Wolf Rock Nature Preserve
Joshua’s Trust Wolf Rock, Mansfield, CT
Wolf Rock is one of Mansfield’s most spectacular landmarks, consisting of a great glacial boulder almost round, perhaps two yards in diameter. Perched atop a sheer forty foot cliff, this huge boulder testifies to the force of the glacier that moved southward through this area, slicing off chunks of rock and steepening slopes. Wolves may have inhabited the area when the town was settled, but by the turn of this century, Wolf Rock had become a favorite destination for an afternoon walk. Once part of a large estate, bordered by an extensive stone wall still visible along Brown’s Road, Wolf Rock was the site of an observation tower. The tower is gone, but one of the rings that anchored it is still there.
The ledge and the boulder have both together and separately been called Wolf Rock since earliest times. The “great rock on the height of the ledge” is mentioned in deeds as early as the late 18th century and the view is almost as celebrated. Looking south-east from the top of the ledge you can see the sawmill Brook valley below and fields on Crane Hill Road.
The blue-blazed Nipmuk Trail crosses Crane Hill Road at the property entrance and continues through it and down past Sawmill Brook.
This preserve has been pieced together over the decades thanks to several generous donors and public funds. The Town of Mansfield’s Sawmill Brook property connects to the Wolf Rock Preserve and the properties are managed jointly. The last adjacent parcel donated to the Trust was the Bailey property, 12-plus forested acres contiguous with the south-west side of wolf Rock and bordered by the old Blacksmith Shop Road.
Location: Mansfield Center, between Crane Hill Road and Puddin’ Lane.
Donors: This parcel would not have been preserved without many supporters and contributers, including Dorothy Goodwin, Florence A. Palmer, Dan Costello, Ann Cerreto-Costello, James and Pat Leta, George and Ann Bailey.
Acres: 108.3 acres
Preserved: 1971, 1977, 1980, 1989, 1990, 1999 and 2007
Stewards: John Hankins and Greg Padick
Trail Map: The Trust does not maintain a trail map but the Town of Mansfield includes it on their adjacent Sawmill Brook .
Directions: From Route 195, travel on Brown’s Road for one mile to where Crane Hill Rd. forks to the left. Travel on Crane Hill Rd about 0.2m to the crossing of the Nipmuck Trail (blue-blazed). Parking area is on the right hand side.