The Town of Redding, first settled in 1642, was officially incorporated in 1767. It was originally called "Reading after one of its earliest settlers, John Read. Mr. Read had obtained 200 acres of land from a Pootatuck Indian, Chief Chickens Warrups, in exchange for 100 acres in Kent.
The majority of Redding is residential, with a minimal amount of commercial activity. The Redding Land Trust preserves more than 400 acres of land dedicated to open space. The town has more than 55 miles of hiking and riding trails, which include Topstone Park, a 170-acre reserve formerly owned by photographer Edward Steichen.
There are also two state parks in Redding; Putnam Memorial Park, located along Route 58, which was a winter encampment for Revolutionary War troops and Huntington State Park, located on Sunset Hill Road, where those who wish can hike and cross-country ski.