Quinebaug River Trail

Connecticut

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Quinebaug River Trail Facts

States: Connecticut
Counties: Windham
Length: 4.8 miles
Trail end points: Attawaugan Crossing Rd. to Park Rd. (Putnam) and Palmer St. to Gloria Ave. (Danielson)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 6297551
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Wheelchair Accessible, Walking

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Quinebaug River Trail Description

The Quinebaug River Trail exists in two segments in northwest Connecticut. The northern section parallels Park Road and Tracy Road for about 2 miles in an industrial section of Putnam with few trail amenities. After a sizable gap, the southern segment of the trail picks up in the town of Killingly. The southern section makes up in charm and scenery what the northern section lacks.

Starting in the town of Killingly, the southern segment of the Quinebaug River Trail heads south for a picturesque journey on a well-maintained riverside pathway through wooded parks and corridors. Parking is available at the intersection of Water Street and Commerce Avenue in downtown Killingly. From here, the route continues south, but be sure to enjoy the views of Fivemile Pond from the bridge spur to the north before proceeding on the main trail south.

After negotiating a series of shared sidewalks and street crossings for 0.5 mile in Killingly, the more appealing character of the trail begins to show. Once you cross Providence Road/US 6, the true off-road experience begins. Take note of the Quinebaug River in the valley below and be ready for a more peaceful trail experience as you leave behind the traffic sounds of town and head closer to the river. As the path veers away from Wauregan Road/CT 12, you pass through a park with ball fields and restrooms.

Continuing south, you’ll experience the sights and sounds of the waterway with the river’s close proximity. You’ll find excellent opportunities to spot riparian wildlife and be able to access a trailside canoe launch. The lush canopy overhead provides shade and dappled sunlight, while ferns and wildflowers flourish below, enhancing the sense of refuge.

It’s clear that this well-used trail is enjoyed as a community asset as demonstrated by the popularity of the trail with local joggers, families out for a stroll, and recreational cyclists looking to get out in nature for the afternoon. Four-legged trail users are welcome too, as Mitchell D. Phaiah Dog Park shares a parking lot and trailhead with the trail near the southern terminus in a residential neighborhood near Quinebaug Lake State Park.

The Quinebaug River Trail offers a rewarding experience for those willing to negotiate the less than inspiring section of on-road riding in Killingly. The most scenic southern portion of the route has very few road crossings and an excellent surface. As the trail leaves town and enters the New England wilderness, take in the ample natural beauty as you journey alongside the river among ferns, mature trees, and wildflower meadows.

Parking and Trail Access

Unfortunately, there is no dedicated trail parking for the northern segment of the trail.

To access parking for the southern segment, take I-395 to Exit 37 (or Exit 37B if taking I-395 S) for Providence Road/US 6. Merge onto US 6 W. In 0.6 mile turn right onto Main St./CT 12 and then in 0.3 mile turn left onto Commerce Ave. Parking will be on your left at the intersection of Commerce Ave. and Water St. in downtown Killingly.

Quinebaug River Trail Reviews

It's a fantastic trail. I went after a snowstorm a few days after and to my surprise the trail itself was nice and clean, snow cleared! It runs along the Quinebaug River and it is a very peaceful place for a walk. I have not completed this trail seeing how we just started walking but will look forwarded to completing this trail. Great place for a bike ride, Walk, Run, skate, strollers. All paved once you get to the trail.

it's mainly flat, woodsy but not much else. we did have a picnic lunch down by the river where the kids got to play a little. we saw a few family's, and a few sketchy people as well. not sure I would have been comfortable doing this ride with just my kids.

We decided to do this trail on National Open "Bike Trail" day, 4/16/16 and it was very pleasant. The trail is short, mainly flat and very clean with no major issues with the road condition or obstacles.

Nice trail to do after a winter of indoor cycling in order to get the kinks out.

Accordion

I rode the southern part of this trail again on 7/23/14 to check conditions and to see if any new construction had taken place, after not having visited in about 5 years. The trail extends now, about 4 miles south of the parking area in the center of Danielson, at the major intersection of US 6 and CT 12, and for me, this part, south of the baseball fields, was a new experience, although it has been in place for a few years. It's a very nice, and quite scenic and wooded cruise along the Quinebaug river, even though you are relatively close to civilization, you could easily imagine being miles away. It’s paved all the way south to where the trail ends at a gravel access driveway, if you get to this point, and want to continue on a bike, go right and in less than a hundred yards you find yourself in a nice housing development on Gloria Drive (Still in Danielson, I think). If not on a bike, your option is to turn around to return. From Gloria Drive one option for intermediate to advanced riders (not for families) is - through the neighborhoods out to CT 12, Wauregan Rd, to go south, then east on CT 14 to Green Hollow Road, then north returning to the start for a total of about 14 miles.

I rode this trail south of Danielson in August 2009. The pavement was in good shape and the scenery was very nice. There is no traffic once you get out of the town center. Much of the paved trail south of the baseball fields is actually on the old Connecticut Company’s (trolley) private right of way.

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