Norwalk River Valley Trail


6 Reviews

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Norwalk River Valley Trail Facts

States: Connecticut
Counties: Fairfield
Length: 12.2 miles
Trail end points: Pickett’s Ridge Rd (Redding) and Calf Pasture Beach (Norwalk)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Boardwalk, Concrete, Crushed Stone, Gravel
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 6424723

Norwalk River Valley Trail Description

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 just over 12 miles are completed in Redding, Wilton, and Norwalk. Additional sections are planned for in Ridgefield and Danbury, but construction has not yet begun.

In Redding, there is a 0.9-mile segment with a stone dust surface.

From Pickett’s Ridge Road, the trail follows an old wood road deep into the woods to Fire Hill Road at the border with Ridgefield.

In Wilton, there are 5.25 miles complete of what will be a 10-mile loop. This portion of the trail is a combination of both on- and off-road sections. 

Access the north end of the loop at Allen’s Meadows on Olmstead Hill Road. The route utilizes a sidewalk-like path that runs south paralleling Danbury Road/US-7. At Wilton High School, the route becomes a paved asphalt path as it turns west to run along Catalpa Road and then south to run along Kristine Lily Way as it passes through the school complex.

After crossing and briefly following School Road south, the trail becomes an off-road path with a stone dust/gravel surface as it meanders through woods paralleling the Norwalk River. This is a highlight of the Wilton section. The Winding through Lovers Lane Open Space and Merwin Meadows Park, the trail is wooded and close to the Norwalk River. The off-road portion ends at the northern end of Wilton River Park Shopping Center, where there is a pedestrian bridge over the river to connect to the Wilton trail station.

Please note that the route uses sidewalks and shared roadways from the shopping center to Danbury Road/US-7, where the off-road trail resumes: From the shopping center, the route uses sidewalks along Old Ridgewood Road and then River Road south through the town center and past Schenk’s Island to Horseshoe Park, which is centered around a large pond. Utilizing Horseshoe Road along the west side of the pond as a shared roadway, the route uses sidewalks on Wolfpit Road to curve east, cross the river, and reach Danbury Road/US-7.

Crossing Danbury Road, the trail again becomes an off-road path and curves north through the woods with a surface of stone dust and boardwalks. From the intersection of Wolfpit Road and Danbury Road, the trail meanders north for about 2.4 miles to just short of Skunk Lane. 

The "WilWalk" will be a stone dust trail that connects the Wilton and Norwalk sections. Currently, there are only two short completed sections.

The Quarry Pond section heads south from the trail parking lot at at the intersection of Wolfpit Road and Danbury Road/US-7. Less than a half-mile long, it parallels the Norwalk River through a lightly wooded area and dead-ends at a pond.

The Chipmunk Lane section runs about a half-mile south from Kent Road in Wilton to Grist Mill Road in Norwalk.

In Norwalk, the 5-mile segment connects Deer Pond and Calf Pasture Beach. The northern portion of the Norwalk section is off-road, while the southern portion utilizes sidewalks, bike lanes, and shared roadways.

From Deer Pond at Broad Street, the trail is paved and 10ft-wide as it runs almost two miles south along the riverside to Union Park. 

From Union Park, the trail continues off-road as a 10ft-wide path and traverses Mathews Park with access to several popular attractions, including the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, Stepping Stones Museum, and Center for Contemporary Print Making.

From there, the trail heads south and continues through Oyster Shell Park, a sprawling riverfront greenspace dotted with public art. At the southern tip of the park, there is convenient access to restaurants and entertainment.

Please note: Just south of the park at the intersection of North Walter Street and Ann Street, the routes utilizes sidewalks, bike lanes, and shared roadways from Maritime Aquarium to Calf Pasture Beach.

Parking and Trail Access

In Redding, parking is available at the northern end of the trail on Pickett’s Ridge Road. 

In Wilton, parking can be found at Merwin Meadows Park (52 Lovers Ln), at Horseshoe Park (35 Horseshoe Rd), on Twin Oak Lane, and at the intersection of Wolfpit Road and Danbury Road/US-7.

In Norwalk, the trail can be accessed on the north side of Norwalk Maritime Aquarium and also from Mathews Park and Union Park.

Visit the TrailLink map for all transit options, parking locations, and detailed directions.

Norwalk River Valley Trail Reviews

Great Trails

I’ve completed the Wilton trails in Lovers Lane, Entrance near Orem’s Dinner and Mathews Park. All are great. My favorites are the Wilton Trails, you enter and your engulfed in nature. Absolutely beautiful. I also love walking In Mathews park although that is more of a city trail to me not as much nature as these are concrete paved and you pass near traffic and such. So grateful to all the hard work put into to providing these trails thank you!

Growing trail, good in places

It's grown since the last few comments you see. Norwalk is fairly well done, and the Wilton section is actually quite nice. it's funded by donation only, but I think they got a few public grants. The point being that it's slowly growing, and I am optimistic.

Good start but...

I started on Mott Ave. and continued to intersection at Matthews Mansion. OK so far- crossed the street, and followed green NVRT signs into Matthews Mansion and the trail abruptly stopped at a playground. I didn't realize I was supposed to stay on West Ave. at all. Disappointed.

This is not a "trail"

This is a series of chopped up paths, sidewalks and parking lots. And prat along a dump throuh much of it, and expect to see tons of graffitt. Not kid friendly. Norwalk is not a bike friendly town, so watch carefully. Best to head to Westport if you want to ride on bike friendly roads.


Norwalk River Valley Trail (south of Mathews Park)

It is not necessary to "cross 3 highway ramps" to proceed south from Mathews Park to the Maritime Center. Simply head east along the north side of I-95 to reach an underpass (you will, however, be at a waste transfer station entrance). Cross the tracks, and the trail goes due south on the east side of the tracks - straight to the Maritime Center.

Norwalk River Valley Trail

I walked the center portion of this trail September 20, 2010.

Although the description lists this as a 2 mile path, the longest distance you can walk without leaving the trail and passing through a number of city streets is less than half a mile. The part of the trail from Union Park south to Matthews Park runs along US Route 7 and is paved, well marked and an interesting walk. The southern terminus at Matthews Park brings you to the Civil War era Matthews mansion that was featured in the two "Stepford Wives" movies. The mansion is open to the public for tours.

The Maritime Center portion of the trail runs along the Norwalk River near Long Island Sound. Getting there from Matthews Park is quite difficult. The connecting road goes under Interstate 95 and you need to negotiate across three highway entrances and exits. South of that is an urban renewal project with no sidewalks. You would need to walk in the heavily traveled street to reach the Maritime Center segment of the trail.

From Union Park north to the New Canaan Avenue-Broad Street portion of the trail is about a mile. The road is narrow, busy and there are no sidewalks. This is not a safe place to walk.

The concept of a walking trail from Long Island Sound north for five miles along the Norwalk River is very interesting. This is a densely populated area and the trail would be within 5 minutes walking distance for thousands of people. According to Connecticut DEP Bulletin 33 "Pathways through Connecticut," this trail was under design and construction 10 years ago. Let's hope they don't need another 10 years to complete the project.

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