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University Arboretum

The UConn Arboretum celebrates and protects UConn's most iconic trees and shrubs and is one of several nationally recognized arboreta and botanic gardens. To see the treasures of the collection, download the Tree Guide and follow the map. Looking up into a tree's canopy for 30 seconds offers light, movement and a sense of awe.
  • Styphnolobium japonica, the Weeping Japanese Tree, near Fine Arts (photo: C. Jones)

Accessibility

Gentle Hiking

Art Woods & Benton Garden

Behind the William Benton Museum, a secret garden and the sound of running water offers quiet in the center of the campus. The Art Woods and Benton garden, called by many the "fountain forest" sits among various campus walkways. Sit among trees and art and enjoy the greens of spring and summer and the gold of autumn.
  • A statue sits outside of the William Benton Museum of Art on April 3, 2013. (Ariel Dowski/UConn Photo)

Accessibility

Wheelchair

Benton Patio

Sip coffee from the Beanery, soak in the sunlight, study, chat or just be--the view from Benton Patio includes the Sundial Garden and the Student Union Mall and encourages contemplation of the bigger picture.
  • Benton Museum Plaza (Photo: Cynthia Jones)

Accessibility

Wheelchair

Buddy Benches

Over looking Swan Lake, the Buddy Benches provide a place for conversation, contemplation, or just quiet companionship.
  • View of the Buddy Benches (Photo: C. Jones)

Accessibility

Walk, not accessible for wheelchair

Horsebarn Hill

During times of intense studying, few things provide more perspective and calm than a vast green field with a 360º vista. Let worries fade away with an ice cream from the nearby Dairy Bar, or experience a quiet sunrise and sunset at the top of the hill. Summer and autumn at this campus landmark are the most active seasons, but the field covered with snow in a vast expanse of white is just as stunning.
  • A view of Horsebarn Hill at sunrise on July 20, 2017. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

Accessibility

Walk, not accessible for wheelchair

Mirror Lake

Where there is water, changes in seasons are mirrored in light playing off ripples. A bench under arching branches is perfect for pausing to take in reflections of trees. UConn’s four seasons are on full display at Mirror Lake. Visit the lake, slow down, and maybe things you have been thinking about for a long time will take a new turn.
  • Mirror Lake (Photo: Cynthia Jones)

Accessibility

Wheelchair

New Storrs Cemetery

  • A view of the Storrs Cemetery on July 19, 2017. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

Accessibility

Wheelchair

Plant Biodiversity Conservatory

The Plant Biodiversity Conservatory (aka. the EEB Greenhouses) offer subtle smells, texture and colors of thousands of plants from all over the world. Open to students and the public (http://florawww.eeb.uconn.edu/), the greenhouses are located on the north side of campus in an area known at the Tech Quad, behind Torrey Life Sciences. Whether resting on a bench or strolling among plants from another continent, the EEB greenhouses offer a restorative respite, especially in winter.
  • The Plant Biodiversity Conservatory (aka. The EEB Greenhouses) (Photo: Cynthia Jones)

Accessibility

Wheelchair

President's Garden

The President’s Garden is a quiet haven for study and relaxation wrapped in a comforting perimeter of stone wall and flowering shrubs. Cozied up to the Great Lawn, which is mirrored in the garden’s own little turf rectangle, this space provides picnic benches which welcome you away from campus traffic. There is a sense of protection in the simple geometry and hardy flora that is sure to fortify the hardworking student.
  • The President's Garden (Photo: Cynthia Jones)

Accessibility

Wheelchair

South Campus Commons

If you are looking classical buildings, lawns and trees, the South Campus Commons provides the quintessential New England college feel. If you pass through daily, look up. Pick a favorite tree and notice it every day. When it is quiet, you can hear the sound of the fountain from the Mirror Lake through the trees and from here it is a scenic walk to Storrs Center.
  • A view of the Storrs Cemetery on July 19, 2017. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

Accessibility

Wheelchair

Swan Lake

Next to the Chemistry building, the charm of Swan Lake presents a special kind of solace. In summer, watch the black birds nesting in cattails, or fish that feed at the water’s edge. Once the temperature drops, you can watch ice hockey players sliding freely on the lake--you may even choose to join them.
  • Swan Lake in summer. (Photo: Cynthia Jones(

Accessibility

Wheelchair

Waugh Sundial Garden

For those who prefer a more dynamic garden experience, the Sundial Garden is situated in a particularly lively UConn hub between the Benton Museum and the Quad. The central sundial is flanked by rose beds, flowering trees and benches, making for a colorful and comfortable place to take a seat between classes with a coffee from the Beanery.
  • Benches by the rose gardens at the Sundial. (Photo: Cynthia Jones)

Accessibility

Wheelchair

Young Building Gazebo

Step from the Young Building parking lot into the gazebo and enjoy lunch in the shade on a warm day. Close your eyes, listen to humming insects, smell the nearby gardens, feel the breeze and breathe.
  • Magnolia by the Young Bldg. Gazebo (Photo: Cynthia Jones)

Accessibility

Wheelchair

trail blaze mark A guide to reading trail blazes

Fenton River - Nipmuck Trail

  • UConn Forest Trail (Photo: Henry Frye)

Accessibility

Moderate Hiking

Fifty Foot Cliff

Accessible from the back of the quiet colonial Mansfield Historical Society, you will find yourself heading down the well-kept Nipmuck Trail through native ferns and idyllic stone walls. Hold right in the utility corridor to reach a climactic point of glacial topography at the Fifty Foot Cliff. Pause and enjoy a far-reaching view of Connecticut’s rolling hills to punctuate this pleasant hike.
  • Photo: Christopher Scott

Accessibility

Gentle Hiking

Hillside Environmental Education Park

In a feat of soil and wetland remediation, the HEEP was carved out of a former landfill site and surrounding forest with the goals of student education and healthy ecosystems. The tract boasts a gradient of ecosystems from upland forests along discovery drive, to open wetlands along the electrical cuthrough. A few quiet outlook decks give the trail-goer a place to pause and watch the interplay between land and sky while this relatively new habitat grows into its own.
  • A view of wetlands at the Hillside Environmental Education Park on July 21, 2017. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

Accessibility

Gentle Hiking

Moss Sanctuary

Named for the accomplished UConn forestry professor Albert E. Moss (and containing an abundance of moss), Moss Sanctuary serves as an intimate showcase of several native habitats. A healthy grove of hemlock and white pine provides deep green in every season, before the trail opens up to a view of Tift Pond. This fairly large pond is a shining centerpiece reflecting both the liveliness and calm of the surrounding forest. The outer loop trail continues into wetlands and further into upland forest. Look to towering old hardwoods as a testament to resilience on the steady inclines and declines of this walk.
  • Tift Pond at the Moss Sanctuary (Photo: Henry Frye)

Accessibility

Gentle Hiking

Shelter Falls

The North Eagleville Tract and Shelter falls are two adjacent plots of land with plenty to offer in the way of riparian habitats. Follow the babble of Cedar Swamp brook along stony hillsides and placid wetlands. Quiet observation may reward you with the sight of a Great Blue Heron weaving through the water. Near the center of this site sits Shelter Rock, part of a stately heap of boulders overlooking the namesake Shelter Falls. Sit and relax or picnic with friends to the tune of the brook playing against these ancient stones. Regardless, when you are here, take time to listen.
  • Bone Mill Pond (Chris Simon)

Accessibility

Moderate Hiking

UConn Forest

Sometimes also called the "Fenton tract," the UConn Forest comprises about 580 acres extending from Horsebarn Hill to the Fenton River. Criscrossed with trails, some used for hiking and others for research projects, the Fenton tract area was once cleared for farming and now includes sections of forest ranging from 30 to 130 years in age.
  • UConn Forest Trail (Photo: Henry Frye)

Accessibility

Gentle and Moderate Hiking

trail blaze mark A guide to reading trail blazes

Bradley-Buchanan Woods

  • Ganoderma sp., Bradley Buchanan Woods. (Photo: Cynthia Jones)

Accessibility

Moderate Hiking

Coney Rock Preserve

  • View from Coney Rock, spring (Photo: Henry Frye)

Accessibility

Moderate Hiking

Dorwart Preserve

  • Brook near the Mulberry Rd. entrance to Dorwart Preserve (Photo: Cynthia Jones)

Accessibility

Moderate Hiking

Dunhamtown Forest

Accessibility

Moderate Hiking

Echo Woods

  • Echo Woods, Joshua's Trust trail (Photo: Cynthia Jones)

Accessibility

Moderate Hiking

Knowlton Hill Preserve

  • Knowlton Hill Trailhead, winter. (Photo: Henry Frye)

Accessibility

Moderate Hiking

Mansfield Hollow State Park

  • The levee walk at Mansfield Hollow (photo: Christopher Scott)

Merrow Meadow Park

  • A male Bull frog at Merrow Park (Photo: Kentwood Wells)

Accessibility

Gentle Hiking

Mount Hope River Park

Accessibility

Gentle Hiking

Nipmuck Trail

  • Fenton River in fall (Photo: Matthew Opel)

Accessibility

Moderate Hiking

River Park

Accessibility

Moderate Hiking

Sawmill Brook Preserve

Accessibility

Moderate Hiking

Schoolhouse Brook Park

  • Bicentennial Pond (Photo: Bernard Goffinet)

Accessibility

Moderate Hiking

Simpson Wood Trail

Accessibility

Moderate Hiking

Torrey Preserve

Accessibility

Moderate Hiking

Wolf Rock

  • The view from Wolf Rock (Photo: Christopher Scott)

Accessibility

Moderate Hiking

Biking in Mansfield

Biking in Mansfield involves narrow roads with driver's that don't expect you, but little else compares to the breeze in your face as you tour fields and forests. The maps of routes provided here are based on bike routes recognized by the Town of Mansfield. For additional information about biking on campus see: