Branford Trolley Trail


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Branford Trolley Trail Facts

States: Connecticut
Counties: New Haven
Length: 0.6 miles
Trail end points: Tilcon Rd. (Pine Orchard) and Thimble Island Rd. (Stony Creek)
Trail surfaces: Concrete, Crushed Stone, Gravel
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6015448
Trail activities: Mountain Biking, Walking

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Branford Trolley Trail Description

The Branford Trolley Trail is essentially a long footbridge occupying an old bridge along the route of an abandoned trolley track. The bridge links nature trails on both sides of the water through a marsh habitat that is home to many shorebirds, fish, mammals and invertebrates.

The trail is part of the growing Shoreline Greenway Trail that will one day stretch 25 miles through four towns along Connecticut's southern coast.

Parking and Trail Access

Parking is at both ends: off Tilcon Road in Pine Orchard and off Thimble Island Road in Stony Creek.

Branford Trolley Trail Reviews

I love it! Took some photography photos on the bridge and might have even climbed a bit

What a lovely hike! I posted photos from the hike here: The footbridge through the marsh was fantastic to walk along.

I found it hard to find the trailhead. We finally found a place where the trail crossed under Pleasant Point Road and started from there.


walked this trail for the first time sunday and enjoyed seeing sandpipers, several osprey nests and other wildlife. enjoyable easy walk to the stoneycreek area where the thimble island cruises are..

I started from the Tilcon Rd parking area but it was difficult to find. Suggest starting from West Point Rd ballfield in Stony Creek, as it is easier to find. I walked this trail because it was only one half mile, but you could extend to one mile by continuing your walk to the Stony Creek Harbor. Pretty walk with views of the Thimble Islands and marsh area with Osprey nests. I saw bikers too, and families with young children.

It took me some time plus 2 GPS to figure this one out but I was eventually successful! As previously written it is a great walk through a beautiful marshland. The trail itself has been well manicured. It is a great half-hour walk in one direction, albeit a bit hot on the hottest day in June 2012!

"I was unable to locate the eastern trailhead via automobile, but was able to successfully locate the western trailhead (at an athletic field on West Point Road near the Branford Town Dock).

There's ample parking at both trailheads (I walked to the eastern one but still couldn’t give you driving directions), and the trail surface was smooth and dry.

This is a nice trail for walking and/or jogging, not suitable for biking though due to its shortness and a narrow suspension bridge intended primarily for pedestrian traffic. The original trolley bridge, which still stands, is very sturdy and can handle bikes, strollers, wheelchairs, etc.

Feel free to e-mail me for more details.


"I made the trip to try this trail. The trail has very nice views of the Thimble Islands and some salt marshes. If you are going to ride a bike don't waste your time. The trail is geared more toward walkers and joggers.

When you first enter the trail you cross over an old trolley bridge. The problem with the bridge is it was not finished at a good width. If you are not completely steady on the bridge or a wobbly young child like my daughter you could definitely wipe out some knuckle skin. Once you get over the bridge it is a short ride to a long concrete bridge that goes over a good distance of salt marsh. At this bridge there is a sign asking to dismount your bicycle and walk it across (again a very narrow bridge that doesnt have enough width for two people to pass each other without one person stopping and hugging one side and hoping not to bump the other person).

Then you make another short ride to the end of the one mile trail which comes to an abrupt stop at some huge concrete blocks and some signs threatening not to cross because it is a private crossing.

In my opinion the trail is good for walkers, runners and joggers. It is too short and inconvenient for cyclists. The real ride began when we walked up a path near a road overpass and followed some beutiful views on the roads of Stoney Creek in Branford. Now that was worth the ride. "

"Picturesque view of the Thimble Islands off Branford Shoreline. Look for Vedder Monument vista, including view of Tilcon traprock shipping dock (barge loading)."

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