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CT: Farmington Canal Heritage Trail

Old 07-30-18, 03:52 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by zoolzoo View Post
One cool thing to do is ride from downtown southbury parking lot near witch doctor brewing... south to hamden and eat at Mikro. It is right on the trail.... good food and beer. You will run into a "path closure" in cheshire... ignore the signs (lol) and ride through the small construction site. There and back is total 32 miles or so.

BTW Witchdoctor is in Southington. Regarding the path closure, it is still closed for a good reason, but looks like it could open soon. Probably best in the interim to continue to take the 1 mile on-road detour from Main St. to Willow to Cornwall.


Mikro has a great beer selection. Also don't forget Kinsman brewery in the southern part of Southington. And while we are drinking our way down the trail (seriously please don't drink and bike), you might want to go off the trail at Town Walk Apartments in Hamden. It's a short trip up the hill on Sherman Lane, then right on Sherman Ave to the first right on Raccio Park Rd to get to Counterweight Brewery, in my opinion, one of the best in the state.
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Old 07-30-18, 04:12 PM
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Does anybody know the status of the missing section from Lazy Lane in Southington to Northwest Drive in Plainville?
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Old 07-30-18, 06:33 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by hdkct View Post
BTW Witchdoctor is in Southington. Regarding the path closure, it is still closed for a good reason, but looks like it could open soon. Probably best in the interim to continue to take the 1 mile on-road detour from Main St. to Willow to Cornwall.


Mikro has a great beer selection. Also don't forget Kinsman brewery in the southern part of Southington. And while we are drinking our way down the trail (seriously please don't drink and bike), you might want to go off the trail at Town Walk Apartments in Hamden. It's a short trip up the hill on Sherman Lane, then right on Sherman Ave to the first right on Raccio Park Rd to get to Counterweight Brewery, in my opinion, one of the best in the state.
Oops typo, yes southington. oh yeah kinsmen is along this way too, good pizza and beer. i didn't know counter weight was right there too!
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Old 09-04-18, 07:16 PM
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New section from Cornwall Ave. to West Main St., Cheshire is opening Sep 9, making the trail contiguous from Southington to terminus in New Haven.
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Old 09-05-18, 07:45 AM
  #30  
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I recently received an email about someone saying the construction is almost done and wants to setup a meet there. Currently don't have the time but if anyone is interested I think the group is the scenic bikers.
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Old 09-10-18, 11:13 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by hdkct View Post
New section from Cornwall Ave. to West Main St., Cheshire is opening Sep 9, making the trail contiguous from Southington to terminus in New Haven.
This is great, though the road section wasn't bad at all.
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Old 04-18-19, 12:24 AM
  #32  
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Anyone have a guess for the best route from New Haven Union Station to the start of the trail at Temple St (or I guess for northbound, really Trumball St)?

Seems to be about a mile and a half; Metro North doesn't go to State Street on weekends or that would be closer.

Thinking I want to head up on the train some time and do the southern piece as an afternoon round trip up to the gap and back before trying to do the whole thing as a one way ride to Massachusetts.

(Or maybe I finally do Walkway over the Hudson... about the same length train ride, about the same amount of trail, Walkway is probably more interesting but the lower piece of Farmington Canal a stepping stone towards riding to MA...)

Edit: What I ended up doing was walking northeast on Union Ave from the train station and crossing under 95, then riding the bike lane on North Frontage Road that becomes Orange Street, Left on George, and right on Church Street and followed that up the east side of the green. Two blocks later left on Grove, right on Hillhouse and the trail is on the left on the lawn of a campus building immediately after the iron bridge. At quarter of ten on a weekend traffic was light and it felt comfortable, can't speak to other times or after dark.

Last edited by UniChris; 06-16-19 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 05-01-19, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
Anyone have a guess for the best route from New Haven Union Station to the start of the trail at Temple St (or I guess for northbound, really Trumball St)?


Seems to be about a mile and a half; Metro North doesn't go to State Street on weekends or that would be closer.


Thinking I want to head up on the train some time and do the southern piece as an afternoon round trip up to the gap and back before trying to do the whole thing as a one way ride to Massachusetts.


(Or maybe I finally do Walkway over the Hudson... about the same length train ride, about the same amount of trail, Walkway is probably more interesting but the lower piece of Farmington Canal a stepping stone towards riding to MA...)

Unfortunately there are no good back streets from the train station. But weekend traffic is not bad in downtown New Haven. State St to Grove St to Prospect or Hillhouse Ave will get you into the general area. Trail entry points at Temple Street and Hillhouse Ave are not well marked, but accessible. If you make your way to Canal/Lock Street via Prospect, there is an East Coast Greenway sign at the entry point.
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Old 06-02-19, 09:18 AM
  #34  
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Finally did the Farmington Canal's lower section yesterday from New Haven to Southington and back.

Overall it's a very nice trail, much of its length quite scenic. Generally it is in pretty good condition, there is a part a few miles up where there are countless tree root cracks but unlike those I'm used to elsewhere they don't really break the plane of the surface so you don't feel them as much riding over - not sure how that happens but I'll take it. Overall the route is very flat; there are just a few places with some mild hills seemingly to get around places where the modern trail has to detour from the original canal route. There's also a lot of shade - I barely needed my helmet brim but finally decided to wear it rather than keep it tied to my pack.

One downside to the trail is that the 2nd mile up from the New Haven start has about 13 road crossings in a row; when you're at one and you can see then next three ahead of you it starts to feel a little ridiculous. But things smooth out by the two mile point.

Services on the trail are quite good; I'd hauled a full distance load of water on the train from NYC and really didn't need to, as there's a water fountain at the lock keeper's house and nice bathrooms and a bottle filling station just north of Cornwall Ave in Cheshire, not to mention the train station itself, next time I'll probably bring fewer bottles and only filled with what I want for the train ride itself.

On a nice Saturday the trail was pretty busy, ended up using my bell and voice quite a bit but never had any issues. It seemed there had been a running race a little earlier in the morning as I passed some untended folded tables with cups of water on the way up, cleaned up by the afternoon return. Probably not a time and place to try for a maximum performance ride, but great for a relaxed or family one.

Getting from the New Haven train station up to the trail wasn't too bad, did a combination of riding bike lanes and some sidewalk walking, but with mild determination it could almost all be ridden. The temple street tunnel is closed so right now the entrance/exit is off Hillhouse Ave in the midst of the Yale campus, unfortunately a mid-block path with absolutely no signage - kind of ironic as most of the trail has ornate stone pillars or even overhead banner signs like the gateways to some cattle ranch.

Unfortunately the end of the southern section across from the Southington police station really feels like an end. Quite a few people were there when we reached it, and none seemed to be trying to go on via roads, though connecting to where the trail picks up about 10 miles north is in the planning stages. I'm hoping to get back up there soon, either meet a friend and start north of the gap in Plainville or maybe just start exploring southward from the Westfield, MA end.



Hillhouse Ave entrance on the Yale campus is charming, but lacks any signage.



Met up with a friend partway up and did the far end together.



Southington should be a middle not an end, but it's not setup to make going on feel welcoming, even by road. Hopefully this gap gets connected to the next piece in Plainville soon. And hopefully someday the end in Westfield, MA will connect through to the Manhan trail restoring the historic New Haven to Northampton corridor.

Last edited by UniChris; 09-02-19 at 06:03 PM.
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Old 06-03-19, 09:12 AM
  #35  
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UniChris, I was working a Trails Day event in Hamden on Saturday and saw you as you road past us. Nice machine! Wish I had a chance to talk with you about it. Your observations are correct. My understanding is that connections to the New Haven waterfront will soon be in progress. In Plainville, I believe that funds for the building of the incomplete section have been allocated and the project is under design. You should definitely return and do the northern section.
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Old 06-03-19, 10:37 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by hdkct View Post
UniChris, I was working a Trails Day event in Hamden on Saturday and saw you as you road past us. Nice machine!
Thanks! Were you with the group at the Lock Keeper's House? I was running late to meet a friend in Cheshire on the way up or would have stopped, didn't return that way until later afternoon when people had packed up, though it was still a very welcome rest stop and opportunity to refill a water bottle - something far too missing on my usual trail running north from NYC.

Really hoping to get back and do the northern and Collinsville sections soon!
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Old 06-10-19, 09:37 AM
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Did pretty much the entire trail yesterday. Started in New Haven and rode up to Southington where I was met by the mom mobile and whisked across the gap in air conditioned comfort up to the fork (thanks, Mom!).

Then rode the Collinsville Branch into Collinsville (but not the rest of the Canton portion) and back to the fork.

Finally headed north through Avon and Simsbury reaching Westfield just after dark, after a hair over 70 ridden miles total. Spent the night at my sister's and now heading back home on the Hartford line train with unicycle bungeed to its excellent bike rack. Just wish they had more than two mid-day schedules, as the Amtrak remainder of the timetable doesn't take bikes.




Suddenly my 36 inch wheel looks small

Overall it's a great trail. Some of the middle parts are most scenic. There are maybe three classes of moderate annoyances.

First unlike the southern section, north of the gap there is very little water or even nearby place to buy it. Could not find the water fountain I expected at the fork, and the market in Collinsville has gone more trendy cafe than convenience, fortunately there was a water fountain outside. While Avon is a built up area the trail missed any real districts so did not find anything (EDIT: There is a water fountain at Sperry Park I rode right by!) until stopping quite dehydrated in Simsbury for gatorade at the CVS just north of the Drake Hill dogleg around mile post 11. The water fountain on the trail down the hill from there did not work but found one a fraction of a mile later in the rotary park playground. Not much of anything between there and Westfield, possibly Kane market three miles further north in Simsbury but they close at 2 on a Sunday.

Next there are some unfortunate detours through an office park on Security Drive in Avon, made worse because you can actually see the rail bridge still in place to make a straight shot just west of Old Farms road up to Sperry Park where it returns to the ROW, and in Simsbury climbing an unnecessary hill to bypass someone's fenced weed patch on a designated stretch of sidewalk (though the north end of that detour at least put me at the shopping plaza that was my fluids stop). Finally at the north end of Simsbury there is a huge detour adding literally a mile to go around a large agricultural operation; at least that is decent flat trail.

Mostly the trail condition is good, however there are some degraded spots. For example behind some condos after first crossing Hopmeadow in Simsbury, in a farm area in Granby just after the field detour, and a few spots in MA (which is generally smooth) where cracks had been outlined in hot pink and that in white, making it look like a tentacle monster was attacking the trail. Actual bumpiest part was just below the new section in Cheshire where they paved in sections with a dip between each, broke a spoke at the elbow shortly after that but was able to unscrew it and carry it out taped to the frame.

Was kind of disappointed there was no sign to take a picture with at the state line, first time I've ever ridden across one since a family bike afternoon half a lifetime ago.

Last edited by UniChris; 09-02-19 at 06:08 PM.
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Old 06-10-19, 11:21 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
kneepads
may I ask, are those for cycling? do you like them? what size are they?
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Old 06-10-19, 11:31 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
may I ask, are those for cycling? do you like them? what size are they?
No, the kneepads are $10 foam things from Home Depot bought in a pinch when the largest gforms were out of stock and then when I did finally get them proved too small. They're better than nothing and block some sun, but weren't entirely enough when I went down directly without any tumbled running steps last summer. Came off on bumps twice yesterday but ran it out staying on my feet, still, I mostly forget I'm wearing them.

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Old 07-17-19, 07:55 PM
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Rode my 3rd-ever Century on the Farmington Canal trail this Tuesday. Started in Westfield rode 10 miles down just into CT, back to the start then headed south for real, down to Farmington, up the Canton branch, and then retracing.

A much easier route than my bumpy usual choice in Westchester, though I was really struggling in the heat (especially to eat enough) so only ended up slightly faster.

This time I did get stop to take a picture of the tentacle monster that's subsisting on trail while waiting for a protein-packed byte of unwary cyclist, but reality is that this bump is more "bark" than "bite" and not a big deal to ride over. Some of those across the state line East Granby warrant caution, but overall the MA portion flew by.



On the second leg south I was joined a bit north of the state line by a Springfield-based unicyclist and we rode together for 8 miles down to the detour around the big farm in Granby before he had to head back north to get to work. (I'm the one in hi-vis, posing without the dorky helmet brim I'd just attached, a month later we did the north portion again joined by a third unicyclist visiting from California) Just after the farm detour a downed tree blocked the entire path - several bikes turned around to try route 10 instead, but one northbound squeezed through so I pushed my big tire ahead and followed it through the branches at the cost of bonking my helmet on the trunk. Amazingly it was entirely gone by the return leg, even the pine needles swept up!


Right above the Farmington end saw an interesting trestle leading to an upper-story industrial rail siding that I'd missed on a previous northbound-only ride. Although called a canal trail, the canal was soon rebuilt as a railroad and that lasted in places into the 1980's



After Farmington I rode the 10 miles up the Canton branch. On the way back some walkers mentioned that they'd seen a bear, and I managed to see it myself, a mid-sized juvenile in the rocks and bushes above the trail on the embankment of Rt 179. By the time I dismounted to try to get a picture it had had enough of chittering lycra-clad primates and was doing a better job of hiding.

With the day's heat the ride proved more challenging than the route should, but overall it seemed like a good choice. Hit the last ten miles back in MA on either side of sunset and was able to really pick up the pace given the quality of the trail and knowledge that the finish was near.

The way I rode it ended up basically a series of five 20 mile rides between refill stops: got dropped off at the grocery store lot in Westfiled, returned back there to buy a jug of water after 10 out and 10 back, rode 19 down to the grocery store & CVS at Drake Hill in Simsbury, 21 from there to the CVS diagonally across from the Canton end, then back to Simsbury and ultimately Westfield.

Last edited by UniChris; 03-01-20 at 09:42 PM.
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Old 07-18-19, 05:07 AM
  #41  
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Chris, I've enjoyed your reports on this trail. Even though I live "way down here" it has become one of my favorite rides. Well worth the drive.

Please tell us your impressions of the way southern end. I've read/heard various reports of security issues in New Haven - enterprising youths bothering trail users. What have you seen, felt, heard? I've thought about parking near The Yale campus and going north from there, even crossing the Plainville gap. I've ridden the 35 miles of the northern section 2 or 3 times (round trips) and could also just be content with that.

thanks
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Old 07-18-19, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Prowler View Post
Chris, I've enjoyed your reports on this trail. Even though I live "way down here" it has become one of my favorite rides. Well worth the drive.
Thanks, it's actually likely that my next train-enabled trail adventure will be riding the the Schuylkill River Trail form Philly out to Vally Forge or so - a bit more limited what I can do when framed by a same-day train trip.

Please tell us your impressions of the way southern end. I've read/heard various reports of security issues in New Haven - enterprising youths bothering trail users. What have you seen, felt, heard? I've thought about parking near The Yale campus and going north from there, even crossing the Plainville gap. I've ridden the 35 miles of the northern section 2 or 3 times (round trips) and could also just be content with that.
The section to think about is Newhallville about a mile above the Yale campus. I went through at 10am and around 5pm, didn't really have any discomfort at either time, though at night could be different. One guy really wanted to try the unicycle, might have let him if it were a smaller one without the handle bar that gets banged up if it gets dropped with the extra weight of water bottles on the back. The biggest annoyance about it is that there are about 13 road crossings inside a mile as it's basically cutting through an urban street grid mid-block at an angle. Bike lanes up through New Haven itself didn't feel bad before 10am either.

That said, right around Yale itself might be momentarily fun, but it's not big deal to miss. If you are driving anyway (vs taking the train) you might as well find a trail parking lot in Hamden to start at, that's more rural and scenic anyway and you miss the stop-and-go of all those crossings. Once north of the bridge over Putnam Ave it starts to feel like a nice trail. Though I guess if planning a late return starting a little further north wouldn't be terrible idea.

I've not ridden the road gap or any either of the portions dangling towards it from the fork at Red Oak Hill Rd in Farmington. When I got a ride across it we drove along the Meadow Road option and that looked to be a lot of time alongside fields in full sun, but might connect with better routes. The bit due south along New Britain Ave looks a little nicer at least at its northern end, considered riding that as part of the way to bump up the distance but repeating the early part in MA seemed the better choice.

Incidentally, if venturing northeast for rides some closer things to check out are the Delaware & Raritan Canal in NJ, and the South County / North County / Putnam County trails running 48 miles north of NYC, though the first is a bit bumpy. The Duchess County rail trail that crosses the Hudson at Poughkeepsie is really nice but short, however in about two years that will get connected to the trails making up the former Putnam division railroad for a total of something like 90 miles meandering from the Bronx, across the river at Poughkeepsie and most of the way to New Paltz.

Last edited by UniChris; 07-18-19 at 10:07 AM.
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Old 07-19-19, 06:46 PM
  #43  
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Thanks Chris. My first journey on the southern section started in Hamden as thats right off Merritt Pky. Thanks for the info about further south. I'll probably just enjoy the scoot from Plainville north. Good enough.

YES about the Dutchess rail trail and the 'walkway' over the Hudson. And yes about the trails along the Delaware. I expect you'll like the Schuylkill trail. I do. Regular user. Next time is Tuesday morning. I always start from west of Valley Forge. The circum-trail around Valley Forge NPS is also nice, via the new Sullivan bridge that links it all to the SRT. Go for it.

Oh, yes. I've ridden the north county/Putnam county trails. Nice. Especially that long final downhill blast to the north end near Brewster. Yeee-haaaaaa.

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Old 09-01-19, 08:55 PM
  #44  
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A while back someone told me I needed to find another wheel, figured why not find two more?


Lunch stop at Plan B Burger in Simsbury in the former train station. We rode about 19 miles down from Westfield to Simsbury and then back up. Beautiful day for a relaxed ride but hard to get back in the saddle after a large hour long lunch.


Leading the way under my goofy helmet brim at the start of the ride (friend's photo)


My riding companions, from East Longmeadow... and California.

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Old 07-03-20, 09:26 AM
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A few updates with regard to the northern half of the trail based on things I've learned in preparing for and pedaling out a ride in summer 2020.

Between Westfield and Northampton

The historic terminus of the canal and rail line is Northampton, MA and not Westfield, however the tracks between Westfield and Southampton are still in use. Riding the gap on roads isn't too bad however. From Northampton take the Manhan trail trail segment south, one could take it to the end and get on route 10 but that is a bit windy and hilly and sometimes without shoulder in those spots. I find it better to leave the Manhan at a cut-through to the parking lot of the Williston School and get on Park Street, then follow that as it becomes Line Street and County Rd. At the intersection with 202 one could go west and then south along the eastern side of the airport, and while that is sun-exposed it has a decent shoulder most of the way, unfortunately after crossing I90 the shoulder disappears and you have sharrows on a fairly busy four lane road to the Westfield River. So I prefer to stay on the same road which becomes East Mountain Rd after crossing 202 and gets a little narrower but remains fairly calm and residential as it runs down the east side of the airport. Then head southwest on Papermill (recently repaved) and eventually take Union (a bit busier but not bad) over to intersect Elm/10/202 just north of the river. There is a trail bridge over the river but it's a bit hard to get to and does not yet connect to anything on the south side though work to replace the missing bridges of the elevated route down to the trailhead on main street is in progress. Staying on the main road isn't too bad, and after the rotary you can turn left at the fire department and enter the stop and shop lot from the side. Or right after the river take a left on Bartlett (just before passing under the trestle bridge that will some day carry the trail again) to Mechanic street.

A caution though: East Mountain Rd can be busy and fast. Past rides I found it great, but returning north around 4:30 on a holiday weekend it would get bursts of many cars at a time. Interestingly they then seem to turn on 202 as County Rd, etc continuing that line north of 202 seems to have less traffic even though it has more width to comfortably accommodate it.

Water

The trail follows a rail line that tends to run through more out of the way parts of town, so even in nominally dense areas it can be a bit far from services meaning that hot day rides can require some planning.

North of Westfield, convenience store where County Rd / East Mountain Rd cross 202. The nominal grocery store in the shopping center is closed.

Westfield trailhead is beside Stop & Shop though they may not be open early, Cumberland Farms just east of the missing rail bridge on Main Street should be

At Congamond Rd and Turkey Hills Rd it looks possible to detour a mile west to services on 202

Floydville Rd above the nursery detour runs out to 202, at that point it's a half mile up 202 to a large grocery store

North Simsbury, Kane's Market has signage on the trail but limited hours, Pride gas station next to them should be open though

Drake Hill Mall in Simsbury grocery store where the trail jogs up to the street, there is sometimes a water fountain along Iron Hose Blvd, too. Someone was trying it when I rode by, I think with success but not sure. There's another in the children's playground just north that might be on if the trail one isn't, it has a bad angle but in 2019 I was able to use one bottle to repeatedly collect enough to fill another. Getting a big jug at the grocery store is probably less bother.

Simsbury between Old Canal way and Hopmeadow, back entrace to a Cumberland Farms with a gazibo to sit in

Down in Farmington below Red Oak Hill Rd someone with a seasonal farm stand had put out a sign temptingly advertising cold drinks but it wasn't clear how far west of the route they were. There is a gas station mart on route 4 in sight of the trail just north of the river, but it's elevated and fenced there and the rabbit trail that exists looks a bit steep.

Sperry Park Turn

Southbound it's important to remember that the main trail takes a hard right in Avon at Sperry Park, unfortunately the route you need to take looks like some minor local feature, but it's actually the main one as the trail leaves the former rail corridor to threads its way through Avon via industrial park drives as best it can. Continuing straight will get you to a dead end at ballfields or such.

The Conclave of Worms ?

Last summer on two rides there was a short segment of trail alongside a farm field that was densely carpeted with worms drying in the sun, and I even recall a strava segment called "where worms go to die" or something like that. This year I didn't see it, and can't find that segment in the summary of my past rides either. I felt like I passed through an area matching my recollection near the Simsbuy/Avon line in between the crossing of Hopmeadow Street and the turn at Sperry Park. After getting them on my water bottles last year, this time in preparation I deployed a grocery bag over the rear mount and trunk pouch after Hopmeadow, but when I removed it at the turnaround in Plainville it hadn't collected more than a small amount of general trail slime.

Simsbury Flower Bridge

It's open again after 2019's rehab. Worth the one-minute detour east from where the trail jumps up to a widened Hopmeadow St. sidewalk at Drake Hill Mall.


The Simsbury Flower Bridge is open again, worth the short detour from the dogleg at Drake Hill Mall unless you're short on time

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Old 07-06-20, 01:37 PM
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Can someone give me street by street directions from end of trail in New Haven to Long Wharf.
FVTC map is not too clear.

Thanks
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Old 07-06-20, 10:26 PM
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Originally Posted by bktourer1 View Post
Can someone give me street by street directions from end of trail in New Haven to Long Wharf.
FVTC map is not too clear.
My guess would be from the Hillhouse Ave exit on the Yale campus (assuming the tunnel is still closed) you'd want to actually go North a fraction of a block up to Trumball, take that west to Prospect and then follow that south down along the west side of the green. It looks like you can then take George to State. And then you have a choice - I'm not sure if you'd want to go immediately east to the north end of things, or go under the underpass and past the train station and take what appears to be Church street though to the water.

To be clear, I was last there early this year before developing my current comfort on roads. As a result, I rode most of the weekend-morning northbound connection from the train to the trail, but being worn out simply hiked the southbound one back. New Haven has its issues, but it's a geographically small city. If you end up somewhere that doesn't feel great, walk a block and get back on.

If you've never ridden to the southern end of the trail, be aware that the penultimate mile before Yale has something like 13 mid block road crossings, and you might prefer not to be in that section after dark. But where you come out is everything you'd expect from a trail on an Ivy campus.

And yes, when I think of getting myself to the southern end to do the "entire" "historic" route back to Northampton, I do mean the train station or the waterfront... wouldn't want to do all the easy miles without the first two that make them count ;-)

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Old 07-14-20, 08:10 AM
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Thanks will start on working on a route from Plainville to New Haven.
I have ridden from Westfield to Plainville several times and the Canton section also.
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Old 08-07-20, 08:05 AM
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Did another Century on the northern portion of the trail yesterday, again as with the one I did early last month starting from Northampton and riding roads from Easthampton to the main portion of the trail running south from Westfield.

Riding a few days after a major wind storm might not have been smart, but it worked out. Returning home I laughed at my naivete in having taken a picture of the first tree leaning across the trail at the little westfield river, as so much was to follow. Found around six down across the trail on the MA portion, all of which it was possible to go around or over though in only one case did I manage to do so without dismounting. On the evening return a crew was out and I only found two remaining.

Apart from lots of leaf / stick litter the CT portion went well, until encountering a very official closure just past the giant bike sculpture in Simsbury, which also closed off the road just to the north. It's possible climbing the hill would have worked but I ended up taking the main road down to Latimer Lane. Had no sooner stopped for a fluids refill at the pride gas station and gotten going again than at the crossing of Hopmeadow some pedestrians mentioned they had just seen a bear. And indeed, after crossing the driveway of an office park, there he was, lazily lumbering along the trail as if he owned it. Wasn't quire sure what to do - there looked to be a parallel gravel road, some other cyclists came up too. Finally we couldn't actually see him, perhaps because a ride-on leaf blower was coming the other way, so mounted up and rode through while making a lot of noise.

Even though it wasn't a particularly hot or sunny day the few less shaded miles from Red Oak Hill Rd. down to Northwest Drive in Plainville didn't really appeal, so on a whim checked some distances and decided that completing the loop through Unionville, Collinsville, Canton and West Simsbury wouldn't really change my total, so ended up doing that. A tree down in each of Unionville and Collinsville but was able to go around. Had been concerned about traffic on the initial road portion of the loop closure but midafternoon on a weekday it was fine. Definitely glad I was going it clockwise however as that meant riding down a fairly substantial grade on Dry Bridge Rd that I'd not want to ride up. The gravel path through Simsbury was nice and made me realize I hadn't really ridden any gravel in a while, alas it looks like it had and perhaps will again be subject to closure for some work a water company is doing (?)

Met another BF member in Collinsville. At the first fallen tree in Southwick a walker who had shouted at as I passed caught up with me, turned out he was a fellow unicyclist but not riding that day. And then in the evening a jeep coming out of the Dunkin Donuts shouted and stopped, and the guy turned out to have two little unicycles along with a bike on his rear rack. Doubtless it was those conversations that lead to this ride taking an hour longer than last months ;-)

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Old 08-21-20, 10:43 AM
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Gate is closed at tunnel at Prospect in NH. Small path to Hillhouse, connected to Temple to Grove to State. State to Water to Brewery. Paved Vision Trail (unmarked) all the way to the Boathouse. Path along water to end by Veteran's Monument. Did not continue on the dirt EC Greenway. Near boathouse, painted trail on road to the end of Sargent St. 3 taco trucks parked along Long Wharf Road and many potties. Return up State St. North to grove to Hillhouse. Many 1 way streets in NH
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