The Hop River State Park Trail is one of Connecticut's top rail-trails. Narrow cuts and a lush tree canopy make for enjoyable visits year-round. Most of the 15.6-mile route from the ManchesterVernon town line to Hop River Road follows a crushed stone surface. From the town line east to Washington Street, the trail is mostly forested. At Church and Phoenix streets the trail branches north and is sometimes called the Rockville Spur
or the Vernon Rails-to-Trails.
From the intersection continuing east on the Hop River Trail, the trail climbs gradually for a few miles past impressive rock outcrops. Beyond the Bolton Notch parking lot, the trail passes beneath State Route 44 and US 6, threads a narrow rock cut then descends several miles through thick woods. Past Steeles Crossing Road, US 6 comes into view on your left, but not so close as to break the mood. Keep watch for small waterfalls like the one near Burnap Brook Road.
A new covered bridge over State Route 316 is fabulousand was worth the 10-year wait!
Eventually you pass beneath US 6 through a 100-foot lighted tunnel. Another mile brings you to Parker Bridge Road. Another mile brings you to Parker Bridge Road. The trail continues east toward Willimantic with one section of stone dust and the rest manageable but slightly bumpy dirt. After going under the US 6 bypass, the trail continues along the Hop and Willimantic rivers to end at a spur off Flanders Road.