Indian Well State Park

The park is named after a beautiful waterfall with a splash pool at the bottom. It also offers a lovely beach for swimming and a shaded picnic grove along the water’s edge.

It is free to enter the park for vehicles registered in Connecticut. There is a small parking fee for others. Read on to learn more.

Hiking Trails

Indian Well State Park sits on the west bank of the Housatonic River. A beautiful waterfall and splash pool give the park its name – but the water is ice cold all year round and swimming is not permitted. The shaded picnic grove at the water’s edge makes this park a perfect spot to spend a lazy summer day.

A hiking trail starts from the main parking lot and follows the riverbank. The trail can be crowded on a summer afternoon but is quieter during the winter. You’ll climb up and over the cliffs of Indian Well Brook, where you’ll see signs warning against cliff jumping. After a few miles, you’ll reach Birchbank Mountain Open Space, which opens to views of the Housatonic River. The Paugussett Trail continues south to Buddington Road through Shelton Conservation Commission and Trails Committee lands. The trail is part of the larger Shelton Lakes Greenway that offers extensive recreational opportunities.


Indian Well State Park’s scenic waterfalls and splash pool gave the park its name, but that’s not the only thing this popular Shelton hangout offers. Located on the western bank of the Housatonic River with a sandy beach and shaded picnic grove at the water’s edge, the park is an ideal spot to spend a lazy summer day.

It’s also a great place to fish for bass, perch, and catfish. The Housatonic River is stocked with trout each spring, but there are plenty of opportunities to catch warm-water species year-round.

The Shelton Lakes Greenway also runs through the park, with a blue-blazed Paugussett Trail traversing the park’s wooded hilltops and valleys. Advanced mountain bikers rank this Shelton hike as “easy,” but the trails can be challenging for beginners. Shelton’s municipal reservoir, Hope Lake, is nearby, and it’s stocked each spring with trout. It is a good place to catch largemouth bass, sunfish, and chain pickerel as well. Here is another spot to visit.


In a state as small as Connecticut, it’s an embarrassment of riches to have such an abundance of freshwater lakes and rivers. From the white-water rapids of Satan’s Kingdom State Recreation Area to pristine lakes for paddling and fishing, there are many opportunities to enjoy our state’s waterways.

Shelton is a small, amiable river town with lots going on for its residents and visitors. The quaint downtown offers plenty of shopping, restaurants, and the Shelton River Walk which runs along the Housatonic River through Veteran’s Park.

The Shelton River Walk also leads to Indian Well State Park, which features a public beach and swimming area as well as picnic groves. It is named for the scenic waterfall and splash pool which is the setting of a Native American legend akin to Romeo and Juliet. This park has a boat launch, pavilions, restrooms, and hiking trails. Entry is free for CT-registered vehicles and $10 for non-residents.


The Park’s scenic waterfalls and splash pool earned it the name, “Indian Well”. It is a lovely spot to spend a lazy summer day. The shaded picnic grove at the water’s edge is the perfect setting to enjoy a light lunch or snacks with friends and family.

The beach at the river’s edge is also a great place to swim, sunbathe and relax. The sand at the river’s edge is soft and there are lifeguards on duty during the on-season.

There are hiking trails that provide beautiful views of the Shelton River. The Shelton Lakes Recreation Path is handicapped-accessible, as is the Paugussett Blue Dot Trail, which was a CCC project during the Depression.

The Paugussett Trail at the Park was once part of a trail that extended from Lake Zoar in Monroe to Roosevelt Forest in Stratford and beyond. For more information on Connecticut State Parks, forests, and walking trails visit the Friends of CT State Parks website. Click here for the next blog post.



Driving directions from Spartan Home Services to Indian Well State Park

Driving directions from Indian Well State Park to East Rock Park

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