ANNOUNCEMENT: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District Recreation Sites Mask Policy
The mask policy at U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District recreation sites is based on local and state-specific guidance and requirements. Visitors to our parks and facilities need to ensure they are following the latest applicable local and state guidance.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers welcomes you to Thomaston Dam located on the scenic Naugatuck River in Thomaston, Conn. The park offers over 800 acres of public land for a multitude of recreational activities. Hunting, fishing, trail bike riding (two wheel only) and model airplane flying are among the popular activities.
In 1975, the Corps' formally designated a trail area on the west side of the reservoir permitting use of trail bikes and snowmobiles only. Other three and four wheeled all terrain vehicles are prohibited from designated area and other off road areas of the reservoir. Trail-bike visitation usage is very high on weekends.
Thomaston Dam has designated trails for two wheeled trail bikes and they are open late May to mid-Sept. Trails are weather conditional. Plan your trip by calling 860-283-5540, or by checking our Facebook page. Three and four wheel vehicles are not permitted. A cooperative agreement for trail management has been in place since 1979 with the Pathfinders Motorcycle Club. State registration is required and safety equipment is encouraged. Two small lots are available for parking at the end of the Dam. Please be considerate of others while parking.
Water Level and Trail Bike Open/Closure Information
At a pool stage of 12 feet, the Thomaston Dam Basin experiences flooding which causes a closure of the trail system. At 26 feet, portions of the paved road in the basin flood which causes restricted access to the area. These closures ensure public safety and proper flood control operations for downstream cities and towns. To view the pool height please click on the "Water Levels" link below. You will be able to view the current pool levels at Thomaston Dam and inquire about the trail bike status. Please note, the trails are subject to flooding during heavy rains. PLEASE NOTE: Several days may be needed after a closure for drying time and trail repairs. Please call 860-283-5540 for current trail status.
Water Levels - view the pool height here.
Winter Fun - During the solitude of winter, visitors can enjoy cross country skiing and snow shoeing.
Hunting and Fishing
Hunting and fishing are permitted in accordance with Connecticut laws and regulations. Hunters have more than 800 acres of combined federal and state land on which to hunt stocked pheasant and upland game and white tail deer.
Anglers will enjoy the challenges of fishing for the stocked and native species of fish that abound in the Naugatuck River, as well as the many smaller brooks. For more information on hunting or fishing, you can contact the State of Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
In addition to the these activities, special interpretive programs on the cultural and natural resources, water resources, water safety and flood control are provided by Park Rangers. Tours of Thomaston Dam are also available.
The Vista picnic area with twenty tables is located near the top of the dam and offers splendid views in a relaxed atmosphere. You may even see a Naugatuck Railroad train at times crossing the downstream slope of the dam!
Model Airplane Flying
For model aircraft enthusiast, there is an area maintained under a cooperative agreement with a local club, Nutmeg R/C Flyers for the flying of radio controlled model aircraft. The flight area is open to the public and groups through the Corps Special use permit program.
Corps personnel manage the natural resources at Thomaston through a multiple-use approach. The 849 acres of federal lands are not only managed for recreation, but for the the benefit of forest and wildlife resources. Wildlife food plots, nesting boxes, open area patch mowing and forest thinning are several techniques used to provide wildlife with food, cover and nesting habitat.
A variety of wildlife species are found throughout the reservoir area. White-tailed deer, beaver, red fox, raccoon, grey squirrel, cottontail rabbits, muskrat and mink. Bird watchers may observe many species including osprey, great blue heron, egrets, turkey, ruffed grouse and bald eagle. Canada and snow geese, mallard, mergansers and wood ducks can be seen during season migrations.
Forest Management includes thinning, selective cutting and reforestation. These practices improve timber quality and enhance wildlife habitat. The dominant forest species include eastern white pine, hemlock, red oak, sugar and red maple, black, yellow, and white birch, ash, black cherry, shagbark and pignut hickory.
Updated: June 1, 2021