Description - *This information was provided by the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection*
In 1919, the former State Park and Forest Commission obtained an 860 acre parcel located in the Millington section of Haddam. The principle feature of the park, Chapman Falls drops more than sixty feet over a series of steps in a Scotland Schist stone formation. The falls also once powered "Beebe's Mills" which were named after the original owner. The mills operated until the mid 1890's.
A search for the origin of the name "Devil's Hopyard" reveals a wide variety of different stories; none of them are verifiable and all are likely to be more fiction than fact. One of the most popular of these stories is about a man named Dibble, who had a garden for growing hops used in the brewing of beer. It seems that through usage, Dibble's Hopyard became Devil's Hopyard. There are records of several farmers having hopyards in the area, but there is no mention of a landowner named Dibble. However, Dibble might have been a tenant.
Another tale focuses on the potholes near the falls, which are some of the finest examples of pothole stone formations in this section of the country. Perfectly cylindrical, they range from inches to several feet in diameter and depth. These potholes were formed by stones moved downstream by the current and trapped in an eddy where the stone was spun around and around, wearing a depression in the rock. When the rock wore itself down, another would catch in the same hole and enlarge it. We know this now, but to the early settlers the potholes were a great mystery that they tried to explain with references to the supernatural. They thought that the Devil has passed by the falls, accidentally getting his tail wet. This made him so mad he burned holes in the stones with his hooves as he bounded away.
The park today offers some of the finest birding in the state and fishermen find the clear, cool stream water an excellent source of brook trout.
- Devil's Hopyard offers camping and youth group camping as well as pedestal cooking grills, picnic shelters, picnic tables, and pit toilets.
Recreation - Bicycling, hiking, bird watching, picnicking, and stream fishing are all possible activities at Devil's Hopyard State Park.
Climate - The climate of this state involves a moderate amount of humidity, heat and cold. Summer highs reach 90 degrees F with low temperatures near 65 degrees. Evenings near the water can become cool and light jackets and sweaters are recommended. Winter temperatures average in the mid thirties during the day and in the teens at night. Rarely do temperatures dip to zero, especially in the southern portion of the state, where the water influences the more temperate weather.
From CT Route 9: take Exit 7, then a left at the end of the exit ramp onto CT Route 154 north. Take a right at the first traffic light and follow the signs.
From Interstate 395: take Exit 80 west. Take a right onto CT Route 82 west. Take a right onto Hopyard Road and follow signs.
From I-91S: take Exit 22. Take Route 9S, Exit 10. Take Route 9AS to Tylerville. Take Route 82E over CT River for about 3 miles. At the stop sign take a right, and then take immediate left. Follow that road for approximately 8 miles, then follow the signs.