Scenic USA - Connecticut

Chapman Falls

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Chapman Falls - East Haddam, Connecticut

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA FAA Photography

   Chapman Falls, located in Devils Hopyard State Park, is one of Connecticut's most beautiful waterfall settings. After a closer inspection of a covered bridge near the parking lot, park visitors hone in on the distant thunder of the Eight Mile Creek waterfall, Chapman Falls. A short pathway from the parking lot leads eager park guests to a spectacular 60 foot waterfall. Although it's a prime feature, park geology is not among the first questions visitors ask. Without a doubt, most questions involve the park's curious name. There are a few explanations for the Devils Hopyard name; none of them official or verifiable. The most interesting tale involves the park's cylindrical potholes. Trying to explain these mysterious rock depressions, a tall tale arouse about the devil's encounter with the falls. After getting his tail wet, the devil's fiery hooves burned holes in the stone as he madly hopped away. Devils Hopyard Covered Bridge
   Because the waterfall site is the park's biggest draw, visitors may overlook the park's hiking trails. After crossing the covered bridge, an orange blazed trail leads through a thick stand of hemlocks and along the river. Following the river side trail, visitors find themselves walking over a Connecticut geology lesson. South facing rock ledges are made of layers of banded gneiss and schist. These shallow caves, facing a southern exposure, made excellent Native American shelters. A short spur from the orange trail leads out an overlook of a southern valley. This U-shaped valley, carved by glacial ice, is a remnant of ancient folded ridges, composed of more metamorphic rock.
   Getting to the park is fairly easy. Although the road leading to the park changes names several times, the route from East Haddam is well marked.

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