Did you know that according to the 2020 census, Union is the least populated town and municipality in the entire state of Connecticut with a population of only 785 people? However there is still plenty to see and do in the area, especially if you enjoy nature. Union is also conveniently located within 33 miles of the state capital of Hartford, CT, 67 miles of Boston, MA and 153 miles of New York City. If you enjoy nature, then you need to see Union, Connecticut. It’s famous for the active wildlife that surrounds the area. You may very well see some moose, bears, and even bald eagles.
Speaking of which, Bigelow Hollow State Park is a must-see destination that’s located in Union, Connecticut. If you enjoy nature and the splendor that it has to offer, a trip to Bigelow Hollow State Park is well worth your while. In fact, Bigelow Hollow State Park and the adjoining Nipmuck State Forest offer over 9,000 acres of recreation opportunities including miles of hiking trails, the 18 acre Bigelow Pond, and 300-acre Mashapaug Pond. In fact, Bigelow Hollow State Park and the Nipmuck State Forest comprise one of the largest unbroken forest areas in all of Eastern, Connecticut.
The state Park and Forest Commission established the recreational area in Bigelow Hollow back in 1949. If you like interesting facts, you’re going to enjoy this one. Although some people are under the impression that the park was named after the Bigelow tea family, it was not. The name actually remains a bit of a mystery because nobody with that name is associated with the area. In addition, some older residents of Union believe the name comes from the words Big Low, which is a direct reference to the hollow where the 18-acre pond is located. However, the name was derived, there is one thing that is well known by all who’ve experienced it.
Bigelow Hollow State Park is certainly a site to see. As far as activities, there are many things to choose from and many days you can spend in this wonderful place. For example, Bigelow Hollow is perfect for boating, hiking, fishing, and scuba diving during the warm summer months. If you’re new to Bigelow Hollow and plan on hiking you should be aware that marked trails lead from Bigelow Hollow to the Breakneck area, but no trail in this area is a loop trail. Hikers should be prepared to walk a minimum of six (6) miles in order to complete a loop around Breakneck. In addition, there are no marked trails to Griggs Pond.
For hikers desiring trails that start and end in the same place, the trails west of the park road both form loops and cover less of a distance than the trails leading to Breakneck. The three remote backpack shelter/campsite locations are not accessible by motor vehicle. You must hike in, with your gear, to these locations. You can even head to Bigelow Hollow State Park for a few hours and enjoy a beautiful picnic in the lush surroundings. During the colder winter months, Bigelow Hollow State Park is the perfect place for cross country skiing, and or snowmobiling.
Hunting is available in the park during the regulated hunting seasons.
Here’s another interesting fact. Union, Connecticut was one of the very last towns settled east of the Connecticut River?