After Ashfield was incorporated in 1765, colonial settlers moved into the region and cleared the forest for pasture. By 1831, the area around Pony Mountain contained the larger part of a herd of 8,000 sheep. At the same time, Chapel Falls became the site of at least two gristmills and a two-room schoolhouse. The school "doubled as a Methodist chapel on Sundays, when the folding doors separating the two rooms were swung open."
The original acreage of the Chapel Brook reservation was donated by Mrs. Henry T. Curtiss in 1964 in memory of her husband and expanded with purchases derived from Curtiss' endowment in 1981 and 1989. Additional acreage was donated in 1992.
The Chapel Brook reservation is open to hiking, mountain biking, picnicking, fishing, rock climbing, and wading in the pools below the falls.
Chapel Falls are accessed via a short footpath. A 1 mile (1.6 km) trail ascends to the open ledges of Pony Mountain where there are scenic vistas of the surrounding woodlands. A 2-mile (3.2 km) forest trail, managed by the local trailbuilding organization Ashfield Trails, leads from the base of Pony Cliffs to West Road in Ashfield. You can cross West Rd and the trail continues up into the Daughters of American Revolution State Forest (DAR SF). Trailheads to the property are located along Williamsburg Road in South Ashfield.