Cotton Hollow Preserve
83 acres in Glastonbury, CT
- Main Area: Medium sized lot for “Residents Only” near 501 Hopewell Road Glastonbury, CT
- Western Area: Small lot behind the restaurant at 840 Main St, South Glastonbury, CT
Trail Map Trails: 2 miles Rating: ★★★★☆
Cotton Hollow is a popular swimming and hiking spot with locals.
The main entrance near the Grange Pool is the trailhead for the .4 North Trail which follows Roaring Brook downstream through hemlock and black birch. There is a great swimming hole along a series of cascades (ask me about the time I saved a dog stuck on a ledge at the swimming hole in November). The area is similar to Natchaug State Forest and is a great place to spend time along the river.
The second trail at Cotton Hollow is the Tree Trail behind the restaurant near 841 CT Rt. 17. Named for the many varieties of trees along the trail, most are marked for identification. From the trail map, “It is hard to imagine that the area crossed by this trail was once a busy recreational park, popular with
trolley passengers from Hartford. “
Cotton Hollow is a popular spot for locals for swimming and cliff jumping. There is one main swimming hole and plenty of spots to lounge along the river in either direction.
Right next to the river (on private property) are the ruins of the Hartford Manufacturing Co. cotton mill part of the industrial corridor at Cotton Hollow. From the town’s site, “During the 18th and 19th centuries, the area was home to several gristmills, sawmills, iron foundries and a cotton mill. The imposing ruins of the cotton mill built in 1814 are still visible today. “
From the Autumn article below, “One of the best-known mills in town was Pratt’s Forge, which once existed within the present-day preserve. Also known as South Glastonbury Iron Works, the company forged 3,900-pound anchors for oceangoing vessels out of New York City and for shipyards in Portland and Essex. In 1960, one of Pratt’s descendants, Amy Pratt, would be the first to donate land for the preserve.”
Sign the petition to save the Cotton Hollow Mill Ruins
Hartford Courant (Marteka?) – Autumn in South Glastonbury’s Cotton Hollow
Peter Marteka – Glastonbury Aims to Preserve Storied History of Cotton Hollow (2015)
Waterfalls of New England – Cotton Hollow Cascades
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Last updated February 17th, 2020
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