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 in Manchester.
The most popular trail here is the white blazed Carriage Path that connects the two main parking areas at Spring St (by Case Falls) and the Case Pond Lot.
Starting from Spring St. trail is lined with high stone walls and continues uphill to the summit of Lookout Mtn. A somewhat steep climb is completed by everyone who visits. Although the area may be named for Case Mountain the main overlook at the summit is from Lookout Mountain.
The overlook is a large sloped clearing and is the remains of a much taller mountain that has been weathered by the ages. The view is west past 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 back 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 a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it experience as you wind through thick rooted conifers and jumbles of rock. Ledges and split boulders carry the eye and the short winding trail eventually leads back to the Shenipsit.
Case Mountain is a popular mountain biking destination in eastern Connecticut. You’re guaranteed to 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 which I haven’t yet explored these.
I also have not explored the trails at the south of the property near Line St. or the connections to the Edmund Gorman Open Space and Buckingham Reservoir.
Case Mountain 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. The Case Brothers operated a successful paper mill and water bottling plant. They built mansions near their mills along Spring Street which remain today and put in the dam and ‘five barrel’ bridge over Birch Mountain Brook that created Case Falls. They also carved the Carriage Path through the woods that is still in use today.
They were not your typical early 20th-century industrialists and we are able to enjoy the fantastic trail network as a result.
New England Mountain Bike Association – Case Mountain
Susan Barlow – Case Brothers Historic District