admire attractions such as Black Rock Lake and Black Rock Pond as well as landscapes that pass through ancients forests and beautiful meadows.

Picnicking

With 439 acres of parkland to explore, the options for picnics are endless at Black Rock State Park. Pack some snacks to take along with you to enjoy in the park’s picnic area or head off on one of the park’s many trails and find a secluded spot with a view to enjoy your lunch. Alternatively, you can also picnic on the beach or on the edge of the trout lake – there are many different settings to suit you.

Fishing

Black Rock is a designated Trout Park, so stream and pond fishing are some of the most popular activities to be enjoyed here. The trout park has been created to allow for easy trout fishing for both young and beginner anglers as well as those with mobility difficulties. The pond is stocked regularly which means your chances of catching a fish are pretty high – great for families with kids learning to fish. Please note that you are only able to keep two fish per day and a Trout and Salmon Stamp is required to fish here.

Off-Season

Field sports

With a lovely large open playing field for sports, Black Rock State Park is fantastic for families with young kids. Bring a ball or swing set along for them to let off some steam in the park’s wide open spaces, playing football, rugby or dodge ball. Alternatively, bring a cricket set along and play a family game of cricket. The park is the perfect place to spend some time outdoors.

Reading

The peace and quiet of Black Rock State Park makes it a fine choice for those who want to catch up on some holiday reading. When the weather is cool, it’s the perfect time to cozy up inside your tent or RV and read a good book. Alternatively, pack a picnic blanket and find a spot in the outdoors or on the beach where you can admire the view and listen to the sound of the bids at the same time.

Photography

The scenery surrounding Black Rock State Park is so beautiful you won’t want to forget it. Take a stroll through the park and capture a wealth of extraordinary scenery on camera, from rolling green meadows and rocky boulder-strewn landscapes to gushing streams and glassy lakes. The sunsets here are also absolutely phenomenal so be sure to take a short climb at dusk to get a good shot of the pink and orange skies.

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