The natural setting surrounding Mansfield Hollow Lake is enjoyed year-round. Pleasing views from the dam offer sightseers and photographers a panoramic view of the area. Visitors will discover a wide variety of natural areas to explore.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers owns 2,472 acres, of which the State of Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection leases approximately 2,300 acres for recreation and natural resource management. The state of Connecticut manages Mansfield Hollow Lake, which is becoming an increasingly popular recreational attraction. On a graceful, pine-covered bluff overlooking the broad expanse of water, picnic tables and fireplaces for both families and large groups are available. Many acres of open field lie adjacent to the bluff and may be used for softball, touch football, volleyball, and other team sports and group activities. A 4.5-mile walking/cross-country skiing trail leads through former pastures and the stone foundation remnants of former homesteads. The persistent hiker may find evidence of habitation by the Nipmuck Tribe. Other park facilities include a boat ramp, drinking water, and parking and sanitary areas.
The lake provides excellent boating for sailboats, canoes, and small power boats. Fishermen can expect to find trout, bass, horned pout, and perch. In-season hunting of pheasant, quail, partridge, and small game animals is also permitted.
Guests at Mansfield Hollow Lake may wish to visit the village of Mansfield Hollow, located adjacent to the dam. This area has been designated a State Historic District and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in recognition of its unique characterization of a 19th century rural village.
The project annually attracts more than 574,900 visitors. Visitors spend an estimated $8.45 million within 30 miles of the lake. An estimated 237 jobs in the local community are supported by visitors to Mansfield Hollow Lake.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Park Rangers and personnel from the Connecticut State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection manage the natural resources at Mansfield Hollow Lake through a multiple-use approach. This approach to managing the 2,472 acres helps to meet present needs and assures a diversity of resources for future generations to enjoy.
Fish species observed in the lake include black crappie, pumpkinseed and bluegill sunfish, largemouth and smallmouth bass, yellow perch, brown bullhead, chain pickerel, white sucker, American eel, golden shiner, carp and rainbow, brook and brown trout. Northern pike are also present, having been reintroduced to the lake in 1992. Fishing is good for largemouth bass and fair for smallmouth bass. The lake also provides good fishing for yellow perch and chain pickerel.
The northern pike, a native of northern Europe, the northern United States and all of Canada, grows to lengths over 40 inches and may weigh over 30 pounds. In Connecticut, pike often reach 10 pounds and occasionally exceed 20 pounds. Pike have been in the Connecticut River since the mid-1800’s. In the last three decades the DEEP Fisheries Division has stocked several additional areas with these impressive fish: Bantam Lake (early 1970’s), Mansfield Hollow Lake (1992), Quaddick Reservoir (1999) and Pachaug Pond (1999) creating successful fisheries.
The Breeding season for northern pike is late winter to early spring when the water is still around 40 degrees. The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Fisheries Managers monitor key marshes and coordinate water levels with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers personnel to keep these areas flooded to enhance the survival of northern pike in order to promote the increasing northern pike fishery in Connecticut.
- Updated: 11 June 2015