Satan's Kingdom State Recreation Area – New Hartford, Connecticut - Atlas Obscura

Satan's Kingdom State Recreation Area

New Hartford, Connecticut

Who knew the Devil's domain was a hot spot for tubing? 


Throughout the centuries, many have attempted to find Satan’s kingdom. Turns out, it’s been in Connecticut all this time.

You won’t actually find any fallen angels here, though. Instead, you’ll find bathing suit-clad locals, as Satan’s Kingdom State Recreation Area is a popular launch site for tubing down the Farmington River.

Its name supposedly originates not out of any demonic rituals or religious activities, but rather because the area was horrible for farming. The story goes that a farmer cursed the land, saying nothing would grow in this rocky, unfertile soil because it was “Satan’s Kingdom.” And clearly, the name stuck.

Another bit of local lore gives a different source for the name. It’s said that in earlier times, the area was a haven for thieves, robbers, and outlaws to the extent that “decent” people were afraid to visit. It was said that only “The Devil’s children” ruled there, hence the name “Satans Kingdom.”

Satan’s Kingdom is all but unknown to anyone but locals. When non-locals drive past the recreation area, they tend to do a double take at the sign. Satan’s Kingdom has that effect on people.

On warm days, it’s where everyone in the area goes to leisurely tube down the Farmington River. Tubing on the river began as recreation in the late 1970s with the space behind a farm stand (now long gone) chosen as the starting point. At first, it was something of a curiosity, but over time it took off as a big business. The farm stand eventually disappeared and a more formal launching point for tubing was put in place.

Know Before You Go

Access to the area is free; however, tube rentals have a charge. Alcoholic beverages are not allowed.

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