General Guidelines

With Aquarion’s long term commitment to the environment and its desire to allow the public to use our vast land holding for recreational purposes, this has offered diverse opportunities for hiking, fishing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and birding.

These opportunities continued and expanded with a partnership that began in 2002 among Aquarion, the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection and The Nature Conservancy. Together, we agreed to conserve 15,300 acres of forest near Aquarion reservoirs as a way to preserve open space, safeguard ecosystems, protect water supplies and provide for public use consistent with those goals. Two years later, Governor Jodi Rell dedicated this land as the Centennial Watershed State Forest under the management of the three partners.

Through Aquarion’s “Be Our Guest” program, we welcome the public to the Centennial Watershed State Forest and the many recreational opportunities it offers. Our trail-use permit allows access to 13 miles of scenic trails, while our fishing permit provides access to fishing at Saugatuck, West Pequonnock and Far Mill reservoirs.

The rules governing the use of Aquarion lands are essential to protecting the purity of our water, public health and safety, and the environment in general. General guidelines are given below; for specific rules covering trail use, click here. For specific rules governing fishing, click here. Or see the full set of rules for Aquarion lands in our “Be Our Guest” brochure, available for download here.

  • To access the Centennial Watershed State Forest land, you will need to obtain and carry a permit issued through Aquarion by the Conservation Land Committee.
    • For hikers and others using the Saugutuck Valley and Aspetuck Valley trails, the free maps available here on our Trails page will serve as their permit.
    • Anglers need a valid fishing permit from the Aquarion Water Company of Connecticut, which will be valid only for the year in which it is issued. A valid Connecticut fishing license is also required. Fishing permits are not transferable. Permits are available from the sources shown below, or by calling our Watershed and Environmental Management Department at (203) 452-3510. Fishing may only be done from the shoreline and designated docks.
  • Swimming, wading, camping, alcoholic beverages, smoking, campfires, picnicking, littering, radios, boom boxes, motors, and vendors are prohibited.
  • Vehicles of any kind, including all types of cycles, are prohibited.
  • Pets or horses are prohibited.
  • Please stay in designated fishing areas along the shoreline or on the blazed hiking trails.
  • Do not pick or remove wildflowers or plants, or otherwise disturb the vegetation.
  • Trash containers are located on our property. If they are full, please carry out your trash.
  • Chemical toilets are located in the Saugatuck Reservoir recreation area.
  • Park in designated locations to access the Saugatuck Valley Trail and Aspetuck Valley Trail.
  • Stay off the ice; the law prohibits trespassing on a frozen reservoir.
  • Those who choose to violate these guidelines may be subject to criminal penalties and have their guest privileges revoked. Law enforcement officers from Aquarion Water Company and the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection regularly patrol the properties to enforce State laws and regulations.