Schoolhouse Brook Park
455 acres in Mansfield, CT
Parking: Small lot near 186 Clover Mill Rd Mansfield, CT
Trail Map Trails: 8.5 miles Rating: ★★★☆☆
Over the years the Town of Mansfield has increased Schoolhouse Brook from its original 100 acres to its present 455 acres which includes 8.54 miles of trails, Barrows Pond, Bicentennial Pond, and Schoolhouse Brook. The park is effectively bisected by Clover Mill Road with a number of trail loops on either side making this a great area for repeat visits.
The trails here are abundant and vary from gentle crushed stone paths to wide old forest roads. From the well worn Nipmuck Trail to narrow and faint unblazed connecting trails.
The Nipmuck Trail connects to Fifty Foot Cliff by heading north or Wolf Rock by heading south. Within the park the trail is easy to follow and is relatively easy walking though with a few rocky slopes. North of Clover Mill Rd the trail follows Schoolhouse Brook until reaching Bicentennial Pond. It briefly follows the crushed stone path before abruptly heading back into the trees. This section is less traveled and awkwardly passes the edge of private property to reach a brief road walk on Spring Hill Rd.
The Bird Loop trail also connects to two other Joshua’s Trust properties the Harriet E. Babcock Preserve and the Holt-Kinney Woods. There is much to explore here so Schoolhouse Brook Park will likely require repeat visits in order to take in all it has to offer. from the old orchard to the spring wildflowers or the old stone dam.
Nipmuck Next Section: 0.2 mile road walk along Spring Hill Rd to cross Rt. 195 and enter Fifty Foot
Previous Section: 0.2 mile rocky section that exits along someone’s side yard to cross Brown’s Rd coming from Wolf Rock
The section west of Clover Mill Road contains several mountain bike trails (outlined in green below) with many technical features. They may form a loop though I was unable to follow them to link them together.
While the singletrack is easy to follow the trail is not well established. The first trail is located off Barrows Trail past the Nipmuck connecting to the western curve of the Bird Loop. Then following it downhill past the Holt Trail is another technical feature which ends in the woods just off the trail. There is another connecting down from the Hall Trail to the Heritage Trail. This one did start west of the Hall Trail but I chose not to follow it.
Bicentennial Pond was created in 1976 and now provides picnicking, summer swimming, concerts, and frequently… geese. Fishing is popular here and a small dock with rod holders is located at the western edge. There is also a kid’s playscape just off the parking lot in this section.
Established as a park in 1957. The three largest parcels south of Clover Mill Road were purchased by the town in 1975, 1982, and 1986.
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Last updated March 8th, 2020
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