Geography of the Still River
The following provides a geographic overview of the River from its
origination point in eastern New York (source) through its 22 mile run across western
Connecticut to its endpoint (mouth) at the Housatonic River in New Milford. The map link
below shows the entire 22 mile run of the Still River. The overview which follows
subdivides this 22 mile river corridor into 4 segment links. To view the segment map,
click on the link. Hit the back button on your browser to return here.
Segment 1 - Source and headwaters
The Still River flows out of New York State, out of 2 ponds, east of the
Connecticut - New York border just north of Route 6 (Mill Plain Road). The river then
flows east, into Danbury, running under Mill Plain Road and into Lake Kenosia, which
itself is part of the Still River. From Lake Kenosia, the River discharges through Mill
Plain Swamp, past the Danbury Fair Mall, and into the center of Danbury.
Segment 2 - Central Danbury.
The River flows from the Danbury Mall through a relatively undeveloped
floodplain, then under White Street at the railroad trestle, where it often floods during
major storms. From this point, the River flows into the urban core of Danbury through a
concrete flood control channel that starts near the intersection of Main and White Street,
that was built in the 1960s. The River continues this path for approximately 1 mile,
discharging out near Caspar Street, where it then flows under Triangle Street and past
Cross Street toward Route 6. At this point, the River flows through a gorge and has a
substantial drop in elevation, giving the River a stretch of white water rapids as it
flows past the Cross Street condominiums to Route 6.
Segment 3 - Eastern Danbury - Brookfield Border (Project Site)
The Still River flows under Route 6 (Danbury - Newtown Road) past the
River Bend Condominiums where the gorge continues. It crosses under Old Newtown Road and
into Commerce Park. Immediately past the point where the River flows under Eagle Road (by
the Commerce Park Fire Station), is the site of the Still River Greenway Trail and
Restoration Area, the subject of this entire Website. The River in this section of
its watershed makes a major change. At the intersection of Limekiln Brook, a major
tributary to the Still River (see map of Segment 3), the River changes direction, from
west-east to a northerly trajectory toward New Milford.
The Still River, in segment 3, runs through a relatively flat
topography. As the river flows through Commerce Park and past the confluence of Limekiln
Brook, it starts to flow north, The River is bounded by an undeveloped floodplain and a
relatively pristine environment, as shown in our Photo Gallery.
As the River crosses under White Turkey Road Extension, it is bounded to the east by Route
7 and to the west by the developed area of Federal Road as it flows into Brookfield, past
Just prior to passing the Stew Leonards Store, there is a major
geographic feature, an oxbow, as illustrated on the
map. This broad curve in the River has, in recent years, cut an alternate straight channel
to the north of the Oxbow, creating an island. The river flows in two distinct channels
here - in the original oxbow curve around the island to the west, and in a straight south
- north trajectory to the east of the island.
Segment 4 : Brookfield - New Milford.
The final stretch of the River, north of the Danbury border, is a 10
mile stretch that flows past Brookfield into New Milford at Harry Brook Park, where the
Still River ends, at its mouth, joining the Housatonic River which flows south
toward Long Island Sound. The Town of Brookfield has an existing greenway Trail along a
section of the Still River behind the Town Hall. It is a long term goal of the Still River
Alliance to link up with the Brookfield Trail along the River.
Geology of the River
The Still River exists in a geologic formation that was formed by the
movement of ice sheets during the Pleistocene Age, several million years ago. During the
retreat of the last glacier from the Still River basin, meltwater was ponded between the
ice front and the highlands of the region. A large lake, known as Glacial Lake Danbury,
covered the entire Housatonic Area. Gradually, ice melting off of the front of the
retreating glacier opened different outlets to this glacial lake. The soil deposits and
the topography of the Sill River Valley are largely influenced by the settling out of
material to the floor of Glacial Lake Danbury and the gradual retreat of the Lake as the
glacier continued to melt.
The bedrock that underlies the Still River is predominately inwood
marble, which is overlain by the glacial till deposits that settled out from Glacial Lake
Danbury. The topography of the Still River Valley is relatively flat, causing the
characteristic sluggish flow of the Still River.
This geologic summary is a condensation of a technical
entitled The Drainage and Glacial History of the Still River Valley
by Woodrow Thomson for the U.S. Geological Survey.
Last update: March 10, 2001 11:50 PM