Manchester Town Park and Manchester Land Conservation Trust Property
640 acres in Manchester and Glastonbury, CT
Parking: Four options
Spring St. Lot – 670 Spring St, Manchester, CT
Case Pond Lot – 68 Birch Mountain Rd, Manchester, CT
Shenipsit Trail Lot – Near 148 Birch Mountain Rd, Manchester, CT
Line St. Lot – Line St, Manchester, CT
Case Mountain is a popular trail network just southeast of Main Street Manchester.
The most popular trail here is the white blazed Carriage Path that starts off Spring St by Case Falls. The start of the trail is lined with high stone walls and continues uphill to the summit of Lookout Mtn. While somewhat steep the climb is fairly easy and although the area may be named for Case Mountain it is the overlook from Lookout Mountain that is the real draw. The overlook, a large sloped clearing, is the remains of a much taller mountain weathered by the ages. The view is west over Manchester to Hartford. Just beyond Hartford, on a clear day, you can see the Talcott ridge and Heublein Tower. From here the Carriage Path continues its berth down to Case Pond with views of the dam, lodge, and mossy rock walls.
The Shenipsit Trail in Case Mountain is a roughly two-mile section that runs through the heart of the trail network. It is an interesting section through the standard mountain laurel and rock features. It skirts the summits of all the mountains on the property and doesn’t really have any standout features.
The most interesting trail, in my opinion, is the yellow/blue trail starts in a mountain laurel grove just off the Shenipsit up to the forested summit of Case Mountain. The summit is quickly forgotten however as you wind through thick rooted conifers and jumbles of rock. Ledges and split boulders carry the eye and the winding trail eventually leads back to the Shenipsit.
Case Mountain is a mountain biking destination in eastern Connecticut. You’ll often see bikes on the trails and there is a whole separate network of unmapped trails south of Case Mountain complete with obstacles and technical climbs. I haven’t explored these yet.
I also have not yet explored the trails at the south of the property near Line St. or the connections to the Edmund Gorman Open Space and Buckingham Reservoir.
It is also just a short distance from Wyllys Falls.
Established as a town park in pieces after the 1960s. Most of the property was owned by the Case family started by the Case Brothers who operated a successful paper mill and water bottling plant. They built mansions near their mills along Spring Street, put in the dam and five barrel bridge over Birch Mountain Brook. And carved the Carriage Path through the woods that is still in use today. They were not your typical early 20th-century industrialists and we have the fantastic trail network as a result.
New England Mountain Bike Association – Case Mountain
Susan Barlow – Case Brothers Historic District