Greenmanville Self-Guided Walking Tour

The “road to Mystic” is named for a 19th-century maritime community with agricultural roots uniquely positioned by the river and connected to the sea. Greenmanville began to emerge in the 1830s and found its namesake by 1849 with the rise of wooden shipbuilding on the banks of the Mystic River, which was lead in part by three brothers named Greenman. Landscape and location were key to the community’s renowned success, but by the 1870s other industry began to supplant the remains of local shipbuilding as westward expansion and technology transformed the idyllic rural concept of life.

Greenmanville offers a point of entry to further examine the sense of a place still found here in Mystic. The river continues to connect everything together from forest to sea. And what gave rise to this old maritime community still lies intact as a preserved gateway known as the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center’s Coogan Farm campus located on Greenmanville Avenue. The roots of nature and heritage here are profound and forever protected as the Nature Center stewards the last parcel of undeveloped property in Mystic with great care and purpose. Coogan Farm itself offers a unique and broad opportunity to weave together stories spanning four centuries to help achieve an ecologically healthy future for all by enhancing knowledge of heritage and nature.

STATION 1:
OLD FARMHOUSE

Sense of Place

The Greenmanville Trail is a self-guided tour beginning at the John Avery farmhouse at the Coogan Farm campus of the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center. How we begin our tour requires further context and acknowledgement of who came long before the Greenmans to this lush landscape nestled by the sea.

JOHN E. AVERY FARMHOUSE | Coogan Farm

STATION 2:
HEIRLOOM ORCHARD

Pasturelands and Orchards

Topography is an important part of the success and survival of a landscape. Besides being situated on the Eastern side of the Mystic River by fertile marshes and forest, the land here benefitted from what local historian Rudy Favretti called “good slopes and airflow.”

GALLUP ORCHARD | Coogan Farm

STATION 3:
STILLMAN FOUNDATION

A Foundation Hidden by Nature

As you emerge from the heirloom orchard near the Hamm Pavilion or by the Northern end of the Greenmanville Trail, you will find a partial masonry structure known as the Stillman Foundation atop the ridgeline of the Coogan Farm property.

STILLMAN FOUNDATION | Coogan Farm

STATION 4:
PEACE SANCTUARY

Exploring Other Views by the River

Our tour picks up the threads of Greenmanville beyond the Stillman foundation, down the South side of the main farm loop and back to the John Avery farmhouse where we began. From here, we’ll explore outside the boundaries of Coogan Farm following the Mystic River along Greenmanville Avenue.

MYSTIC RIVER BOAT HOUSE PARK | Mystic CT

STATION 5:
GREENMAN BROTHERS

The Greenmans of Greenmanville

Our self-guided tour continues South on Greenmanville Avenue following the widening of the river and paralleling the 19-acres of the nation’s leading maritime museum known as Mystic Seaport Museum (https://www.mysticseaport.org) on the banks of the Mystic River.

MYSTIC SEAPORT MUSEUM | Mystic CT

STATION 6:
RIVER OVERLOOK

Where Do We Go From Here

Where Do We Go From Here Our final stop along the Greenmanville Trail is the Mystic River Overlook found at the South entrance of the Mystic Seaport Museum. Here you can observe the view of a modern-day shipyard with activity not unlike what could be found here during the 19th-century.

MYSTIC SEAPORT MUSEUM | Mystic CT

MAP OF GREENMANVILLE
SELF-GUIDED TOUR

How to navigate your tour

Description about the tour loop goes here– starting point, ending point, length, terrain, accessibility and how to interact with the tour.