Joshua's Trust

Joshua’s Trust is one of Connecticut’s largest land trusts operating in the northeast corner of the state they protect more than 4,500 acres across 61 properties with about 46 miles of trails.  Not all their preserves are hikeable however.

I explored every property (at the time) in 2016 and made movies for each town, find the YouTube playlist by clicking here.

Official Links:

History:

Rudy Favretti wrote a book called 50 Years of Joshua’s Trust 1966-2016: The Story of Joshua’s Tract Conservation and Historic Trust in 2016.  I have read the book and hope to post my notes on it soon.

The land trust used to publish a Walk Book, the first edition was published in 1988 and was discontinued after the 4th edition published in 2005.  It was written by the late Dr. Samuel Dodd, a founding member of the trust.

Scroll below the list for a map (select the map tab)


  • Allanach-Wolf Woodlands ★★—  1.5 miles — One of my favorite JT properties with views of Lake Marie and simple trails
  • Babcock Preserve — .25 miles — I have not been able to locate the short trail here on any of my visits to Schoolhouse Brook
  • Bernard Church Woods — 0.5 miles — Awkward  trail that was passable on last visit but little to highlight
  • Bradley-Buchanan Woods ★★— .5 miles — A short hike through a very rare geologic area in Connecticut called a kame terrace with connections to Mansfield Hollow
  • Chenes Roches Preserve ★★— 1.1 miles — Named for the big rocks and trees this preserve has surprising trails tucked in its acres
  • Church Farm ★★— 3 miles — A loop ‘Ledges’ trail on one side of Rt 89 and a ‘Meadows’ trail on the other
  • Coney Rock Preserve —★★★— 5 miles — Steep climbs to a couple ridgeline overlooks
  • Couch Preserve ★★— 0.6 miles — A simple lollipop loop with a connector to nearby Williams Preserve
  • Dorothy Goodwin Reserve — .6 miles — A  unmaintained short hike that passes an interesting rock outcrop
  • Dunham Woods ★★— 1 mile — A short hike with seasonal views of Dunham Pond and connections to the town-owned Dunhamtown Woods
  • Fliegel Farm Woods — .5 miles — A short Fern Glade lollipop loop trail along the Old Connecticut Path
  • Friedman Forest ★★— 2.7 miles — A self guided tree identification walk with three loop options and a heron rookery
  • Gurleyville Grist Mill
  • Hemphill Woods ★★— 1.25 miles — Interesting stone walls criss-cross this loop hike
  • Holt-Kinney Woods ★★— .7 miles — A nice short addition to Schoolhouse Brook Park with a mysterious double stone wall
  • Hubbard Sanctuary & Agnes’ Pasture ★★— 3 miles — A field for bobolinks, a former pasture, and miles of trails in this mixed park/preserve
  • Iron Mine Valley ★★— 1.3 miles — An area mined for bog iron during the Revolutionary War with a short loop hike
  • Josias Byles Sanctuary ★★— 1.6 miles — A loop hike with a view of the marsh along the Mt Hope River at the site of one of Ashford’s original homesteads
  • Knowlton Hill Preserve ★★★— 2.5 miles — A glacial drumlin, majestic trees, and loop hike options
  • Löf Woodlands ★★— .5 miles — Simple loop hike
  • Madeline Regan Preserve ★★— 1 mile — Following a section of the Old Connecticut Path and over a glacial esker
  • Owen’s Mere ★★— .2 miles — A simple tiny loop around a man-made pond that is beautiful in the fall
  • Pappenheimer Preserve ★★— 1.5 miles — Former timber land with two short loops
  • Pigeon Swamp Preserve ★★— 2.6 miles — Mill ruins, a cellar hole, and views of Big Pond amidst varied habitats
  • Potter Meadow ★★— 1 mile — An occasionally wet loop with views of the Eightmile and Willimantic Rivers
  • Pond Lot — .25 miles — A shorty entryway to Echo Woods and Mansfield Hollow 
  • Preston Nature Sanctuary ★★— 1 mile — Through an agricultural field and down a hill to the Little River and back again
  • Proposal Rock ★★— 5 miles — The backside entrance to Coney Rock
  • Rankin Preserve ★★— 1.5 miles — One of Joshua’s Trust’s newest trails past linked ponds to a loop through rocky ledges and sloping forest
  • Scmidt Overlook — 0.68 miles — The trust’s newest property, still a work in progress but has a couple nice views of the Willimantic River
  • Tinkerville Brook ★★— 1.2 miles — A hidden gem this loop hike passes the ruins of an old bridge along a brook named for the gypsies that camped along it
  • Tobiassen Memorial Forest ★★— 2 miles — One loop with rumored champion trees
  • Tower Hill Easement (Future trails TBD)
  • Two Sisters Tract ★★— 1 mile — Right off Rt. 6, this short loop makes an interesting addition to the Air Line Trail
  • Utley Hill Preserve ★★— 2.75 miles — Mill ruins, marsh views, and peaceful trails
  • Whetten Woods ★★★— 2.5 miles — A quiet hiking trail right next to Storrs/UCONN
  • Wolf Rock Nature Preserve ★★★★— A great overlook with a large glacial erratic with options for loop hikes or the Nipmuck trail in either direction

Hemphill Woods

★★☆☆☆

41.745795, -72.038286

George and Margaret Hemphill Woods Joshua’s Trust 44.75 acres in Hampton, CT Parking: Shoulder parking near 40 Old Canterbury Rd, Hampton, CT Trail Map       …

Couch Preserve

★★☆☆☆

41.786071, -72.295763

Elizabeth Couch Preserve Joshua’s Trust 17.7 acres in Coventry, CT Parking: Shoulder parking near 100 Cooper Lane, Coventry, CT Trail Map    Trails: Less than a mile …

Potter Meadow

★★☆☆☆

41.713640, -72.245125

Potter Meadow Preserve Joshua’s Trust Land Trust 34 acres in Columbia, CT Parking: At the end of the cul-de-sac near 98 Commerce Dr, Columbia, CT Trail Map … Read more…

Tobiassen Forest

★★☆☆☆

41.837496, -72.368407

Doris and Al Tobiassen Memorial Forest Joshua’s Trust Property 84 acres in Tolland, CT Parking: At the cul-de-sac near 33 I/010, Tolland, CT Trail Map     …

Church Farm

★★☆☆☆

41.838798, -72.171105

Church Farm Joshua’s Trust Property 79 acres in Ashford, CT Parking: Shoulder parking near 179 Varga Rd Ashford, CT for the loop and small pull off across… Read more…

Utley Hill Preserve

★★☆☆☆

41.697347, -72.324801

Utley Hill Preserve Joshua’s Trust Property and Columbia Town Park 275 acres in Columbia, CT (125 for Joshua’s Trust and 150 for the town) Parking: Large lots… Read more…

Josias Byles Sanctuary

★★☆☆☆

41.868035, -72.150976

Josias Byles Sanctuary Joshua’s Trust Property 69 acres in Ashford, CT Parking: Small pull off near 111 Ashford Center Rd Ashford, CT Trail Map       Trails:…

Tinkerville Brook

★★☆☆☆

41.927542, -72.207901

Tinkerville Brook Joshua’s Trust Preserve 42 acres in Ashford, CT Parking: Small pull-off near 135 Armitage Rd, Ashford, CT Trail Map         Trails: 1.2 miles …

Whetten Woods

★★☆☆☆

41.807737, -72.239070

Nate and Theora Whetten Woods Joshua’s Trust Property 37 acres in Mansfield, CT Parking: At the Hope Lutheran Church near 62 Dog Ln, Storrs, CT Small lot… Read more…

Bernard Church Woods

★☆☆☆☆

41.818962, -72.153062

Bernard Church Woods Joshua’s Trust 37 acres in Chaplin, CT Parking: Shoulder parking near 385 Bujak Rd, Chaplin, CT Trail Map      Trails: 0.5 miles   …