DAY TRIPS: Mansfield is home to more than just UConn

Published on Friday, 27 April 2018 22:26
Written by Marty Podskoch

Mansfield is a diverse and fast-growing town 8 miles north of Willimantic in Tolland Co. It encompasses the peaceful Mansfield Hollow Lake as well as Storrs, the home of the University of Connecticut. Here you can enjoy not only the beauty of nature, but also the taste of history and culture.

The Town of Mansfield was incorporated in 1720. In 1810 the country’s first silk mill was built here. Then Mansfield led the country in silk production along with the neighboring town of Willimantic, which transformed the local economy from agriculture to industry. But the textile industry’s heyday ended in the mid-1800s. Instead the new industry, education, became the new excitement in Mansfield after the Storrs Agricultural School was founded in 1881, now known as University of Connecticut, Storrs.

With the fast growth of the university campus, the population in Mansfield dramatically increased from 1,827 in 1900 to 26,543 in 2010. Today Mansfield has become the cultural center in the east of the state with its unique traditions and programs. The Storrs Center is the new ‘pearl’ of the town bringing a downtown experience to the residents and the visitors as well.

Interesting places

Mansfield Hollow State Park. Offers boating, kayaking, fishing, biking, hiking, and picnicking.

151 Bassetts Bridge Road, Mansfield.

The Storrs Center. Food, drink, outdoor concert, shopping and more. 1 Dog Lane, Storrs.

UConn Dairy Bar & Horsebarn Hill. Delicious college-made ice cream, hiking, kiting, visiting farm animals. 3636 Horsebarn Hill Road, Ext.(tension) Storrs.

UConn Sports. Check out schedules of your favorite Huskies sports team and buy tickets.

Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts. Enjoy world-class shows and performances. 2132 Hillside Road, Unit 3104, Mansfield.

Connecticut Repertory Theatre. (run by UConn Department of Dramatic Arts). 820 Bolton Road, #1127, Storrs.

Connecticut State Museum of Natural History. 2019 Hillside Road, Storrs.

Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry. 1 Royce Circle, Suite 101B, Storrs.

William Benton Museum of Art. 245 Glenbrook Rd. Storrs.

Adventure Park at Storrs. Enjoy climbing and zip lines. 2007 Storrs Road, Storrs.

Mansfield Drive-In Theater. Movie schedule.

Mansfield Drive-In Marketplace. Eastern Connecticut’s largest Flea Market. Open Every Sunday 8 a.m.-3 p.m. indoors and outdoors, rain or shine. 228 Stafford Road, Mansfield.

Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. Thousands of rare and heirloom seeds, an old-fashioned pioneer village with shops, vegetarian lunch, fruit trees, demonstration beds with vegetables and flowers. 2278 Baker Creek Road, Mansfield.

Shu Qian, resident, and Teaching & Learning Librarian, Worcester State University Library

This is an excerpt from the book, The Connecticut 169 Club: Your Passport & Guide to Exploring CT. It was written by local residents to encourage people to visit the beautiful 169 towns and cities in Connecticut. The 8.5 x 11 hardcover book contains 368 pages and over 180 illustrations, maps, and photos. It was edited by Marty Podskoch, author of eight books including the Conn. Civilian Conservation Corps Camps, Catskill and Adirondack fire towers, Adk CCC Camps, Adk 102 Club, and Adk illustrated stories. The travel book will be available in late summer 2018. One can pre-order a signed book with free shipping by sending $24.95 plus CT sales tax $1.58 to: Podskoch Press, 43 O’Neill Lane, East Hampton, CT 06424 Also available in late summer 2018 at local stores, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. Information (860)267-2442 or

Posted in New Britain Herald, General News on Friday, 27 April 2018 22:26. Updated: Friday, 27 April 2018 22:29.