Putnam Memorial State Park is a 1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Redding, Connecticut that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
This was the site of the Continental Army's 1779 winter encampment under the command of General Israel Putnam. The site consists of remains of the encampment, reconstructed log buildings, and a museum. Connecticut's oldest State Park! General Israel Putnam's division of the Continental Army encamped in Redding in the winter of 1778-1779. This division was comprised of General Poor's brigade of New Hampshire troops under Brig. General Enoch Poor, a Canadian Regiment led by Col. Moses Hazen, and two brigades of Connecticut troops: 2nd Brigade Connecticut Line regiments commanded by Brig. General Jedediah Huntington, and the 1st Brigade Connecticut Line regiments commanded by Brig. General Samuel H. Parsons. This division had been operating along the Hudson (Eastern New York) during the fall, and as winter approached it was decided that it should go into winter quarters at Redding, as from this position it could support the important fortress of West Point in case of attack, intimidate the Cowboys and Skinners of Westchester County, and cover lands adjacent to Long Island Sound. Another major reason was to protect the Danbury supply depot, which had been burned by the British the year before but resurrected to keep supplies going to Washington's army. When the army broke camp, in accordance with custom, the barracks were burned, the chimneys fell in different directions which is still distinguishable in most cases, and then with time became apparently only heaps of stone. (Report 1903: 8) *Recent research indicates the barracks were not burned, wood was valuable back then. The deserted camp ground was left to its former solitude, and in the course of a few years, became overgrown with trees and a thicket of underbrush; and it was not strange, that after the passing of a few generations, even the location, or the history of the camp ground, was almost unknown. (Report 1915: 8) The movement to preserve and memorialize the site of the winter quarters of 1778-1779 in Redding began in the late 19th century. Although the details of this movement are not recorded, it is likely that the initial efforts were made by local citizens of Redding, especially Charles B. Todd, the local historian, and Aaron Treadwell, the landowner who donated the first tract of land that would become the Israel Putnam Memorial Camp Ground.
Loved the history!
Easy loop trail
One of my first ventures into the outdoors, history, and hiking. There is a Youth Group camping area.
There are reenactments throughout the year. There is a museum with great info. There is a picnic area on a lake across the street from the historic area.