North Branford, CT Cross Country Skiing Trails and Maps

775 Reviews

Looking for the best Cross Country Skiing trails around North Branford?

Find the top rated cross country skiing trails in North Branford, whether you're looking for an easy short cross country skiing trail or a long cross country skiing trail, you'll find what you're looking for. Click on a cross country skiing trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.

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Activities
Length
Surfaces
Type
23 Results
Activities
Length
Surfaces
Type

Air Line State Park Trail

54.6 mi
State: CT
Ballast, Dirt, Gravel

Billings Trail

3.3 mi
State: CT
Dirt

CTfastrak Multi-Use Trail

4.4 mi
State: CT
Asphalt, Concrete

Charter Oak Greenway

16.6 mi
State: CT
Asphalt

Derby Greenway

2 mi
State: CT
Asphalt, Dirt

Farmington Canal Heritage Trail

48.3 mi
State: CT
Asphalt

Farmington River Trail

16.5 mi
State: CT
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

Hop River State Park Trail

20 mi
State: CT
Crushed Stone

Kress Family Trail

3.1 mi
State: CT
Dirt

Larkin State Park Trail

10.8 mi
State: CT
Cinder, Crushed Stone, Dirt, Gravel

Middlebury Greenway

4.5 mi
State: CT
Asphalt

New Milford River Trail

5 mi
State: CT
Asphalt, Crushed Stone, Dirt

Norwalk River Valley Trail

5.8 mi
State: CT
Asphalt

Pequonnock River Trail

13.6 mi
State: CT
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

Putnam Trailway

11.9 mi
State: NY
Asphalt

Ridgefield Rail Trail

2.3 mi
State: CT
Gravel

Shoreline Greenway Trail

4.1 mi
State: CT
Crushed Stone, Dirt

Southwick Rail Trail

6.5 mi
State: MA
Asphalt

Stratton Brook State Park Trail

1.2 mi
State: CT
Asphalt, Cinder, Crushed Stone
Trail Image Trail Name States Length Surface Rating
The Air Line State Park Trail winds nearly 55 miles from the northeast corner of Connecticut, where the state borders Massachusetts, down to East Hampton in the heart of the state. The pathway is...
CT 54.6 mi Ballast, Dirt, Gravel
Open in several disconnected segments, the Billings Trail is a dirt path that traverses a lovely scenic and wooded landscape outside Norfolk in northern Connecticut. Built on the abandoned railbed of...
CT 3.3 mi Dirt
A part of Connecticut's first bus rapid transit line, the CTfastrak Trail serves as recreational and multi-use path for walking and bicycling between Downtown New Britain and Newington Junction. The...
CT 4.4 mi Asphalt, Concrete
The Charter Oak Greenway offers more than 16 miles of paved pathway through Hartford and its eastern suburbs. At first glance, the trail looks as if it is simply a highway side path, but the journey...
CT 16.6 mi Asphalt
Running alongside both the Housatonic and Naugatuck Rivers, the Derby Greenway demonstrates a seamless integration of Connecticut’s natural river systems and parks with man-made interventions of the...
CT 2 mi Asphalt, Dirt
The EPCAL Alternative Transportation Path loops around the 2,900-acre Enterprise Park at Calverton (hence its name: EPCAL) on New York’s Long Island and links to the Town of Riverhead’s 65-acre...
NY 8.5 mi Asphalt
First a canal, then a railroad, and now a trail define the history of the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail. Completed segments span Connecticut south to north, from New Haven to the Massachusetts...
CT 48.3 mi Asphalt
A dozen miles west of Connecticut’s capital of Hartford, the Farmington River Trail forms a 16.5-mile arc that connects to the larger Farmington Canal Heritage Trail on both ends. The rail-trail was...
CT 16.5 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone
It’s hard to pick a favorite season to experience the Hop River State Park Trail, set amid the dense forests of Eastern Connecticut. Sections of the 20-mile rail-trail dive through steep rock cuts...
CT 20 mi Crushed Stone
The 3.1-mile Kress Family Trail in Roxbury occupies the former route of the Shepaug Valley Railroad (the Shepaug, Litchfield and Northern Railroad). The railroad was famously known as the “crookedest...
CT 3.1 mi Dirt
The Larkin State Park Trail meanders 10.8 miles through the woods and around the lakes and low hills of southwestern Connecticut. The rail-trail follows the route of the New York & New England...
CT 10.8 mi Cinder, Crushed Stone, Dirt, Gravel
The Middlebury Greenway provides a paved, off-road option for a self-propelled journey across suburban Middlebury. The trail touches on several business districts and parks, ending at an amusement...
CT 4.5 mi Asphalt
The first phase of the New Milford River Trail runs southeast from Gaylordsville via the scenic but lightly traveled River Road, through Sega Meadows to Boardman Bridge, a distance of about 5 miles....
CT 5 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone, Dirt
When completed, the Norwalk River Valley Trail will run from Danbury to Long Island Sound in southwestern Connecticut, for a total of about 27 miles. Currently, several disconnected sections totaling...
CT 5.8 mi Asphalt
The Pequonnock River Trail is not a name you will see on the ground along this developing trail in southwestern Connecticut. Formalized in 2001 by the state, the regional trail pieced together...
CT 13.6 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone
The old New York Central rail line that ran from the Bronx to northern bedroom communities in Westchester and Putnam Counties carried commuters during the workweek, but on the weekends tourists...
NY 11.9 mi Asphalt
The Ridgefield Rail-Trail meanders for nearly 2.5 miles through the forested exburbs of Ridgefield, Connecticut. The trail passes among suburban acreages, along a creek at one point, and past a couple...
CT 2.3 mi Gravel
When complete, Connecticut’s Shoreline Greenway Trail will be a scenic 25-mile route through four quaint New England towns off Long Island Sound. From Lighthouse Point to Hammonasset Beach State Park,...
CT 4.1 mi Crushed Stone, Dirt
The Southwick Rail Trail extends from the Massachusetts–Connecticut state line north to the Westfield town line and connects to the Columbia Greenway Rail Trail. Along the way, it travels through...
MA 6.5 mi Asphalt
The Stratton Brook State Park Trail presents a great way to work up an appetite for a picnic at Stratton Brook State Park, the first state park in Connecticut to be entirely wheelchair accessible. The...
CT 1.2 mi Asphalt, Cinder, Crushed Stone
Accordion
Coming in at just under 3 miles, the Sue Grossman Still River Greenway is anchored by the towns of Winchester to the north and Torrington to the south. It occupies the right-of-way of the Naugatuck...
CT 2.9 mi Asphalt
The Rockville Spur, a section of Vernon Rails-to-Trails, is a stone-dust rail-trail stretching 4.2 miles into the heart of historical Rockville. The trail begins on Warren Avenue in Vernon, but you’ll...
CT 4.2 mi Crushed Stone, Dirt
Note: Per the State of Connecticut's website, the trail is open from dawn to dusk April 1–November 14. Eagle nesting activities can delay the opening of the southern trail head in Windsor Locks. Due...
CT 5.4 mi Asphalt

Now, More Than Ever, Trails Matter!

During COVID-19, trails are being counted on as places where people can find solace and respite and we need your support to keep trails open and provide these critical FREE resources! Please continue to practice physical distancing and check the status of your trail before heading out!

Trails by activity

Kress Family Trail

CT - 3.1 miles

The 3.1-mile Kress Family Trail in Roxbury occupies the former route of the Shepaug Valley Railroad (the Shepaug, Litchfield and Northern Railroad). The railroad was famously known as the “crookedest...

Southwick Rail Trail

MA - 6.5 miles

The Southwick Rail Trail extends from the Massachusetts–Connecticut state line north to the Westfield town line and connects to the Columbia Greenway Rail Trail. Along the way, it travels through...

Pequonnock River Trail

CT - 13.6 miles

The Pequonnock River Trail is not a name you will see on the ground along this developing trail in southwestern Connecticut. Formalized in 2001 by the state, the regional trail pieced together...

CTfastrak Multi-Use Trail

CT - 4.4 miles

A part of Connecticut's first bus rapid transit line, the CTfastrak Trail serves as recreational and multi-use path for walking and bicycling between Downtown New Britain and Newington Junction. The...

Accordion

Charter Oak Greenway

CT - 16.6 miles

The Charter Oak Greenway offers more than 16 miles of paved pathway through Hartford and its eastern suburbs. At first glance, the trail looks as if it is simply a highway side path, but the journey...

Windsor Locks Canal State Park Trail

CT - 5.4 miles

Note: Per the State of Connecticut's website, the trail is open from dawn to dusk April 1–November 14. Eagle nesting activities can delay the opening of the southern trail head in Windsor Locks. Due...

Derby Greenway

CT - 2 miles

Running alongside both the Housatonic and Naugatuck Rivers, the Derby Greenway demonstrates a seamless integration of Connecticut’s natural river systems and parks with man-made interventions of the...

Farmington Canal Heritage Trail

CT - 48.3 miles

First a canal, then a railroad, and now a trail define the history of the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail. Completed segments span Connecticut south to north, from New Haven to the Massachusetts...

Hop River State Park Trail

CT - 20 miles

It’s hard to pick a favorite season to experience the Hop River State Park Trail, set amid the dense forests of Eastern Connecticut. Sections of the 20-mile rail-trail dive through steep rock cuts...

EPCAL Alternative Transportation Path

NY - 8.5 miles

The EPCAL Alternative Transportation Path loops around the 2,900-acre Enterprise Park at Calverton (hence its name: EPCAL) on New York’s Long Island and links to the Town of Riverhead’s 65-acre...

Stratton Brook State Park Trail

CT - 1.2 miles

The Stratton Brook State Park Trail presents a great way to work up an appetite for a picnic at Stratton Brook State Park, the first state park in Connecticut to be entirely wheelchair accessible. The...

Sue Grossman Still River Greenway

CT - 2.9 miles

Coming in at just under 3 miles, the Sue Grossman Still River Greenway is anchored by the towns of Winchester to the north and Torrington to the south. It occupies the right-of-way of the Naugatuck...

Middlebury Greenway

CT - 4.5 miles

The Middlebury Greenway provides a paved, off-road option for a self-propelled journey across suburban Middlebury. The trail touches on several business districts and parks, ending at an amusement...

Norwalk River Valley Trail

CT - 5.8 miles

When completed, the Norwalk River Valley Trail will run from Danbury to Long Island Sound in southwestern Connecticut, for a total of about 27 miles. Currently, several disconnected sections totaling...

Billings Trail

CT - 3.3 miles

Open in several disconnected segments, the Billings Trail is a dirt path that traverses a lovely scenic and wooded landscape outside Norfolk in northern Connecticut. Built on the abandoned railbed of...

Shoreline Greenway Trail

CT - 4.1 miles

When complete, Connecticut’s Shoreline Greenway Trail will be a scenic 25-mile route through four quaint New England towns off Long Island Sound. From Lighthouse Point to Hammonasset Beach State Park,...

New Milford River Trail

CT - 5 miles

The first phase of the New Milford River Trail runs southeast from Gaylordsville via the scenic but lightly traveled River Road, through Sega Meadows to Boardman Bridge, a distance of about 5 miles....

Putnam Trailway

NY - 11.9 miles

The old New York Central rail line that ran from the Bronx to northern bedroom communities in Westchester and Putnam Counties carried commuters during the workweek, but on the weekends tourists...

Farmington River Trail

CT - 16.5 miles

A dozen miles west of Connecticut’s capital of Hartford, the Farmington River Trail forms a 16.5-mile arc that connects to the larger Farmington Canal Heritage Trail on both ends. The rail-trail was...

Vernon Rails-to-Trails (Hop River State Park Rockville Spur)

CT - 4.2 miles

The Rockville Spur, a section of Vernon Rails-to-Trails, is a stone-dust rail-trail stretching 4.2 miles into the heart of historical Rockville. The trail begins on Warren Avenue in Vernon, but you’ll...

Pequonnock River Trail

CT - 13.6 miles

The Pequonnock River Trail is not a name you will see on the ground along this developing trail in southwestern Connecticut. Formalized in 2001 by the state, the regional trail pieced together...

Charter Oak Greenway

CT - 16.6 miles

The Charter Oak Greenway offers more than 16 miles of paved pathway through Hartford and its eastern suburbs. At first glance, the trail looks as if it is simply a highway side path, but the journey...

Southwick Rail Trail

MA - 6.5 miles

The Southwick Rail Trail extends from the Massachusetts–Connecticut state line north to the Westfield town line and connects to the Columbia Greenway Rail Trail. Along the way, it travels through...

Accordion

Farmington River Trail

CT - 16.5 miles

A dozen miles west of Connecticut’s capital of Hartford, the Farmington River Trail forms a 16.5-mile arc that connects to the larger Farmington Canal Heritage Trail on both ends. The rail-trail was...

Shoreline Greenway Trail

CT - 4.1 miles

When complete, Connecticut’s Shoreline Greenway Trail will be a scenic 25-mile route through four quaint New England towns off Long Island Sound. From Lighthouse Point to Hammonasset Beach State Park,...

Hop River State Park Trail

CT - 20 miles

It’s hard to pick a favorite season to experience the Hop River State Park Trail, set amid the dense forests of Eastern Connecticut. Sections of the 20-mile rail-trail dive through steep rock cuts...

CTfastrak Multi-Use Trail

CT - 4.4 miles

A part of Connecticut's first bus rapid transit line, the CTfastrak Trail serves as recreational and multi-use path for walking and bicycling between Downtown New Britain and Newington Junction. The...

Kress Family Trail

CT - 3.1 miles

The 3.1-mile Kress Family Trail in Roxbury occupies the former route of the Shepaug Valley Railroad (the Shepaug, Litchfield and Northern Railroad). The railroad was famously known as the “crookedest...

Air Line State Park Trail

CT - 54.6 miles

The Air Line State Park Trail winds nearly 55 miles from the northeast corner of Connecticut, where the state borders Massachusetts, down to East Hampton in the heart of the state. The pathway is...

Stratton Brook State Park Trail

CT - 1.2 miles

The Stratton Brook State Park Trail presents a great way to work up an appetite for a picnic at Stratton Brook State Park, the first state park in Connecticut to be entirely wheelchair accessible. The...

Putnam Trailway

NY - 11.9 miles

The old New York Central rail line that ran from the Bronx to northern bedroom communities in Westchester and Putnam Counties carried commuters during the workweek, but on the weekends tourists...

Windsor Locks Canal State Park Trail

CT - 5.4 miles

Note: Per the State of Connecticut's website, the trail is open from dawn to dusk April 1–November 14. Eagle nesting activities can delay the opening of the southern trail head in Windsor Locks. Due...

Larkin State Park Trail

CT - 10.8 miles

The Larkin State Park Trail meanders 10.8 miles through the woods and around the lakes and low hills of southwestern Connecticut. The rail-trail follows the route of the New York & New England...

Billings Trail

CT - 3.3 miles

Open in several disconnected segments, the Billings Trail is a dirt path that traverses a lovely scenic and wooded landscape outside Norfolk in northern Connecticut. Built on the abandoned railbed of...

New Milford River Trail

CT - 5 miles

The first phase of the New Milford River Trail runs southeast from Gaylordsville via the scenic but lightly traveled River Road, through Sega Meadows to Boardman Bridge, a distance of about 5 miles....

Farmington Canal Heritage Trail

CT - 48.3 miles

First a canal, then a railroad, and now a trail define the history of the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail. Completed segments span Connecticut south to north, from New Haven to the Massachusetts...

EPCAL Alternative Transportation Path

NY - 8.5 miles

The EPCAL Alternative Transportation Path loops around the 2,900-acre Enterprise Park at Calverton (hence its name: EPCAL) on New York’s Long Island and links to the Town of Riverhead’s 65-acre...

Norwalk River Valley Trail

CT - 5.8 miles

When completed, the Norwalk River Valley Trail will run from Danbury to Long Island Sound in southwestern Connecticut, for a total of about 27 miles. Currently, several disconnected sections totaling...

Ridgefield Rail Trail

CT - 2.3 miles

The Ridgefield Rail-Trail meanders for nearly 2.5 miles through the forested exburbs of Ridgefield, Connecticut. The trail passes among suburban acreages, along a creek at one point, and past a couple...

Ridgefield Rail Trail

CT - 2.3 miles

The Ridgefield Rail-Trail meanders for nearly 2.5 miles through the forested exburbs of Ridgefield, Connecticut. The trail passes among suburban acreages, along a creek at one point, and past a couple...

Southwick Rail Trail

MA - 6.5 miles

The Southwick Rail Trail extends from the Massachusetts–Connecticut state line north to the Westfield town line and connects to the Columbia Greenway Rail Trail. Along the way, it travels through...

Kress Family Trail

CT - 3.1 miles

The 3.1-mile Kress Family Trail in Roxbury occupies the former route of the Shepaug Valley Railroad (the Shepaug, Litchfield and Northern Railroad). The railroad was famously known as the “crookedest...

Sue Grossman Still River Greenway

CT - 2.9 miles

Coming in at just under 3 miles, the Sue Grossman Still River Greenway is anchored by the towns of Winchester to the north and Torrington to the south. It occupies the right-of-way of the Naugatuck...

Accordion

Hop River State Park Trail

CT - 20 miles

It’s hard to pick a favorite season to experience the Hop River State Park Trail, set amid the dense forests of Eastern Connecticut. Sections of the 20-mile rail-trail dive through steep rock cuts...

Billings Trail

CT - 3.3 miles

Open in several disconnected segments, the Billings Trail is a dirt path that traverses a lovely scenic and wooded landscape outside Norfolk in northern Connecticut. Built on the abandoned railbed of...

Pequonnock River Trail

CT - 13.6 miles

The Pequonnock River Trail is not a name you will see on the ground along this developing trail in southwestern Connecticut. Formalized in 2001 by the state, the regional trail pieced together...

Larkin State Park Trail

CT - 10.8 miles

The Larkin State Park Trail meanders 10.8 miles through the woods and around the lakes and low hills of southwestern Connecticut. The rail-trail follows the route of the New York & New England...

Windsor Locks Canal State Park Trail

CT - 5.4 miles

Note: Per the State of Connecticut's website, the trail is open from dawn to dusk April 1–November 14. Eagle nesting activities can delay the opening of the southern trail head in Windsor Locks. Due...

Shoreline Greenway Trail

CT - 4.1 miles

When complete, Connecticut’s Shoreline Greenway Trail will be a scenic 25-mile route through four quaint New England towns off Long Island Sound. From Lighthouse Point to Hammonasset Beach State Park,...

EPCAL Alternative Transportation Path

NY - 8.5 miles

The EPCAL Alternative Transportation Path loops around the 2,900-acre Enterprise Park at Calverton (hence its name: EPCAL) on New York’s Long Island and links to the Town of Riverhead’s 65-acre...

Stratton Brook State Park Trail

CT - 1.2 miles

The Stratton Brook State Park Trail presents a great way to work up an appetite for a picnic at Stratton Brook State Park, the first state park in Connecticut to be entirely wheelchair accessible. The...

Charter Oak Greenway

CT - 16.6 miles

The Charter Oak Greenway offers more than 16 miles of paved pathway through Hartford and its eastern suburbs. At first glance, the trail looks as if it is simply a highway side path, but the journey...

Middlebury Greenway

CT - 4.5 miles

The Middlebury Greenway provides a paved, off-road option for a self-propelled journey across suburban Middlebury. The trail touches on several business districts and parks, ending at an amusement...

New Milford River Trail

CT - 5 miles

The first phase of the New Milford River Trail runs southeast from Gaylordsville via the scenic but lightly traveled River Road, through Sega Meadows to Boardman Bridge, a distance of about 5 miles....

Derby Greenway

CT - 2 miles

Running alongside both the Housatonic and Naugatuck Rivers, the Derby Greenway demonstrates a seamless integration of Connecticut’s natural river systems and parks with man-made interventions of the...

Vernon Rails-to-Trails (Hop River State Park Rockville Spur)

CT - 4.2 miles

The Rockville Spur, a section of Vernon Rails-to-Trails, is a stone-dust rail-trail stretching 4.2 miles into the heart of historical Rockville. The trail begins on Warren Avenue in Vernon, but you’ll...

Farmington Canal Heritage Trail

CT - 48.3 miles

First a canal, then a railroad, and now a trail define the history of the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail. Completed segments span Connecticut south to north, from New Haven to the Massachusetts...

Norwalk River Valley Trail

CT - 5.8 miles

When completed, the Norwalk River Valley Trail will run from Danbury to Long Island Sound in southwestern Connecticut, for a total of about 27 miles. Currently, several disconnected sections totaling...

Farmington River Trail

CT - 16.5 miles

A dozen miles west of Connecticut’s capital of Hartford, the Farmington River Trail forms a 16.5-mile arc that connects to the larger Farmington Canal Heritage Trail on both ends. The rail-trail was...

Recent Trail Reviews

Hop River State Park Trail

This is an awesome trail, has a variety of everything, from bridges over rivers and a covered bridge. To tunnels and rock cutouts where they blasted through ledge. Then the trail runs along side the river for a awhile.

August, 2020 by klracicot

This is an awesome trail, has a variety of everything, from bridges over rivers and a covered bridge. To tunnels and rock cutouts where they blasted through ledge. Then the trail runs along side the river for a awhile.

New Milford River Trail

One Lot Only for Residents

August, 2020 by kbeaver147

My family and I took a lovely bike ride on this trail today. However, it’s important to share that (at least) one of the two parking lots (the southern-most one) is meant for New Milford residents only, and the cops will get your car towed if you’re not from New Milford. A true shame to exclude neighbors from enjoying the trail like that.

Air Line State Park Trail

Beautiful day on the Air Line

August, 2020 by SPanny

We rode this trail from Rt 85 parking lot to East Hampton and back on 8/1, about 20 total miles. We’ve always loved the Air Line…it has a varied feel as you proceed through the different town…the vast majority shaded, sections on a high ridge above a stream, two nice viaducts across what was once a trestle bridge, a section running through a nature preserve. There were a few sections a little rougher than others, and we observed a few places with protruding rocks that should really be removed (just keep your eye on the road), as well as some divots in the roadway, some caused by drainage. There are no major hills but you do have long gradual uphills like the one as you ride into East Hampton going west. But I think for most riders these will be small things in what, overall, is a great trail. Great to see many out on the trail on a sunny, warm day.

Accordion

Farmington River Trail

The LoopTrail ( Farmington River Trail/ Farmington Heritage Trail) 28 miles

August, 2020 by czajk

We did the loop trail starting in Collinsville. Initially started towards Canton but turned around as wasn't sure where to head after the first mile and half and did loop towards Unionville. Take note of the insets on map as trail needs better signage when you get to the towns. Nice ride along river and through towns but a lot of stop and go across highways, some being busy but with pedestrian lights to stop traffic. Be careful getting to the State Park as busy road and uphill. In the park again poor signage and ended up on an incorrect trail and had to back track. ( Take stone dust trail by covered bridge not the one by swimming area) Once out of the park the trail runs on the road for approx 3 miles- make sure you take Lawton Road! Would have given it 4 stars but the stop and go and poor signage as well as distance on road was frustrating and took away some of the enjoyment. Note: During this pandemic saw very few people wearing a mask on trail and trail is not as wide as some others we've been on.

Maybrook Trailway

trail is most definitely closed

August, 2020 by linda.poughquag

The MTA has increased their warnings complete with fines for all to stay off the trail. No doubt in my mind whether or not it’s open. https://maybrooktrailway.org/

Hop River State Park Trail

Hop River from Vernon

July, 2020 by SPanny

Rode this trail on 7/25/20 from the Vernon stop to Parker Bridge Road and back. Ideal for a hot day – shade virtually the entire length, especially beautiful stretches along a raised ridge. The section about 3 miles in is cut out of the side of an incline, and there are a few spots with a bit rougher surface…easily negotiated with trail or mountain bikes, and I think you could do it even with a road bike (excluding the skinniest tires) if you took your time. Mostly well packed dirt/gravel/stone dust. Slight grade uphill until Bolton, then slight downhill to the turnaround point at Parker Bridge. This was our second ride in a month on this beautiful trail, so appreciate the well maintained starting point/parking lot in Vernon complete with picnic table and a tool stand. A real gem- those local to this are lucky!

Quinnipiac Linear Trail

Short and noisy

July, 2020 by potterdunn

Like many trails, it has its uses and limitations. If you live in the area and want to go for a quick run or walk, this trail is certainly a better alternative than the streets: more scenic and no traffic. And it is fine if you have kids and want to go on a short ride with them. But the trail is just too short to put the bike on the car and drive there.

Vernon Rails-to-Trails (Hop River State Park Rockville Spur)

Ok, but the Hop River Trail is better

July, 2020 by potterdunn

Once or twice a year I’ll ride it off the Hop River Trail to add a few more miles to my ride. It’s not that there’s anything bad about the trail, but I don’t see any reason to ride it on a regular basis when the connecting Hop River Trail is far longer, far fewer road crossings, and generally better maintained. If you live in Vernon, it’s a great way to connect up to the Hop River Trail. But I wouldn’t go out of my way to ride it.

Farmington Canal Heritage Trail

Overall, a solid trail

July, 2020 by potterdunn

The trail is over 50 miles so it’s tough to give it an overall rating as some stretches rate five stars, and some less than five stars. I’ll try to break down each town, starting at the southern end. I’ll note upfront that the entire trail is paved and well maintained and most stretches can get crowded. And the trail is mostly flat and straight but there are some hills and twists. New Haven: I’ve only been on the section a few times and they’re still working on finishing it. It’s a urban trail with little scenery and lots of street crossings. If you live in New Haven, it certainly is a great place to start a ride. But I wouldn’t go out of my way to ride on it. Three stars. Hamden: Overall, a good section as it is scenic and there’s a 6-7 mile stretch with no street crossings. This is the only section of the trail that is hilly, but they’re mostly short and not too steep. There are a few spots where the trail is bumpy. Five stars. Cheshire: another enjoyable stretch with nice scenery. There are a number of street crossings and for whatever reason, I’ve found the drivers in this area to be overly obnoxious and not letting you cross without an issue. But I could just be my bad luck in the area. Four stars. Southington: the southern end is fine. But I rarely ride the bulk of the trail in Southington. It’s crowded, not scenic, many street crossings, and little protection from the sun or wind. Also, the trail currently ends before I84. One plus is there are spots to stop for a bite to eat. Two stars. Farmington: the newly opened southern two or three miles is wide open with few trees to stop the sun or wind. There’s nothing wrong with it but it’s just not the nicest section. The original three or so miles is a five star section with lots of trees, scenery, and few street crossings. Another plus is you can connect with a 10 mile trail to Canton. Four stars. Avon: the first two or three miles is a great extension of the trail in Farmington. But the trail ends at the Avon public works garage and then it’s cutting through a parking lot, down a road, on a sidewalk, through the police department parking lot, on another sidewalk, and then crossing busy route 10. Overall, three stars. Simsbury: like Avon, a mixed bag. The southern section is going through residential sections, behind car dealerships, few trees, crossing route 10, and riding on sidewalks. Once you hit the downtown area, it improves. Overall, three stars. East Granby: a nice section with some minor hills, curves, open areas, and some flat areas with trees. This is one of my favorite stretches as it offers diversity. Five stars. Suffield: another good stretch. There’s a few spots where tree roots have pushed up the pavement but it’s not too bad. Five stars. Massachusetts: technically, it’s a different trail but it’s really a continuation of the same trail. I think there’s about seven miles currently paved with another mile or so planned. There are a few minor hills and there are some open sections with little sun or wind protection. But overall a nice ride. And this section generally isn’t too crowded. Toss a coin on whether it’s a four or five star stretch.

Farmington River Trail

An enjoyable trail with a few warts

July, 2020 by potterdunn

First, the trail is 10 miles, not 16. I don’t consider the 6 miles on a road a trail because, well, it’s a road and not a trail. Focusing on the 10 miles, it’s a nice trail - paved, scenic, wide, mostly shaded which helps block out the sun and wind, no major hills, and there’s plenty of parking. There are a few negatives: crowded, busy roads to cross, roots have pushed up the pavement in spots, and the stretch in Collinsville isn’t well marked and you have to ride on narrow boardwalks in spots. But overall, I highly recommend it. And a huge positive is it connects to the canal trail which offers a great 30 mile ride all the way to Westfield, MA and will eventually provide a nonstop trail all the way to New Haven.

Charter Oak Greenway

Nothing too special

July, 2020 by potterdunn

There are better options in Central Connecticut if you’re looking for a leisurely ride. The trail is hilly in spots, mostly runs near a highway, there’s little protection from the sun or wind, and there are some busy streets to cross. It certainly beats riding on busy roads, but it’s subpar compared to other bike trails. With all this said, you can certainly have an enjoyable ride, it’s just that there are better options.

Air Line State Park Trail

Overall a great trail

July, 2020 by potterdunn

Overall, a great trail. But it is over 50 miles long so there are some better areas than others. The East Hampton to Rt. 2 is scenic but it is steeper than other areas and the gravel is looser in spots. The 12 mile stretch from Rt. 2 to Willimantic is perhaps the best section - scenic, well maintained, not too steep, and hard packed. I’ve only been on the Willimantic section once and it’s nothing special. North of Willimantic is good though there are a few stretches that are rougher than other areas - barely passable on a hybrid bike. The trail is narrow in many areas so you’ll have to ask walkers to move over. Most of the trail is under a tree canopy which helps keep you cooler on hot days.

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