In 1917, Edith Morton Chase received a gift from her father, 16 acres of pristine woods in the Litchfield hills. Today, Topsmead is a 510 acre state forest, gifted from Ms. Chase in 1972 to the citizens of Connecticut to enjoy and preserve. Her legacy includes diverse landscapes, including bike and nature trails, formal gardens, unique bird habitats, and a meticulously crafted English Tudor style cottage well appointed with her international collection of art and antiques. ...more
Friends of Topsmead State Forest (FTSF) is a volunteer non-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose purpose is to work with the State of Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) to provide programs and activities to promote, preserve, protect, and maintain the history, heritage and environmental integrity of Topsmead, thereby supporting the wishes of Edith Morton Chase as put forth in her will.
Your donations to Friends of Topsmead will help preserve Topsmead's past for the future by:
Topsmead Parking Lot Project
DEEP is currently expanding and improving the parking area. DEEP appreciates everyone's patience with these disruptions. We will provide updates about the project's progress on the FTSF website and Facebook page as best we can, as we receive them. If you have specific questions, we encourage you to contact the FTSF President directly at 203-584-0826 or email
Ecology Trail Update
The first section of a bog walk at the old pond on the Ecology Trail is complete! Come check out the trail and stretch your legs at Topsmead! Many thanks to Topsmead Friends Jani Golding, Janet and John Blauveldt, and Renee Betar for their help. >> learn more
The Topsmead Staff
My memories of Topsmead include the many people who played a variety of roles on the estate. Because my father, John Orintas, had the longest tenure of any of the Topsmead employees – our family had the opportunity to get to know most of the other people who worked there over the years. My dad started working for Miss Edith on May 25, 1925, as a handyman and later as a chauffeur. He was given every other Sunday off, and his duties included working for Miss Edith in Waterbury and at Topsmead. Dad drove and maintained the cars as well as all the farm equipment. He mowed the lawn around the houses in both locations and ran errands daily, picking up the newspaper, any needed groceries, and the mail.
> read more
Topsmead Events & Activities
by Margaret Hunt
TOPSMEAD TREES: BRING ON THE RAIN! | September 2022
photos by Margaret Hunt
September lurked in and advertised its arrival with some very pleasant temperatures and sunny days but noticeably shortening daylight, cooler nights, and that unmistakable earthy smell of fall. Besides heralding the Goshen Fair, the long Labor Day Weekend brought a bevy of families and children taking advantage of the last weekend oasis at Topsmead before school started in earnest. Yes, of course, they were all happy for school to restart—children to see their friends and favorite teachers and parents to find more time to get their jobs and chores finished between the bus pick ups and drop offs. Without the bustling energy of family visitors, school mornings will be noticeably quieter at Topsmead. Once again, the landscape will be the domain of retired folks, dog walkers, and the occasional visitor enjoying morning coffee in a chair on the cottage’s west veranda.
-read complete Musings essay-
Early summer panorama of the meadow at Topsmead by Tom Holzel