Genesee Recreation Area
Rockland Road, Guilford, CT
Access permits and horseback riding permits are required. Please contact the Water Authority https://www.rwater.com/in-the-community/recreation to obtain.
To purchase a pass go to:
Permitted Activities: This site is for passive use only – no mechanized vehicles. Bicycling is permitted from April 15th-December 31st. Bikers can ride on designated trails only and must yield to all hikers. Wading and swimming are prohibited. Dogs are not permitted. State fishing license is required for fishing along the sections of Page Lot Brook and Iron Stream where fishing is allowed.
For fishing regulations and licenses please go to: https://portal.ct.gov/DEEP/Fishing/CT-Fishing
The Genesee gated entrance and parking area is located in Madison along Durham Road (Route 79), south of County Road.
A Regional Water Authority (RWA) Recreation Area – Genesee Trails wind through watershed lands in Madison and Guilford and along the site of the “Little Genesee Settlement.” There are six trails covering more than nine miles through rolling, wooded land. According to folklore, the families who settled in this area were originally headed to the Genesee Valley in New York, but they broke a wagon wheel and decided to stay and farm the land. Together with the Goat Lot Trail, the Pine Trail forms a nice loop over gentle grades. Red and white pines here are subtle reminders that this was once open pasture and crop land less than a century ago. Watch for old house foundations and stone walls, remnants of the Little Genesee Settlement established about 1770 and abandoned between 1850 and 1875 on this and the Cooper Lot Trail. Part of the Durham Trail was once an important highway linking the docks on the Connecticut River in Haddam with inland areas stretching as far west as North Branford. The other part of the trail follows an abandoned logging road through low-lying areas containing the most fertile soils of Genesee. Red oak, hickory, beech and sugar maple trees thrive and interesting rock outcrops add to the scenic charm of this trail.
The Grandma Hall Trail is a quaint old logging road that was once used as a cart path. It was named after an early resident of the area, a great-grandmother of an RWA employee. This trail skirts the northwest corner of the property, past a large wetland and along upland where, 20,000 years ago, a glacier scraped off most of the topsoil. As a result, the trees grow slowly here and compete with each other for water and nutrients. Unlike the origin of most of the trails in this system, the Bushwhack Trail was blazed specifically as a hiking trail and includes large, old trees that provide shelter to many forest animals including deer.