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  1. #1
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    G&S Trolley Trail in Groton, CT

    I forgot to post this when I returned from my ride in CT last weekend. It's just a heads-up that what appears to be a rail-trail in Groton, CT on Google Maps is not exactly what it seems to be.

    I used the G&S Trolley Trail as a cut-through between Fort Hill and Mumford Cove, hoping it would be a link that would make my 2013 route more palatable for my wife, a casual rider who has never taken this trip with me.

    Let alone the fact that the entrance, a six-inch wide dirt path wandering off into the woods, was nearly impossible to find, the path itself only lasted 3-4 minutes before deteriorating to gravel, then dirt, then weeds. Near the end, my right pannier got stuck in some overgrowth and almost sent me face down into the tick-infested greenery. When I finally reached civilization, I had to lift my fully-loaded bike over a gate to proceed with my trip. No chance my wife will go for this!

    Anyway, after that, the ride was awesome. But if anybody out there thinks about mapping a route that incorporates this strip of path, be aware of what you're getting into. The Groton/Long Point Visitor's Bureau should be more careful recommending the G&S Trolley Trail as a legitimate bike route.
    Papa Tom

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  2. #2
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    Sounds like you rode a undeveloped portion of the trail as this site says Phase 1 is paved:

    http://www.groton-ct.gov/depts/parksrec//gs_trolley.asp

    Google satelite view suggests a wide, paved right of way heading southeast from Knoxville Cit until you hit the border with of the park, which corresponds to Phase 1 of the map. The distance appears to be only about 3,000 ft.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    I rode the entire trail. A decent portion of it was paved, but that part ended by the time I realized I was actually on the trail. Although the map on the official website is kind of useless, it appears that Phase Three will bring the G&S into a pretty nice area, or at least provide better access to Groton Long Point and Noank. There doesn't seem to be the slightest hint of any work going on, though. The people in the surrounding neighborhood do not even know the trail is there.
    Papa Tom

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  4. #4
    Senior Member cdale56's Avatar
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    I am sorry that I did not reply your post this before your ride. I used to go that way as a commuting route and also a ride before and after work. Makes a nice quiet way to the sound.

    That little path saves you from that nasty hill climb on Rte 1 (Fort Hill) that has a narrow shoulder and busy traffic. It and also adds some scenery to the ride. After the pavement ends it is pretty rideable until a sand patch before the old trolley bridge . There used to be a no trespassing sign on the gate to the road along Mumford Cove. Both this section of Groton and the next community along the sound (Groton Long point) are those little seaside enclaves, and even though the roads are public, one gets the sense they want to keep outsiders out, so I doubt a path will go any farther.

    I am reading the original post here are a few east/west routes between New London and RI- Rte 184 comes to mind. But these are further north and add distance and unfortunately hills. Rte 184 to Mystic and then along Rte 1 to Stonington and then there are alternates to that nasty section of Rte 1. The coastline east of Westerly is nicer than CT's coastline I think,

    This a route that I would suggest. Misses most of the bad spots and is scenic.

    http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=6025958

  5. #5
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    Thanks. It's late, so I will check out your route tomorrow. From what you've mentioned, I think I've tried all the alternates before (I've done this ride, usually as far as Narragansett, about 9-10 times). The ride after the G&S was beautiful, although I know exactly what you mean about feeling there are eyes on you the minute you exit the woods after the bridge. I don't miss that climb up Ft. Hill, though, which is why I keep trying alternates!
    Papa Tom

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdale56 View Post
    There used to be a no trespassing sign on the gate to the road along Mumford Cove. Both this section of Groton and the next community along the sound (Groton Long point) are those little seaside enclaves, and even though the roads are public, one gets the sense they want to keep outsiders out, so I doubt a path will go any farther.

    http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=6025958
    I live in Mumford Cove, and the roads are indeed Private, we maintain them on our nickel and pay the town to plow them. and there are no trespassing signs at Neptune and Colony roads.

    That said, Phase 2 of the trail is being worked on which widens and paves the trail to the pedestrian bridge over Amtrak, from there access to Haley Farm Trails or via a loop back, the Bluff Point trails

    Phase 3, which would continue the paved section up towards Groton Long Point, crossing MC's Colony Rd and out via Mumford Cove Road, has not yet been approved.

    Pedestrian, Bicycle, and Moped (banned but...) traffic have increased on the trail recently and my neighbors adjacent to the trail, have complained about trash, noise and loss of privacy.

    How many of you would like a major trail terminating in your back yard?

    I have ridden my bike on the trail and enjoyed it, it saves a big up/down hill via GLP road and US1, and I know the attraction, I now the plans the town has, but IMHI until the Town reaches an accommodation with my neighbors, there is no access through Mumford Cove, and the trail is only to connect to Bluff Point and Haley Farm. In the meantime carry your trash out and keep the noise down. I believe that hikers and illegally used mopeds are the problem not bikers.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    >>>>In the meantime carry your trash out and keep the noise down.<<<<<

    Good thing I didn't generate any trash or turn on my music during the five-ten minutes it took me to cover the whole trail!

    I'm not sure I will take this route again. If not for the very friendly old feller on the bicycle that I met along the way, I didn't get a very good vibe from the other people in the area. I will most likely go back to my previous route, which used the bridge boardwalk, but then exited into a good old fashioned neighborhood and ultimately dumped me back on Rt. 1, after Ft. Hill. We'll see. By sea-casper's post, I'm feeling like I'm not even welcomed in the state of Connecticut anymore! (My son lives in a $3.5 million home in Greenwich. Does that get me a warmer welcome?
    Papa Tom

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  8. #8
    Senior Member cdale56's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info. Interesting.

    I have been riding the coasts of CT and RI for decades and these two places are the worst; we all know what I mean but these people are the worst.

    I used to work in Groton and would go down there before and after work. That dirt section was bad esp with a road bike. I don't think GLP is posted private but you sure feel like it is.

    Funny you start thru Poquonnock Bridge with all its poverty and then cross the railroad tracks and then deal with people who worry about bicycles causing litter noise etc etc. Funny.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by sea_casper View Post
    How many of you would like a major trail terminating in your back yard?
    A lot of people in suburban Phily asked that same question with the same tone until they realized that the close proximity of trails (1) provided them with recreational opportunities that previously lacked in their unwalkable neighborhoods and (2) made their properties more desireable come sale time.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdale56 View Post

    Funny you start thru Poquonnock Bridge with all its poverty and then cross the railroad tracks and then deal with people who worry about bicycles causing litter noise etc etc. Funny.
    As I said the problem is not with cyclists, it is with mopeds illegally using the trail, and large numbers of pedestrians who leave trash, and are rowdy. We also have had bicycles "borrowed" and later found in other neighborhoods later. The big issue is the trail terminus currently being on private property, and the percentage of inconsiderate users. I'm sure most people who complain about unfriendly people, would be equally unfriendly if it was their driveway that was access to a trail.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    By the way, sea_casper, you live in a beautiful area. My remarks were a little harsh, but certainly tongue-in-cheek.

    I didn't realize Poquonnock (sp?) Bridge was a poverty-stricken area, although the first time I turned onto the boardwalk from Rt. 1, there was a homeless guy sleeping in the gazebo. Should I be more cautious riding through there next time?
    Papa Tom

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
    By the way, sea_casper, you live in a beautiful area. My remarks were a little harsh, but certainly tongue-in-cheek.

    I didn't realize Poquonnock (sp?) Bridge was a poverty-stricken area, although the first time I turned onto the boardwalk from Rt. 1, there was a homeless guy sleeping in the gazebo. Should I be more cautious riding through there next time?
    I would call Poquonnock Bridge low income housing, not poverty-stricken, I don't think there is much to worry about.

    We do enjoy the area with its easy access to the ocean and other recreational activities, Bluff Point and Haley's farm are nice to walk or bike all seasons. We moved here full-time after I retired in '09.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    In another post, people are discussing the injustice of residents of Anywhere USA being denied access to many of the more beautiful scenic points in the area. For example, on Long Island, a relative few can enjoy the Hampton beaches; in California, the same is true for the nicest parts of the Pacific Coast Highway. While I do understand why people invest lots of money to live in seaside communities that are kept clean and free of "riff-raff," I do not believe it is fair to expect the general public to stand outside the door and miss all those great water views, sounds, and smells. I live in a fairly well-to-do community on Long Island. Granted, we don't live on the water and we don't have much to see, but we'll let ANYBODY ride through here, any day of the week! After all, don't the trees and the sky and the water belong to everybody?

    Oh, and by the way, my experience in Mumford Cove and the other exclusive communities along the water wasn't as cold as others described. I didn't feel wanted, but people were polite when I smiled and greeted them.
    Papa Tom

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  14. #14
    Senior Member cdale56's Avatar
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    If you don't mind graded dirt paths you can avoid both areas by going south to Bluff Point State Park and riding a dirt road/trail that run along RR tracks and then go north over RR tracks on the old Trolly Bridge and then going into Haley Sate Park, which has a graded dirt trail network to roads that lead to Groton Long Point Rd (RTE 215) (the right on top the big hill climb on Rte 1) From here you head east to Mystic.

    By doing this the rider can avoid the apparently private roads in Mumford Cove(a place to cut thru, not a place to ride to) and Groton Long Point, a three mile loop with nice scenery and a good place to ride with apparent public road access.

    Not sure how these dirt roads would hold up on a loaded bike with road tires though.

    A nice detour would be to visit the coast by going south to Buff Point, again on a decent dirt road. this is s destination for MTBers esp on a network of single track on other side of point. This is one of the few undeveloped shoreline areas along the CT coast, at least in SE CT.

    I don't work in Groton anymore so I don't ride there much anymore anyway.

    all part of a D2R2 south (and flat) type ride

  15. #15
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    cDale: I am copying your post into my notes for next year. I have no problem slapping on my MTB tires for this ride, as I've toured many times with those on. I actually like them better. Thanks!
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
    I forgot to post this when I returned from my ride in CT last weekend. It's just a heads-up that what appears to be a rail-trail in Groton, CT on Google Maps is not exactly what it seems to be.

    I used the G&S Trolley Trail as a cut-through between Fort Hill and Mumford Cove, hoping it would be a link that would make my 2013 route more palatable for my wife, a casual rider who has never taken this trip with me.

    Let alone the fact that the entrance, a six-inch wide dirt path wandering off into the woods, was nearly impossible to find, the path itself only lasted 3-4 minutes before deteriorating to gravel, then dirt, then weeds. Near the end, my right pannier got stuck in some overgrowth and almost sent me face down into the tick-infested greenery. When I finally reached civilization, I had to lift my fully-loaded bike over a gate to proceed with my trip. No chance my wife will go for this!

    Anyway, after that, the ride was awesome. But if anybody out there thinks about mapping a route that incorporates this strip of path, be aware of what you're getting into. The Groton/Long Point Visitor's Bureau should be more careful recommending the G&S Trolley Trail as a legitimate bike route.
    The actual bike trail goes left before the Amtrak bridge, a Green vehicle gate/bar is across its wide opening, from there it is a crushed stone trail to the Haley Farm State Park entrance, then take Brook St or Senaca Dr which takes you out to Groton Long Point Rd (215) from there you can follow route 215 which turns left at the tracks into Mystic. The Haley Farm Bike trail was built around 1970 to connect to the Trolley Trail, and apparently used to be well marked even on the street side. The pedestrian bridge connects to the Bluff Point trail, it has been common for bikers to exit into our neighborhood, not knowing the missed the bike trail turn. There is signage on the Haley Farm trail after the vehicle gate.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    Thanks, sea_casper. You've answered my very next question!

    This past summer, by the time I exited the Trolley Trail at the AMTRAK bridge, it was so overgrown that I can't imagine having taken it any further. Does it get any better after that point? Though I don't mind using my MTB tires next time around, I did mind getting my panniers stuck in all that brush!
    Papa Tom

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  18. #18
    Senior Member cdale56's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
    Thanks, sea_casper. You've answered my very next question!

    This past summer, by the time I exited the Trolley Trail at the AMTRAK bridge, it was so overgrown that I can't imagine having taken it any further. Does it get any better after that point? Though I don't mind using my MTB tires next time around, I did mind getting my panniers stuck in all that brush!
    I walked here today, and there are a few new things, at least new since my last ride here-the path is now paved to the trolley bridge over the AMTRAK line. The pavement looks brand new and goes over the worst spot which was a long stretch of soft sand. Also new are signs on the gates to what might be MumFord Cove Rd, previously mentioned as a private road. These signs (like signs you get at hardware stores) say something like "Private Property No trespassing" and in the handwritting part "Mumford Cove Association" a couple of signs on the gate. must be put there by the local who didn't want litter...ironically the only litter was the signage.

    The signed route thru Haley Farm State Park from the Trolley the path to Fort Hill Rd is nice. It is signed as a bike route and is packed gravel, seemed to be decent riding even with 28-32s?

    Trivia: I think the trolley bridge was on film, in a horrible TV movie called "Disaster on the Shoreliner" filmed in Groton and Niantic.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WST0JfcIVh8

  19. #19
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    OK, time to pick up on this thread again, as I am starting to plan this year's ride to Mystic.

    Last year, the majority of you convinced me that I am not welcome, as a bicyclist, in the communities of Mumford Cove and Groton/Long Point, et al., so I'm looking at an alternative.

    There appears to be a left turn I can take into the woods off the G&S Trolley Trail that will lead me into Haley Farm State Park, onto Haley Farm Lane, and out into Brook Street, which will take me back to 215 and on to Mystic. I think this is the route seacasper described last fall.

    If I use my knobby tires for this trip, does this sound like a good idea?
    Last edited by Papa Tom; 03-29-14 at 06:48 PM.
    Papa Tom

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  20. #20
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    Hey, you know what? This goes against my grain, as I've always tried to be respectful of people and I am always conscientious of the fact that every time I get on a bicycle, I represent ALL bicyclists. But the more I think about this "We don't want you bicycle types around here, son" nonsense, the more I am compelled to just put my pedals down in Mumford Cove (et al) and ride the exact route I took last year. It was the perfect way to turn a short bike trip into a longer, beautifully scenic memory. And with not so many of these left in my legs, I think I'm going to treat myself to what might be one of the last summer rides up the CT coast.

    Sorry if anybody who lives up there is offended by my perspiration, but I am an upstanding citizen, very well known and respected in my community, and a grandfather of five. I promise not to hurt anyone or steal anybody's children. Besides, you can pedal around my neighborhood any time you want.
    Last edited by Papa Tom; 04-01-14 at 06:17 PM.
    Papa Tom

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  21. #21
    Senior Member hotbike's Avatar
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    Hey Papa Tom!

    What's up, I haven't heard from you? Let me recount my recent adventures: On 16 January 2014, my car died… I have been riding a Mountain Bike with studded tires for the past 76 days… Okay the tires are changed now, and the road bike came out last week.

    But I need a car, to get from Long Island to the Conn. Trolley Museum… I'm picking it up today. I have upgraded fro a 1995 to a 2010 model minivan.

    Welcome to the C T M

    That would be nice, I like trolleys.

    The Shore Line Trolley Museum Operated by the Branford Electric Railway Association, 17 River Street, East Haven, CT, 06512

    Is it one of these, Or is it a Rails-to-Trails project, with no-more trolleys?

    I haven't been on a road trip in years, it would be nice!
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/11629987@N02/sets/72157639939606343/

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