University of Connecticut Open Space
579 acres in Mansfield, CT
- Shoulder parking near 2696 Horsebarn Hill Rd Mansfield, CT
- Small pull-off near 138 Old Turnpike Rd Mansfield, CT
- Small pull-off near 266 Gurleyville Rd Mansfield, CT
There are a number of knocks against this property. The trails are poorly marked and often confusing with unconnected trails being blazed the same colors. Others are overgrown or flooded. University students often leave trash (read: empty alcohol containers). And as far as I’ve explored, parts of the Purple trail and the easternmost section of the Orange trail no longer exist.
Despite these things the Fenton Forest tract is a great varied place to explore. Horsebarn Hill is a great starting point to take in the view of the Fenton River Valley.
The easiest trail to take from Horsebarn Hill is the red trail down to a smaller forested summit with a medium sized erratic in a clearing. This and many other spots within the Fenton Tract have been used as party sites for university students. Unmarked trails from here head downhill where mountain bikers have constructed a series of jumps. This steep descent will connect to the Orange/purple.
The orange trail passes through pine groves and ravines.
The green trail passes a broken dam and later tiny cascades along a seasonal stream.
The eastern yellow trail passes the rusted ski lifts of the former Husky Hill.
There is enough here for a full day of exploration or repeat visits. At the very least hike this section of the Nipmuck Trail.
It was home to Husky Hill a ski lift for the UCONN students in the 70s.
Peter Marteka – The Path to Knowledge (2002)