Church Farm

This Joshua's Trust property abuts property owned by Eastern Connecticut State University, and the trail, maintained by Joshua's Trust, goes through both properties. The entire open space totals 253 acres. Church Farm also has access to the Mount Hope River

Walkability: Moderate to strenuous, with some steep sections, slippery with leaves in the autumn. We wished we had hiking poles for this hike due to conditions.

Total distance:  3.26 miles, including both the yellow and the blue trails.

Elevation change: 429 feet (up + down).

Environment: It's not for nothing that the main yellow trail is dubbed "The Ledges." We walked in a counter clockwise direction in order to avoid climbing those steep inclines but faced slippery conditions when descending them. 

Starting at the parking lot on Varga Road, which will hold a couple of cars, we crossed the road and started on the blue trail there, across a strip of meadow. The kiosk for this trail is on the far side of the meadow, where the trail enters the woods and blazes begin. We crossed a stream, and turned right onto the yellow-blazed loop. When we got to the spur trail at the northwest of the preserve, we walked out to Varga Road and back in again. (Parking on Varga here is not optimal.) We continued south on the yellow loop, down the ledges, and skipped the short cut trail that would save a little bit of walking. The viewpoint at the southeastern curve of the trail was not particularly rewarding. Continuing along the loop, we climbed back up the ledges and returned to our car via the blue trail. We found this to be the most strenuous trail in the Joshua's Trust system.

Directions: Turn west onto Varga Road from Mansfield Road  (Rt. 89). The parking area is on the right, less than 0.1 miles in. Another parking area mentioned by Joshua's Trust is a bit farther up Varga Road and on the left. It is at a dangerous spot in the road, and it doesn't seem possible to park completely off the pavement.

Here is the link to Church Farm at the Joshua's Trust website. 

November 2023

Map of Church Farm Preserve from Joshua's Trust.

The parking area on Rt. 89 south of Varga  Road (lower little red car on the map) does not connect to a trail. That section  has been closed due to persistent flooding. Park on Varga Road.

The green areas are owned by Joshua's Trust. The additional area outlined in gray belongs to ECSU and is open space.

Photos of the trail, showing why it is called "The Ledges." Also, small streams and a view of Mansfield Road (Rt. 89).