coney_rock_vista1
photo courtsey of Joan Hill

In 2002 David Storrs Chapin, son of Warren Chapin and great grandson of the Storrs family, generously donated this parcel to Joshua’s Trust, preserving a property of beautiful scenery and impressive geologic and historical interest. Since then, successive acquisitions have built this initial gift into the very beautiful and popular preserve it is today.

Coney Rock is a ridge about 250 feet higher than the surrounding land. Glacier-carved rock has left a steep drop on one side of this tableland property, providing wonderful views of the Mansfield Hollow area.

Alfred Oden owned the whole ridgeline until 1933, when he sold the west side of Coney Rock to Knute Olsen, and the east side to Warren Chapin (father of David Storrs Chapin). 77 years later, both halves were reunited. The town of Mansfield received a grant from the Connecticut DEP to purchase the 60-acre Olsen property, which provided links from Coney Rock to Mansfield Hollow State Park and the Nipmuck Trail, and the following year David Chapin generously donated the eastern portion to Joshua’s Trust. An additional 9 acres of subdivision open space allotment was added to the preserve.

Very soon, Joshua’s Trust was able to purchase 17 acres nearby at a bargain-sale price. This parcel, purchased from Leonora Mullane and named Proposal Rock, was separated from Coney Rock by Woodland Road. Eight years later, in 2009, the Trust and Mansfield jointly puchased another 5.9 acres, protecting more surrounding land and providing public access from Woodland Road.

This property is adjacent to Mansfield’s 61 acre Dorwart Family Preserve, which runs as far as Lions club Memorial Park. Thanks to all involved, over 280 acres of land with wildlife corridors connecting to other undisturbed areas has been preserved, springing from the intial intent of David Storrs Chapin to preserve his eastern side of Coney Rock.

More about Coney Rock:
Aerial Trail Map of Coney Rock trails showing old Chafeeville Silk Mill site, Fifty-foot cliff, Mansfield and Joshua Trust trails. From Mansfield Parks and Recreation website.

2010: Coney Rock, an Autumn Beauty in Mansfield
Peter Marteka, in the Hartford Courant

2009: Key 5.9-acre Parcel Purchased which Connects Coney and Proposal Preserves

2003: Coney Rock Preserved as part of Joshua’s Tract in Mansfield.
by Peter Marteka, in the Hartford Courant

Location: Mansfield Connecticut, off Mulberry Road
Donors: David Storrs Chapin
Acres: Initial gift of 134 acres
Preserved: 2002
Stewards: Andrew Smith
Trail Map: The Coney Rock Trail Guide, from the Mansfield, CT Parks and Preserves website.
Street Map: Click here for the Google map
Directions: From the intersection of Routes 89 and 195 in Mansfield Center, go north on Route 195 (Storrs Road) about .2 miles to Chaffeeville road on the right. Follow that road 1.8 m to just after it crosses the Fenton River and the entrance to Mulberry Road. At that point on the right there is a park sign, parking for several cars, and the start of the Spring trail.