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When complete, Connecticut's Shoreline Greenway Trail will be a scenic 25-mile route through four quaint New England towns off Long Island Sound. From Lighthouse Point to Hammonasset Beach State Park, the trail will connect parks, schools, town centers, train stations, and hiking trails in East Haven, Branford, Guilford, and Madison.
Along the way, views of the water, forests, meadows, and marshes can be enjoyed. Where possible, the trail will be surfaced with distinctive crushed pink granite from a local quarry in Stony Creek. Benches are currently available on the trail and interpretive signage on the area's unique history and geology, as well as birdwatching stations, are planned for the future.
Although many parts of the trail have been cleared for walking and see regular use, the trail is surfaced and fully completed in these sections, totaling 3.5 miles:
East Haven (two sections)
This westernmost section of the Shoreline Greenway Trail, suitable for walking and biking, winds through a heavily wooded area from the former DC Moore Elementary School to the intersection of Hoop Pole Lane and Mansfield Grove Road, a 0.3-mile journey. If entering the trail from Hoop Pole Lane, proceed slowly, as the trail descends a steep dirt hill into the forest.
Travel one block east along Pevetty Drive and the road will dead-end into a pathway that takes trail users into Farm River State Park. Within the park is another 0.6-mile section of the trail that includes two charming footbridges. Unpaved nature trails are also available in the park for further exploring.
Branford (two sections)
This 0.9-mile section runs parallel to an active rail line with less than 50 feet of separation at some points, demonstrating the feasibility of such closely located rail and trail facilities. What it lacks in length, it makes up for in scenery; trail goers traverse woodlands and walk or ride past community gardens.
Another 0.6-mile section, known locally as the Branford Trolley Trail, runs from Tilcon Road to Thimble Island Road and stretches between the communities of Pine Orchard and Stony Creek along a former trolley line, offering pleasant views of the Long Island Sound and Thimble Islands.
This easternmost 1.1-mile section leads travelers through Hammonasset Beach State Park with views of woodlands, marshes, and a tidal stream. This segment is one of the Shoreline Greenway Trail’s most active, and trail advocates, academic institutions, and environmental organizations utilize it to promote trail use and awareness throughout the neighboring communities.
East Haven: A parking lot is available at the corner of Hoop Pole Lane and Mansfield Grove Road.
Branford: Parking for the Trolley Trail is offered at both ends: at Tilcon Road and off Thimble Island Road. A parking lot for the other Branford trail section is available near its east end off Birch Road.
Madison: Parking is available in Hammonasset Beach State Park (1288 Boston Post Road).
I'm horrified at the grading and filling done in some areas in Branford and Madison for this trail! Bikeways are nice but it is not ok alter natural areas and intact forests just so people can take a bike ride! Use this money to make the roads safer for bikes. Please stop destroying natural areas for recreational biking!
The Madison section in Hammonasset State Beach Park is beautiful and well worth a visit. Park in the dedicated parking lot just east of the Park entrance on Route 1.
Views of marshes and Long Island Sound.
I can't wait for the Trail to be completed all the way to New Haven!
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