Porter Howard Reservoirs
336 acres in Manchester, CT
- West Side: Small lot near 360 Ferguson Rd, Manchester, CT
- East Side: Shoulder parking near 126-204 Finley St, Manchester, CT
Trail Map Trails: 5 miles Rating: ★★★☆☆
Less than a mile north of ever popular Case Mountain is the less widely known Porter/Howard Reservoirs. There is quite the network of trails here and despite wandering around for a couple hours I likely only hit about a third of them. While it lacks the iconic views of Case, the quiet beauty of the reservoirs has its own engaging appeal.
Trails here are wide well-traveled and easy to follow. They are spottily blazed and I saw at least two or three colors but without a trail map they aren’t really needed to navigate around. I started from the Porter Reservoir access parking and went straight over to the loop around the reservoir. There is posted signage around the reservoir prohibiting dogs in the area and from anyone swimming or wading since it is protected public drinking water. I did see a massive koi fish swimming lazily along the bank.
Several trails branch off the reservoir and I followed one northwest to the marsh which showed old signs of beaver activity but I couldn’t spot any lodges. The trail looped back skirting private property most of the way and climbing a hill to some water towers before descending back to the reservoir.
I also took a trail heading south hoping to make it to Howard Reservoir and instead sidetracked myself along Porter Brook. It’s shallow channel contained a few small cascades and a large rock provided a peaceful resting spot. I did meander a bit further but ended up back at Porter Reservoir instead.
Likely on my next visit I’ll start from the east side and given the beauty of the area you can be sure it will be soon.
CTMQ – Porter/Howard Reservoir (2017)
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Last updated April 5th, 2022
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