CTfastrak Multi-Use Trail


8 Reviews

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CTfastrak Multi-Use Trail Facts

States: Connecticut
Counties: Hartford
Length: 4.4 miles
Trail end points: Columbus Blvd. (New Britain) and West Hill Rd. (Newington)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Concrete
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 8326344

CTfastrak Multi-Use Trail Description

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 paved trail is 10 feet wide and separated from the roadway by a fence. The central feature of this project is a guideway exclusively for buses as well as the trail providing access to the bus stations and surrounding neighborhoods. Due to an underpass being too narrow to accomodate both the roadway and trail, a small portion travels along East Street in New Britain, rejoining at East Street Station. Plan are in place to extend the existing path from Newington Junction to Hartford along alternate routes. The trail is open from dawn to dusk with no motorized vehicales allowed. All CTtransit and CTfastrak buses are equipped to carry single seat, two-wheeled bikes. 

Parking and Trail Access

Designated parking for trail users is available near the midpoint of the trail, in New Britain at the corner of East and Allen streets. Take CT Route 9 northbound to exit 29, left at end of ramp, follow Rt. 175 (East St.) 0.8 mile to the corner of Allen St.; or Route 9 southbound to exit 29, left at end of ramp, next right on Fenn Rd., follow 0.4 mile then right on Rt. 175 (East St.) 0.8 mile to the corner of Allen St. Limited parking is available at some stations; consult the CTfastrak website.

CTfastrak Multi-Use Trail Reviews

very quiet road

Nice quiet ride to take time to enjoy these beautiful days.

Good for transportation and exercise, not all that scenic

I think folks have to temper their expectations. This isn't the Farmington Canal Trail and isn't trying to be. This is a nice, well paved track for exercise and actual transportation. It provides a bike link from Newington and the southern end of West Hartford to downtown New Britain that previously didn't exist. For that I'm super happy. West Hartford has a decent bike network that connects into Hartford, so now there is a semi-cohesive bike network that spans from downtown Hartford all the way to New Britain with stops in between. New Britain is booming (by New Britain standards) so there's actually a lot to visit at the end of the trail, like the art museum, breweries, restaurants, etc. I wish the Multi-Use Trail extended all the way to the Elmwood or even Hartford stops, but it's useful the way it is now. It's not all that scenic but there's still a decent amount of greenery and it's pleasant to ride. It's next to the busway and train tracks, but the train is relatively far away, and the buses are not noisy or especially polluting (they are hybrids).

The trail is so boring only 1 biker in the entire trail

The trail is so boring only 1 biker in the entire trail

Not all that but not bad

I rode this trail out and back on 7/15/2021. Total out and back ride clocked in at 9.55 miles, 150 feet elevation change down heading North, so 150 feet uphill heading back South. I parked in the shopping plaza by the Taco Bell and rode the bike lane to the CTfastrack station where the trail starts.

For the most part the trail was clean except for a broken bottle just outside the first station, and a couple of trash cans that were left out for pickup on one of the sidewalk sections. There were not many people on the actual trail and every single one of them said hello and or thanked me for signaling when passing. The trail parallels not only the bus lane, but also an active train line, Amtrak is doing work on the line so in some places you can smell the new ties that they are installing. On the north end of the trail I stopped at a Dunkin' that was across the street from the station, and at the south end I stopped by the bike shop that is next to the hotel and part of the parking garage. There is a mix of businesses along the trail including convince stores and places to get food. The scenery is a mix of urban, industrial, tree lined, train tracks, and bus depots, if you pay attention you will even see a fiberglass Cobra Shelby along the sidewalk section. You will see plenty of busses, and if you are lucky maybe a train.


Plusses and Minuses

My husband and I checked out this trail for the first time on 7/29/2018. It was a Sunday afternoon around 4:30 p.m. and the weather was gorgeous, bright and sunny. The trail has some really beautiful sections and some very secluded sections running through urban neighborhoods. At some points, it was so secluded that it felt like it could be opportunistic for crime. There was literally nobody around, it was kind of eerie. My husband commented that he would not feel comfortable with me riding this trail alone.

Very Short and Boring

This trail is very short and somewhat straight and Boring. I feel like not many people use it and thus it feels very isolated from the rest of the world. Kind of smells like rubber and bus exhaust too.....

It's Okay

I wish this trail was longer and ran all along the Fast Track. Instead, it starts in Newington, and only goes to New Britain. Also, although one side of the trail has greenery and some Industrial Buildings, the other side is the Bus Route. Also not that many people use this trail yet so it can be a bit scatchy at times where you feel completely alone...

Great for commuting but not very scenic

This is an unusual trail, perhaps unique in the US, in that it runs next to a highway exclusively for express buses. The buses are clean diesel-electric hybrids, operating fairy quietly at a top speed of 45 mph. Since the right-of-way is along a former railroad, there are many industrial buildings nearby, with fences on both sides. The most scenic stretch is through a cemetery. The trail then has to divert from alongside the busway to run right next to a road for half a mile, due to an underpass being too narrow.

If you live in the area, the trail could be useful for commuting, with the possibility of putting your bike on the bus (the larger buses have roll-on access). Otherwise, unless you're particularly interested in the unusual setting of the trail, it's probably not worth a special trip.

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