The Dunham family had a farm in this area from 1695 to 1873. They were descendants of Mary Dunham, who settled with her son in one of the original homes in Mansfield Center. This area is in the vicinity of the original Joshua’s Tract, bequeathed to “16 Men of Norwich”.
This preserve makes for fine birdwatching and for viewing wildflowers. In winter Dunham Pond (not on preserve property) can be seen from the trail.
Dunham Woods is an important link in a developing greenway running the length of the town. It adjoins the 226 acre Dunhamtown Forest Preserve, a town of Mansfield open space property. Across South Eagleville Road is another Joshua’s Trust property, Owen’s Mere.
The yellow blazed trail through the woods crosses wetlands on a wooden walkway, then goes on to higher ground, ending in a loop path bordering a stone wall. Just before the wall is a stone bench, placed in memory of Carrick McLaughlin. At the farthest point of the loop it connects with the town of Mansfield’s white-blazed Dunhamtown Forest trails.
Location: Mansfield, South Eagleville Road 0.2 mile west of Separatist Road
Donors: Beatrice and Edward Boettiger, Jean and William Orr, Mabel and Charles Owen, Katherine and Lawrence Parrish.
Acres: 17 acres.
Stewards: Careen Jennings
Trail Map: Trail map is offered courtesy of Mansfield Parks and Recreation: click here for Mansfield’s Dunhamtown Forest Guide.
Directions: The entrance is from the south side of South Eagleville Road, 1.2 miles west of where it meets Route 195 in Storrs, and just 0.2 miles west of Separatist Road. As you go west look for a yellow trail blaze just after a bend in the road. There is parking for 2-3 cars near the trail. However this parking space can be difficult to exit from onto South Eagleville Rd going toward Rt. 195 due to a blind curve. Alternative parking is across the road at the Trust’s Owen’s Mere Preserve.