- Find a Trail
- My TrailLink
- Explore Trails
- About Us
- Get Involved
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 built largely on the former Central New England Railway right-of-way.
Beginning in Farmington, you’ll follow the river northwest through residential areas and past old trees. There are many points along this trail where you can stop and savor breathtaking views of the Farmington River, which is a National Wild and Scenic River, and perhaps even spot a heron resting on a rock. Winding through tree canopies and past old mills, rapids, and waterfalls, this paved portion of the trail connects Unionville, Collinsville, and Canton. The off-road trail experience ends in the lovely town of Canton, 10 miles from the start of your trip.
North of Canton, the route transitions to on-road sharrows (markings that indicate a shared bicycle-vehicle lane). Follow the bike route signs on these lightly trafficked roads to Simsbury. At the intersection of Town Forest Road and Stratton Brook Road, a small section of the Farmington River Trail is once again off-road. This portion of the trail has a stone-dust surface and traverses Stratton Brook State Park. The densely wooded park offers hiking, swimming, and fishing opportunities.
When you reach Bushy Hill Road, note that you’ll have to turn left and cross West Street to pick up another section of paved trail, which parallels the north side of West Street. When you arrive at Drake Hill Road, you’ll cross West Street again and parallel Drake Hill Road toward the Farmington River. Crossing the river on Old Drake Hill Flower Bridge provides a charming end to your journey. The metal-truss bridge was built in 1892 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. True to its name, it includes 62 flower boxes.
If you’re up for more riding, another connection to the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail can be made just before the Flower Bridge at Hopmeadow Street/US 202, forming a loop between the two trails.
To reach the southern end: Take I-84 to Exit 39 and follow CT 508 east for 1.5 miles (it becomes CT 4). Turn left onto CT 10 S, and in 1 mile, turn right onto Meadow Road. Follow this road 1.6 miles (it becomes Red Oak Hill Road), then take a right onto New Britain Ave. and the parking lot will be on your left.
To reach the northern end: If you’re coming from Hartford, take US 44 W 9 miles to a right turn on US 202 E in Avon. Take US 202 N 4.7 miles to a right turn on Drake Hill Road. Travel 0.1 mile to a left turn on Iron Horse Blvd. Take your next left into the parking area.
TrailLink is a free service provided by Rails-to-Trails conservancy
(a non-profit) and we need your support!