Devil's Hopyard State Park & Chapman's Falls
  • This state park in East Haddam is cool because of its pothole formations
    (once thought to be the devil's work). It also has a very nice waterfall.
  • Map of Devil's Hopyard from CT DEP (PDF File)
  • There is about a 3 mile hike which is definitely worth taking. The falls and potholes are by the road, however.
  • Those who take the walk will be rewarded with a nice scenic vista and also will bear witness to a covered bridge.
  • This is also a fast moving trout stocked river so you can bring a fishing pole with you.
  • The walk is easy with a few moderately challenging sections and a small elevation gain (300 feet).
  • Time estimate including viewing time 2 hours. I spent an hour just around the falls and potholes, however as I walked over the wooden fence and took pictures all throughout the falls up top and below.

    ROCKS ON TRAIL:
    You will find some Igneous (pegmatitie) and Metamorphic (Gneiss and Schist) rocks but no sedimentary.

    GEOLOGIC FEATURES:
  • Glacial Plucking
  • Rock Shelters
  • Folds
  • Differential Weathering
  • Glacial Boulder

    See Devil's Hopyard Geology at CT DEP Site for more information and pictures.

    DIRECTIONS (compliments of the CT DEP)

    From CT Route 9: take Exit 7, then a left at the end of the exit ramp onto CT Route 154 north.
    Take a right at the first traffic light and follow the signs.

    From Interstate 395: take Exit 80 west. Take a right onto CT Route 82 west.
    Take a right onto Hopyard Road and follow signs.

    From I-91S: take Exit 22. Take Route 9S, Exit 10. Take Route 9AS to Tylerville.
    Take Route 82E over CT River for about 3 miles. At the stop sign take a right, and then
    take immediate left. Follow that road for approximately 8 miles, then follow the signs.

    INFORMATION ABOUT FALLS AND POTHOLES

  • Chapman Falls extend over three tiers of erosion resistant Scotland schist stone.
  • The picturesque falls of the eight mile river drop about 60 feet total.
  • The area lies 15 miles North of Long Island in a long-dormant fault zone
  • It separates the region of Windham hill from southern coastal slope.
  • The water flow once powered a gritsmill (until 1854) and a sawmill (until 1895) (google Beebe's Mills).
  • The are "devil's potholes" there which are round circular depressions sometimes several meters across and deep.

    QUESTIONS FOR STUDENTS:

    Question 1: What is a pothole?
    Question 2: How does it form?
    Question 3: Why was it once called Devil's Hopyard? (Use CT DEP Site or Wikipedia)
    Ex. Credit: Show me a picture.

    POTHOLE FORMATION: When you have rapidly moving water small trapped rocks and pebbles in eddy currents can spin because of the water pressure. As the rocks and particles spin they burrow a hole into the rock below (like a screw or drill in a sense). Once those particles grind into nothing others replace them.

    Pothole: depression formed in a stream channel by the abrasive action of the water's sediment load.

    These are some of the finest examples of potholes in this part of the country. Some are perfectly cylindrical and deep!

    TIPS: Devil's Hopyard is right Next to Gillette Castle which has stunning views of the Connecticut river and gives an overview of the topography of the land. The two together make up a nice day trip!

CHAPMAN FALLS from Below:



Upper Falls
More falls
Falls coming out of a rock.

Another set of falls

Top of Falls view of Pool below.
Pothole with a deformed one in upper right.

Another deformed pothole.

Huge rounded depression!
Half a pothole.
Falls and Semi-Pothole.
A nice pothole, filled with water.
Same Pothole, just a little closer.

Unfortunately I have no video files for DHSP and Chapman's Falls. When I go back I will add video files and pics from the rest of the trail. I only had my iphone with me as this trip was unexpected but greatly appreciated. The iphone (2 megapixel) takes a halfway decent picture doesn't it? ;-)

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