C.C. Knowlton, a wealthy mill owner, built his copper roofed summer home at the top of Knowlton Hill in the style of Watch Hill. His granddaughter, Mildred Hammond-Knowlton and her niece, Evelyn Guymon, gave this tract to the Trust. The most distinctive feature is the hill itself, from which one can see the Mt. Hope River valley and as far as Pumpkin Hill in Chaplin. Trails on both sides of Knowlton Hill Rd. wind through 127 acres of woods and fields past Knowlton Pond and then to the crest of a glacial drumlin, which affords a commanding view of the Mount Hope River valley and the pond. Along one trail, two granite benches have been placed in memory of William S. Toubman. These present an irresistible stopping point to rest and take in the scenery.
The area is surrounded by working farms, many of which are preserved through agricultural trusts and easements.
A small off-road parking area is available at the edge of the hayfield. Nearby is a kiosk with a large map of the trails as well as a loose-leaf trail guide corresponding to 10 sign posts. This guide may be borrowed to take along on your walk.
The trails are for pedestrians only; no horses, bikes or motor vehicles. Pets must be kept on leash. No hunting, camping or fires.
Trail Guide: There are a total of 2.5 miles of blazed hiking trails within this area. Please do not stray from the paint-blazed woodland trails, as hunting does occur on adjacent private land.
Yellow Loop – This loop, 1.4 miles long, begins at the parking area on the east side of Knowlton Hill Road, enters the hay field that covers the top of Knowlton Hill, follows the edge of the field, enters the woods, and skirts the edge of Knowlton Pond going north and then west. A wooden bridge crosses a seasonal stream above a vernal pool. The trail turns west and crosses Knowlton Hill Road to enter the woods again 50 yards south. It passes a small pond, crosses over a stream and emerges onto the road again near the parking area.
Blue Shortcut – This 0.3 mile trail takes you to the top of Knowlton Hill for the best view of the surrounding landscape, with a bench and a tree for shade, and then joins the yellow loop as it goes into the woods.
Orange – This 0.2 mile trail, with a short steep portion, enters the woods off the yellow loop and affords a closer view of privately owned Knowlton Pond. This trail joins the yellow loop as it turns north.
Purple – This 0.6 mile trail leaves the Yellow Loop near a small stream and follows this stream through the woods passing through a stand of beech trees. It goes near a privately owned marsh where one can see pileated woodpeckers, then turns east and north through an old rock wall and joins the yellow loop again.
Location: Mansfield and Ashford along Knowlton Hill Road
Donors: The Trust is thankful for this gift of Mildred Hammond-Knowlton and her niece, Evelyn Guyman.
Acreage: 127 acres
Preserved in: 1987, 1988, 1989 and 1996
Stewards: Greg and Mona Anderson
Trail Map: Click here for the trail map. You will need Adobe Acrobat to view or print our trail maps.
Directions: From Mansfield Center, take Rt 89 for 1.2m to Wormwood Hill Road on the left. Follow Wormwood past the intersection with Mount Hope Road, until Knowlton Hill Road branches to the left. Travel on Knowlton Hill Road about 0.4m to the preserve on the right, just before crossing the Ashford town line.