Steep Rock Preserve



The 998-acre Steep Rock Preserve offers hiking trails that follow the banks of the Shepaug River and provide access into the above hillsides. Near the Preserve’s north end, there are vestiges of carriage roads, one of which leads from Tunnel Road to the foundations of the famous Holiday House. Other trails traverse the slopes above the Shepaug River and follow the double oxbows (where the river loops south, north, and then south again). Nearby is the railroad tunnel, a rough arch cut through the rock ledge.


  • The Holiday House was a hotel built in 1893 by philanthropist Edward I. Van Ingen as a retreat for young working women from New York City.
  • The Preserve’s 235-foot curved railroad tunnel was once a part of the Shepaug Valley Railroad and, after the railroad ceased operation, it became a refreshing respite for hikers.
  • At an elevation of 776 feet, the Preserve’s Steep Rock Summit provides visitors with a breathtaking and picturesque view of the Clam Shell section of the Shepaug River Valley.