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Find the top rated horseback riding trails in Connecticut, whether you're looking for an easy short horseback riding trail or a long horseback riding trail, you'll find what you're looking for. Click on a horseback riding trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.
|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||
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 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||
This 5.8-mile trail is part of the planned East Coast Greenway, an off-road path that will eventually run from Calais, Maine, to Key West, Florida. The Moosup Valley State Park Trail will connect with...
|CT||5.8 mi||Ballast, Crushed Stone, Dirt, Grass, Gravel, Sand||
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||
The Railroad Ramble occupies a corridor abandoned by the Central New England Railroad, which provided service from 1871 through 1967. In Lakeville, the trail can be found just off of Route 41 behind...
|CT||1.7 mi||Asphalt, Dirt, Grass||
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Simply one of my favorite trails. The first two or three miles in Manchester and Vernon are nothing too special but the rest of the trail is great - scenic, hard pack dirt, not too crowded (especially the closer you get to Willimantic) and there’s a tree canopy almost the whole way so you can stay cooler on hot days. They’re still working on completing the last mile or so in Columbia/Willimantic - I think it’s supposed to be done in 2021 or 2022. But there’s an easy bike-around on roads where you can connect up with the Airline Trail, which is also a great trail.
I'm a Moosup local.
Start of the trail from Moosup Village center is great. A wonderful bridge, and paved road, to Barber hill rd. about .8miles.
From Barber Hill rd to Brunswick ave the condition is ok. unmaintained, but not moguls or riddled with standing water.
A Brunswick Ave, there is a lovely footbridge to the left, great for viewing the dam.
While to continue on, its a bit confusing as you go past the building and through its parking lot.
From here the trail condition is quite poor. The immediate area is currently torn to shreds from the local owner, and vandals digging up the banks, and every bit of ground to mine for Quartz.
Several large areas of constant pools of water riddle this area before and after the Rt 14 bridge. There are paths made into the hills off the path around the area.
ATVS make heavy use of this area, and have destroyed it for most others.
Around the bend and peninsula towards Rogers lake, there are well maintained trails into the woods to the river, made by locals and ATVS, for camping.
as you get past this area, and the trail straitens, the pools of water clear up, but there is a great deal of Moguls the entire way to Sterling. there are a few more lovely camp sites, and wading areas in the Moosup river along the way.
Coming out onto main street, the trail continues to the left of the Senior center, and across Industrial park Road, it continues up in the tree line. this section doesnt seem to be maintained all the time, so going through the field, or following the sidewalk/road is fine.
if you crossed the field, or followed the sidewalk, you will be a bit too far southeast, when coming to Sterling Road/rt 14, and will need to follow the road a bit, till you see the brown house, with stone markers, and the Trail entrance along their driveway/house.
From here to Rt 14A, I have not done recently, so won't make notes.
Picking up at Rt14a. NEW work has been done. Also, note there is a picnic/parking spot at the RT14/rt14a intersection. A solid place to start/stop. First, however The Rt14A entrace, is kindof blocked. the workers put stones back in front of the entrance to stop ATVs... but, put them too close, stopping everyone. I had to climb over them on FOOT. not room for walking, bikes, strollers, or anything.. ATVS just drove through the woods to the north, over a hill... kind of boneheaded..
From Rt14A to the CT/RT state border is now resurfaced with hard packed stonedust. about .5miles. And from the RI state border to Lewis Farm Rd is bulldozed. This surface is better then before.. but not quite complete. hard sandy dirt. fine for hybrids, mtn bikes, foot ,horses, strollers, etc. 95% fine for roadbikes imho. Carbuncle pond brook, has a new tunnel built for it, with major new construction there, and plantings. open and likely a wonderful spot for bird watching, and picnics. With several paths to Carbuncle pond, and the North/south trail intersecting here. The Bridge over the Moosup River, next to Lewis Farm Rd has also be rebuilt. A major work. Currently the construction office, and fencing along Lewis Farm rd is still up. theres an opening just to the north, and the fencing from the East is not there at all.
From here its another 2.5m to Summit General store, and the paved beginning of the Washington Secondary Trail.
Its also been a few years since I've done that section, so won't make notes.
Some gorgeous woodland areas, and views of the Moosup River, if this ever gets fixed.
Great ride today. Had lunch at Lisa’s crown and hammer pub in Collinsville on the way back. Great day.
Dateline: Tuesday July 14, 2020, 5 PM
I had already ridden the Derby Greenway (GREAT TRAIL) and the Naugatuck River Trail (very nice, too short). A short bike trails in anything under 5 miles, so the last ride of the day was at Kress, before my almost 2 hour drive home to New Paltz. It had been perfect bike weather, but as soon as I pulled into the parking lot, one of those freak summer downpours drenched everything. After half an hour, during which I ate a sandwich, the rain stopped. I finally rode the trail getting mud splattered, but it was worth the effort. The trail meanders nicely through heavy forest and next to a small river. Lovely woodsy scenery, finally ending in a farmer's field. There are side trails to hike and a cool wooden bridge to stop for a view.
Do not go there with less than 1.5" wide tires on your bike. But it is worth the visit even if walking.
Dateline: Tuesday, July 14, 2020
Weather: Sunny, 85'F, low humidity
I like interesting trails with good scenery. This trail is all of that; there are bridges, tunnels, twist & turns, all near the 2 rivers. There is even a side dirt trail that leads to the V-end beach where the 2 rivers converge. I consider anything under 5 miles short, so this is a quick ride. Take a camera and snacks and enjoy this great trails. On this day I also rode the Naugatuck River Trail (ultra short) and the Kress Family trail (unpaved).
Always take the multiple addresses or GPS for several parking spots to any trail, as well as other trails nearby. Often I have found the first parking spot I went to was not there or unavailable.
Trail is actually 2 miles now and its a great trail quick trail for beginners trying to get their exercise in. For me its easy trail to get a quick bike ride and keep in shape its my go to on a day i dont gave much time.
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