This forest came to the State in early 1931 through a gift from Mrs. Alice Henry Hall of South Willington, CT. The forest is named for her great-grandfather, Samuel Nye and her father, William Holman. Mr. Nye received 500 acres in 1719, when Tolland was set off from Windsor. 186 acres of this land became part of Nye-Holman State Forest, which now totals 818 acres in Tolland, Willington and Ellington.
Samuel Nye's home was located on Tolland Stage Road, just down hill from Pero Road. Today the foundation remains, but can be difficult to locate. The Nye Holman Forest once was the headquarters for the Connecticut State Forests Eastern District, with the offices located in a house built by William Holman in 1840. Today, only the foundation remains. It, too, is difficult to find.
In 1931 a transplant nursery was established. The nursery grew up to as many as 225,000 young trees. The nursery operation ended in 1947. A legacy of this nursery is the variety of plantations and plantings in the forest near route 74. The Willimantic River flows through the forest. The section of the river through the forest is a trout management area restricted to catch and release fly-fishing. There is also an archery range in the forest.
Fees, permits, and reservations may apply.