Mt. Hope Park
35 acres in Mansfield, CT
Parking: Medium sized lot near 652 Warrenville Rd Mansfield, CT
Mt. Hope is a small town park and active agricultural field. There are 1.06 miles of trails here circumnavigating the open fields. The trail is white blazed with occasional directional arrows leading through second growth woodland to the banks of the Mt. Hope River and an esker along an unnamed pond that features a beaver lodge and their extensive work.
To foil the beavers the town installed a caged outflow drain pipe. Despite this, the water here has risen (in the spring) and blocked access to a wetlands boardwalk section of the trail. Instead, hikers walk along the edges of the fields back to the parking lot.
Reach the missing section through the northern entrance to the white loop. This part of the trail passes the remnants of a dairy barn before heading into a meadow. The former grazing land is currently a large and well-maintained picnic area.
Further evidence of Mt. Hope’s former use as a farm includes a tree nursery where dogwoods and Bradford Pear flower in the spring. At a casual walk, this property takes only a half hour to walk, but many stops along the trail are worth taking in.
Per the town brochure, “The town acquired Mt. Hope Park in 1999 with assistance from the CT DEEP’s Open Space Watershed and Land Acquisition Grant Program. The park is part of an old riverside farm dating back to the late 1700’s.
Peter Marteka – A Summer Visit To A Hopeful River In Mansfield (2016)