Thanks to skilled engineers with the former Hartford, Providence, & Fishkill Railroad, the pretty Vernon Rails-to-Trails overlooks ravines and streams and passes between rock walls verdant with ferns and lichen. Crossing a wooded terrain of hills and wetlands, it also provides a wonderful introduction to Vernon's varied neighborhoods. You may spot deer, and you'll surely notice the line of railroad-era telephone poles amid the trees. The Connecticut Army National Guard laid down the stone dust surface as a training exercise.
The Vernon Rails-to-Trails is also called the Rockville Spur of the Hop River State Park Trail
, which runs mostly east-west. The trails converge at the main trailhead hub on Church Street. Here, the Vernon Rail Trail heads north and east to Vernon Avenue and through the historic center of Rockville. A footbridge provides passage across the Tankerhoosen River, also offering a scenic overlook.
Parking for the Vernon Rails-to-Trails is on Church Street between Phoenix and Washington streets, 1 mile south of Interstate 84. From Hartford, take I-84 east to Exit 65 and follow signs to State Route 30 north. Turn right at the traffic signal on Dobson Road and cross beneath I-84. Dobson becomes Washington Street. A mile south, turn left on Church Street. Trailhead parking is ahead on the left.
To reach the trailhead from Exit 66, bear right on Frontage Road, then turn left on Tunnel Road. After 0.25 mile, turn right on Warren Avenue. Drive 0.5 mile, take a left on Phoenix Street and take an immediate right on Church Street. Trailhead parking is on the right.
I rode this trail on my road bike as a detour from the nearby Hop River Trail. Beautiful scenery the entire time. This trail combined with the Hop River Trail was a wonderful bike ride that I would highly recommend.
Attended the Rails to Trails meeting about a week ago. Never knew there were so many places to go in Vernon to hike.
I was in the area of Church Street a day or two or ago. Thought I would look it trail in that area. I was greatly impressed.
I like ...
The description is a bit misleading. While this section of the trail is 4 miles, it is part of the Hop River State Rail Trail that runs for 19.3 miles from Manchester to Columbia, not including the four mile long Rockville Spur, which is discussed here. ...