Manchester Water Company Property
Parking: Small lot and shoulder parking near 29 Coop Rd Glastonbury, CT
Trail Map Trails: 10 miles Rating: ★★★☆☆
Buckingham Reservoir has a few caveats. Since it is Manchester Water Company property the area is mainly protected as a buffer around public drinking water. This means that you are supposed to get a permit for passive recreation from the Manchester Water Department and that any activities like swimming, hunting, or any kind of biking is prohibited. In practice however there just isn’t enough man-power to enforce these rules.
As a result this is a very popular destination for hiking and especially for mountain biking. On my last visit the parking lot was overflowing and there were no less than four large groups of mountain bikers. This is a beautiful property with an easy 2 mile loop around the reservoir and a vast array of unblazed trails (mostly made by mountain bikers heading in every direction.
I did a wandering 5 mile run through the property that looked like this:
The reservoir was built in 1924 by the Cheney family for their silk mills and was eventually turned over to the Manchester Water Company in the 1950s. Coop Rd which ran through the property was open through the early 1980s, but has long since been abandoned. Some of the trails here are definitely old farm/industry roads but many of the unblazed trails have been developed just in the last 5-10 years.