- Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries
What makes Chesterfield Gorge a special place?
We think it's the way this remarkable natural formation allows visitors to experience both the region's geologic past and its recreational potential. The ancient rock emerged from the seabed a half-billion years ago, then was carved for thousands of years by glacial action and roaring meltwater. Today, this stretch of the Westfield River attracts walkers and cyclists, photographers and anglers.
This dramatic rock canyon features 70-foot-high walls carved by centuries of rushing water from the East Branch of the Westfield River. On your hike of the half-mile trail along the cliff tops, you'll take in breathtaking views of the gorge, the river, and the surrounding forest, which nurtures hemlock, ash, and oak, and is home to bears, bobcats, and turkeys.
Chesterfield Gorge is the entrance to an extensive natural recreation area along the Westfield, a federally designated Wild and Scenic River for its strong ecological and recreational values.
A half-mile trail runs along the top of the Gorge. Easy walking. The trail from the parking lot connects to the East Branch Trail (also known as River Road), popular with day hikers and mountain bikers, which follows the river another seven miles, beyond Bliss State Forest. This longer trip leads to the broad basin above Knightsville Dam, a massive Army Corps of Engineers flood control project.
When to Visit
April 1 to December 1, daily, 8AM to sunset. Allow a minimum of ½ hour.
Seasonal public restrooms. Picnic tables.
- Half-mile trail along the cliff tops
- Beautiful location for wedding ceremonies
- Dramatic rock formation with 70-foot walls
- Open April-December