Derby Greenway


13 Reviews

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Derby Greenway Facts

States: Connecticut
Counties: New Haven
Length: 1.97 miles
Trail end points: 1st St. (Derby) and Division St. (Derby)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Dirt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6015451

Derby Greenway Description


Running alongside both the Housatonic and Naugatuck Rivers, the Derby Greenway demonstrates a seamless integration of Connecticut’s natural river systems and parks with man-made interventions of the past and present. The new addition of a striking sea green bike-pedestrian bridge on the southern end of the trail exemplifies Derby’s ambition to reinvent itself as a modern town while simultaneously providing views of a historical rail line bridge and flood-control dikes that speak to the city’s history.

At the trail's western endpoint by the Main Street parking lot, trail users are introduced to both the Housatonic and Naugatuck Rivers. Beyond their aesthetic and recreational values, both rivers have also played a role in the restoration of the historical Birmingham National Bank, built in 1893, into a restaurant and weekend live entertainment venue, creating greater activity around the Derby Greenway.

Across from the National Bank, the trail moves east along a 10-foot-wide path atop the dike containing the Housatonic River, which was erected after the great 1955 floods that devastated communities near the Housatonic and Naugatuck Rivers. The path leads to a new bike-pedestrian bridge that provides trail users with a great view of the Housatonic River. The trail exits the dike and descends to the boat launch area under the Commodore Hull Bridge, where parking and restroom facilities are provided.

The trail then meanders across O’Sullivan’s Island where the trail turns into a dirt path, and cuts through the open park space that hosts myriad deciduous trees, many towering over the park. The trail passes through the peninsula and is flanked by a small swampy area to the east with expansive views of the Housatonic to the west. Leaving the peninsula, the route passes under CT 34 alongside a wooden barricade that separates trail users from an active rail line that runs on top of the Naugatuck River dike. The paved trail continues along the river, providing views of wildlife such as geese and hawks diving into the water for fish.

The trail comes to its eastern endpoint at Division Street at the Derby Hall of Fame Plaza which also includes the historic National Humane Alliance Fountain. Engraved paving bricks surrounding the fountain featuring the members of the Derby Hall of Fame, together with commemorative bricks purchased by many greenway users. The landscaped area also includes a couple of benches for a peaceful respite. There is parking next to the Plaza and also across the street in a shopping center lot.


The Derby Greenway is part of the Naugatuck River Greenway, and trail users can continue north of Division St. along this trail. 

Parking and Trail Access

The Derby Greenway runs between 1st St. (Derby) and Division St. (Derby), which offers parking at both ends.

Parking is also available at:

  • O'Sullivan's Island Recreation Park, 138 Riverdale Ave (Shelton)

Please see TrailLink Map for more parking options and detailed directions.

Derby Greenway Reviews

I started This trail in downtown Derby in May 2022. They are doing some construction in the area where they say you can park. Go on a Sunday and park in the City Hall parking lot. Beside the parking and the tons of walker on the path is not bad.

I started This trail in downtown Derby in May 2022. They are doing some construction in the area where they say you can park. Go on a Sunday and park in the City Hall parking lot. Beside the parking and the tons of walker on the path is not bad.

Best Short Trail I've Ever Ridden

Dateline: Tuesday, July 14, 2020
Weather: Sunny, 85'F, low humidity

I like interesting trails with good scenery. This trail is all of that; there are bridges, tunnels, twist & turns, all near the 2 rivers. There is even a side dirt trail that leads to the V-end beach where the 2 rivers converge. I consider anything under 5 miles short, so this is a quick ride. Take a camera and snacks and enjoy this great trails. On this day I also rode the Naugatuck River Trail (ultra short) and the Kress Family trail (unpaved).

Always take the multiple addresses or GPS for several parking spots to any trail, as well as other trails nearby. Often I have found the first parking spot I went to was not there or unavailable.


It's really pretty, walked along the train track


Full of goose crap. Loud and noisy. Thought it would be serene and picturesque by the river, but it was really industrial and boring, with no shade. The parking lot in Derby sucks. The bridge in Derby was full of firework debris, paper and junk. Very disappointed.


Best for walking, not biking.

The trail is not very wide (fits about four people across) and not really long enough for a decent bike ride. Best suited to walking. As others have said there are a lot of sections that are not shaded.

If you want a longer walk you can cross Division St and walk a section that was added on the Ansonia side. There are a few short inclines, most of the trail is flat.

Nice place to walk

While you are near some major roadways and there isn't much shade on the longest stretch, the beautiful scenery of the river makes it a worthwhile trip. Also, if you start near the Shelton side and walk the whole length, you end up at a Stop & Shop so you can go in for refreshments and a snack. We're from PA and were visiting relatives in CT when we wanted to get out for a nice walk. This was a great track to follow for my wife, 9 year old son and I.

A nice walk

Did the whole trial today was very nice


It's a nice walk but since they banned dogs from the walkway I refuse to go.. It's sad that there are no paved walkways for those who want to walk their furry Freinds and don't want to walk threw the mud or dirt I have not returned since this ban and I will not return until the ban is lifted...

Not for me

The Derby Greenway is a poor excuse for a bike trail. Although paved throughout, it is very narrow and dominated by walkers. Joggers, people with strollers and dog walkers. Even the most novice of bikers will find the constant stops and near accidents quite annoying.

This is a wonderful trail, quiet even though it is near several busy streets. There is nothing wrong with the actual trail. I take exception to the new rules added to its use. I had frequented this trail prior to my daughter's birth. I chose to come walk today, one of the last warm days of the season to get back into shape, only to be turned back home due to the new ban on dogs. It is unfortunate that this country constantly penalizes the good, responsible people because they aren't able to control the irresponsible ones. And what bothers me most, they had set up stations back in 2006 for dog waste baggies, but I knew they were not refilled often and would be empty on a regular basis. This trail had the ability to prevent this ban but obviously, it wasn't a priority. I also never saw anyone monitoring the trail to fine the irresponsible owners who left their dogs waste behind. I brought my own bags, as always and was even praised by the person who warned me they changed the rules. That is why I am disappointed in this trail.

Lots of potential!

The Derby Greenway is currently a very short trail, but it is very well maintained and has the potential to become a great bike trail. At it's current length, a cyclist can bike the entire trail and back in about 15 minutes. Plans are currently underway to extend the trail at both ends. I can't wait!

Worth a look

This is a popular trail with area walkers and is worth a try. Keep in mind that because the trail is built on top of a flood control dyke, there is virtually no protection from the elements. In the summer, this means you will walk under blazing sun most of the way. In the winter, there is nothing to stop the wind from chilling you. The noise along Rt. 8 can grow tiresome. It will be interesting to see how this trail evolves as other towns extend it. Personally, I would rather walk someplace where there is some shade.

A gem!

"Looks like someone beat me to the punch and posted their beatiful pics!

There are tenth of a mile indicators along the pavement the entire way. There are even little unpaved spurs that will eventually become part of the greenway that I explored.
It starts at Main and Bridge on the Derby side and ends at the McDonald's and Stop and Shop at First Street where that 100-year-old fountain now rests. The last .8 miles is a straightaway with a fence on both sides and it's high up so it feels like it's a railroad. Beautiful views. The only bad part about the trail, is that it's so new and almost every sign is spraypainted by the local kids. Such a shame.

This is such a great trail with adaptive reuse of the land and when finished won't be a straight line of a trail, but a system of greenways in itself.

If you go to the webpage on this page, you will see a new video up taking you on a virtual tour of the trail."

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