Tolland Historical Location
12 acres in Tolland, CT
Parking: Small parking area at 154 Metcalf Rd, Tolland, CT
Trail Map Trails: 0.75 miles Rating: ★☆☆☆☆
The Benton Homestead is a museum operated by the Tolland Historical Society. It is a colonial-era home that was built in 1720 and has undergone careful restoration in recent years. The homestead just celebrated its 300th Anniversary in 2020.
I parked on the shoulder in front of the homestead, but there is a long driveway just past the property leading a small parking area alongside the house.
The trail map above seemed oriented wrong so I added a GPS track of my hike, but it seems that the satellite view is outdated and closely cropped.
There is a 0.75 mile loop trail here that starts from the backside of the parking area crossing over the stonewall and heading down through the woods. The blazes are a bit faded but the initial 0.2 is pretty easy to follow. The trail is a definitely seldom used and unmaintained. As you reach where the red trail meets the blue the are the old remains of a timber pole barbed wire fence. The blue trail leads you within site of Rt. 84 and you’ll follow the roar of traffic for a short stretch.
There were three downed trees blocking different parts of the path on my last visit in April 2021, but they were easy enough to navigate around. There are also a handful of trees identified with tags including multiple red and white oaks.
Closed since June 2020 due to COVID restrictions (last updated April 2021)
The website says the museum normally operates from June to September on Sundays from 1PM – 4PM (unless it is a holiday or the temperature is above 90 degrees). Given that it’s run by volunteers I’m not sure how consistently they meet those operating hours.
There are ghost stories about the second floor of the homestead (check the Damned CT link below for more info). I also talked to someone who visited the homestead years ago, his favorite part was the carvings on the wooden beams in the cellar from Hessian soldiers imprisoned there during the Revolutionary War.
From the historical society site,
“Six generations of the Benton family lived here and farmed the land. Daniel Benton’s sons served in the French and Indian War; five of his grandsons answered the Lexington Alarm and fought in the Revolutionary War.”
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