Ridgefield Rail Trail

Connecticut

Ridgefield Rail Trail Facts

States: Connecticut
Counties: Fairfield
Length: 2.3 miles
Trail end points: Prospect Street and Florida Road
Trail surfaces: Gravel
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6015131
Trail activities: Wheelchair Accessible, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

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Ridgefield Rail Trail Description

The Ridgefield Rail-Trail meanders for nearly 2.5 miles through the forested exburbs of Ridgefield, Connecticut. The trail passes among suburban acreages, along a creek at one point, and past a couple of the town's parks and open spaces, including Florida Refuge. The journey will be slightly downhill as you travel from Prospect Street to Florida Road. The trail was built by Connecticut Light & Power.

Parking and Trail Access

Parking is available at the Ridgefield trailhead on Halpin Lane.

Ridgefield Rail Trail Reviews

Wonderful little trail...little bit on the residential side....but nevertheless wonderful. Very disappointing that we don't allow bicycling....nasty anti-bike sentiment among the comments. Lots of no-bike paths in Florida.

Very well-maintained trail. Level and great for walking or jogging. Suitable for casual walkers. As another reviewer pointed out, the trail wends its way through the suburbs of Ridgefield, so scenery consists of lots of backyards. My husband and I expected this, so it didn't detract from our enjoyment of our walk, but I felt that I couldn't give it the full five stars. There are benches along the way if you want or need to stop.

Not shady and in a well developed area

Accordion

There are no bikes allowed on this trail, and dogs must be leashed. Please do not be a jerk and think that you are a special snowflake and these rules do not apply to you. They do.

What a beautiful morning to get out and try some XC skiing. Parked at Halpin St/Ridgefield Art Guild and walked down to the trail. After the heavy snow on Fir/Sat, the conditions were pretty good. A few folks on snowshoes and another lone skier otherwise had the place to myself. Easy sloping trail very suitable for my skill level. No established tracks to follow but easy enough to create my own. Not particularly scenic but a great find...I will go back!

Very disappointed that there is no parking anywhere near the trail entrance on Florida Road. Perhaps there's a way to indicate that fact on the map?

Biking is listed as one of the activities for the Ridgefield Rail Trail, but the a sign at the Propect St entrance to the trail says No Bikes. Does anyone know if this is enforced? Has the rule possibly changed?

I wonder about the possibility of the Ridgefield Rail Trail being opened for bicycle traffic. If the final mile from the east end of the trail was connected to the Branchville Metro-North station it would be a great way for commuters wishing to ride to get to the big city.

I'm sure a lot of commuters would enjoy the quick ride to Branchville in the morning but the uphill (about 100 feet per mile) commute home after a hard day's work might be a little intimidating.

Most of the final mile's railbed is still in place although I expect at least some is private property. At one point it appears the driveway for a residence is built upon it. This trail would either need to be cleared or the already too narrow Florida Rd would need a bike lane. Add a few racks where bikes could be secured at Branchville Station and allow bicycle traffic after dark like the northern portion of the American Tobacco Trail and it would be great for commuters.

Metro-North already allows bicycles on many off-peak trains and there's talk about finding a way to do this on more trains.

"Just checked web link on this page and the resulting website has a picture of a sign indicating that bicycles are not welcome. -Sean H, 08/04/2007."

"The only railtrail that I've ridden that doesn't allow bikes. (I blame that on the usual snobbiness of Ridgefielders) but I rode on my bike and saw countless other bikers with kids in tow. Basically, it's a great trail from the Playhouse Barn near Sunset Road/Prospect Street Extension and it's downhill to Florida Road. You rarely have to pedal. Nice street crossings.

If you have an old atlas of Fairfield County, the old rail line with depot is still on it. The old depot is still standing with additions to it. It's a lumber warehouse down the street.

The trail abruptly ends but doesn't tell you. Across the street is another fence covered by brush. I squeezed around it but that was the utility trail and it's too overgrown to go further. On the map, the trail crosses Florida Road many times before coming down to the current Branchville depot. If you make a right off the trail and coast downhill, you can stop for a snack at Ancona's market."

"Except for the lack of convenient trail user parking facilities, those who enjoy walking without the fear of being mowed down by speeding bicyclists will love this trail.

Literally, the only convenient, and legal, place to park for trail access is on Halpin Lane (a very narrow dead-end street). There are only two street crossings along the entire trail route and both well marked (and gated to prevent motor vehicle access).

The trail surface is smooth and dry from one end to the other. There’s a slight grade; you’ll go downhill from Ridgefield to Branchville and, of course, up hill in the reverse direction.

Trees and/or a tall embankment line the trail’s entire route; expect to find much shade in the summer. The right-of-way also serves as an electric utility corridor; the views are spoiled just bit by high tension lines and their supporting structures.

Since bicycles aren’t permitted and the trail isn’t paved, activity should be somewhat limited. On the day of my visit I encountered only a few walkers and hikers.

Ridgefield is located no too far south of Danbury; if you happen to be traveling on Interstate 84 your might want to check this trail out."

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