The Parklands at Long Hill are a vast natural resource open for the enjoyment of the community. Along with an unusual assortment of exotic and rare plants and trees, there are several interesting nature trails that highlight the Wadsworth family’s love of the environment. The Parklands are open daily from sunrise through sunset for passive recreation. The terrain is mostly flat, but the Perimeter Trail does climb to the top of Long Hill. There is parking near the building and a larger parking area is located behind the building. Trail brochures detailing the history of the landscape and the Wadsworth family are available at the kiosk at the head of the driveway. Should there be an event at the Mansion, there will be signs posted and we ask that you please respect the privacy of our guests and not hike near or into the building.
Tales Along the Trails
In 2000-2002 the Parklands Committee of the Long Hill Estate created Tales Along the Trails, a series of plaques donated by the supporters of Long Hill to tell the story of the estate to hikers. These signs dot the Inner Trail which is blazed with orange markers.
The 1.5 mile Perimeter Trail and the .5 mile Inner Trail allow exploration of the land. Along the Inner Trail is the original driveway, bordered by curved brownstone walls and lined with white oaks, perhaps the most impressive feature of the Olmsted designed landscape. Long Hill Estate is adjacent to Wadsworth Falls State Park. The Perimeter Trail runs adjacent to Laurel Grove Road and the State Park trails are accessible by crossing the road near the brownstone arch.
In the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, Colonel Wadsworth planted thousands of trees and shrubs to transform pastures and orchards into a naturalistic woodland setting around the mansion. Dense nursery plantations were established and mature specimen trees were planted. John Charles Olmsted, of Olmsted and Sons Landscape Architects of Boston, played a major role in the design of the Estate. Over twenty species of trees were planted around the Mansion and are highlighted in the Notable Trees at Long Hill Estate. The Amur Cork Tree, on the Inner Trail, is a native of China and is designated as a Notable Tree in Connecticut.