(Use this page to print out the hike. Click the back button to go back to the webpage - www.berkshirehiking.com)
Lakeside Trail The Rocky River Pumped Stored Hydroelectric Station in New Milford was completed in 1928. It's purpose was to generate hydroelectric power for the region by pumping water into Candlewood Lake from the Housatonic River, and then back again to the river to generate the power. This was done by flooding the Rocky River valley and creating the largest man made lake in New England, Candlewood Lake. (Hundreds of families, most of them involved in farming, were relocated and 4,500 acres were cleared. Ah...the good old days when you could just tell people to "get lost" after living somewhere for generations!) Most people think of jet skis, power boats, town beaches, and swimming when they here "Candlewood Lake." However, not all of Candlewood Lake is overdeveloped and without character. The northern part of the lake has maintained a natural feel to it and this can be seen by accessing Lakeside Trail.
Lakeside Trail and Dike Point are brought to you by the folks at Northeast Utilities...the rightful owner of the lake and its shores.
They did a really nice job here and created a gem of a trail with an outstanding guide book and self-guided tour that really is quite educational.
Interesting to note: the trail has a split personality in a sense.
Weekends during the summer are teeming with people and not a great place to hike unless of course you love to people watch.
Summer week days are much better and September to May are the best times for exploring this shoreline trail.
This 3/4 mile trail is the only trail made available to the public from the 60 miles of lake coastline.
It's a shame that more public land wasn't set aside on Candlewood Lake because it's a beautiful lake and there's no reason why more public parks shouldn't be made available.
But at least they thought enough to make this little parcel of land available and it's definitely worth the trip.
The foliage season is the best time to go but Lakeside Trail can be enjoyed year round.