Nipmuck Trail and the 50-Foot Cliff

Posted By on November 22, 2016

Nipmuck Trail and the 50-Foot Cliff

5 miles; Mansfield, CT

I did a fair bit of driving today to get to some trails I’d never been on before, but actually ended up retracing a portion of a hike I did a little over 2 years ago. There was an amazing view from atop the “50-Foot Cliff.” Now I have to figure out how much of the Nipmuck Trail I’ve done—I could be close to completing another blue-blazed trail.

Silk Mill Remains

Silk Mill Remains

I parked on a roadside pull-off on Chaffeeville Road, directly across from an informational sign that marks the site of an old 1880s silk mill. There is a very impressive amount of old stonework through here, and the short white-blazed connecting trail leads right to the CFPA’s blue-blazed Nipmuck Trail.

Trail Junction

Trail Junction

Speaking of signs, this collection was located at the fork junction. The Nipmuck Trail has two branches which join together at this spot. This is some much-needed signage.

Fifty-Foot Cliff Overlook and Memorial Bench

Fifty-Foot Cliff Overlook and Memorial Bench

I have linked to a brochure for Mansfield’s Fifty Foot Cliff Preserve at the bottom of this post. The brochure tells us that the name, Fifty Foot Cliff, is more poetic than descriptive, as apparently this spot is more like a 100-foot cliff. There is a memorial granite bench here dedicated to Ishmael Rosas, a 20-year-old filmmaker, Eagle Scout, stand-up comic, and teacher, who died earlier this year.

From this spot, I followed the Nipmuck Trail down the cliff and southeast towards Mansfield Hollow State Park, where I crossed the 2 ironwork bridges that span the Fenton River. Which is the part I had done once before.

Iron Bridge over the Fenton River

Iron Bridge over the Fenton River

They are very cool bridges. The plaques say they are salvaged from an older bridge here in town.

Seed Head

Seed Head

Another seed head. I am fascinated by seed pods and seed heads at this time of year. I love to make arrangements from them, although sometimes, when the seeds release, it can get a little messy…

My Track

My Track (click for details)

As you can see from the above track, I cheated on the return leg and walked along Chaffeeville Road rather than climb back up the cliff, because that’s just how I roll. You can find out more about the Nipmuck Trail from the Ct Forest & Park Association’s website. I particularly recommend their interactive trail map. And here is the promised link to the Fifty Foot Cliff Preserve’s brochure. Trailhead: 41.795395, -72.208655, 501 Chaffeeville Road, Storrs, CT.

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