Top 5 Paved Bike Trails in Connecticut

share this article

The Farmington River Trail
The Farmington River Trail

Often this small New England state is thought of only as a corridor - A land of freeways and roads leading to other places. Slowing your speed down can do your heart and mind wonders, and you don't need to drive to Vermont to chill out and enjoy natural surroundings and New England charm.

Trading the car for a bike is a great way to reset your pace while providing for some low impact exercise. Connecticut is slowly piecing together a network of easy, flat, paved bike trails. There are more major trails under development, but for now there are only a few that have the length to be worth strapping the bikes to the car and heading our for a day trip.

Here are the CT trails that made my top 5 list. They are each worth your time and effort to get to (especially The Farmington River Trail).





#1 Farmington River Trail


Collinsville Mill on the Farmington River Trail
Collinsville Mill on the Farmington River Trail


Distance: 26 miles
Pavement:Asphalt, some crushed stone and some roads
County:Hartford
Communities: Farmington, Cheshire, Collinsville, Canton, Avon, Simsbury

The Farmington River Trail is a 26 mile loop bifurcating off the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail . Tucked along the Farmington River National Scenic River the trail meanders past 19th century mills, dams and waterfalls, rapids and ponds, forests and prairies. It is paved with asphalt most of the way. This glorious scenic trail offers the best traffic free trail biking in New England.

Trail Map and Article Here



#2 Trumbull Rail Trail (Pequonnock Greenway)


Scenery along the Trumbull Rail Trail
Scenery along the Trumbull Rail Trail
Distance: 9 miles
Pavement: Asphalt & Crushed Stone
County: Fairfield
Communities: Trumbull


The Pequonnock Greenway is extraordinary bike trail that begins at Seaside Park in Bridgeport and continues to Newtown. The Trumbull Section is the most scenic section of the Greenway. The trail is shaded by woods as it passes through a string of parks and parkways.

Article and Trail Map Here



#3 Monroe Housatonic Rail Trail (Pequonnock Greenway)


Stream Crossing on the Monroe Housatonic Rail Trail
Stream Crossing on the Monroe Housatonic Rail Trail


Distance: 5 miles
Pavement: Crushed Stone
County: Fairfield
Communities: Monroe

The Monroe Housatonic Railbed trail is biking bliss. The 5 mile trail is paved with finely crushed stone, is flat and wide, and easy for any level rider. If you begin at Great Hollow Lake Park the trip out to the Newtown town line and return will take about 1 or 2 hours. More adventurous riders equipped with mountain bikes can continue on the Newtown trail which is established but undeveloped.

Article and Trail Map Here


#4 Airline Trail


Airline Trail
Airline Trail

Distance: 21 miles
Pavement: Crushed Stone
County: Middlesex, Windham
Communities: Hampton, Colchester, Lebanon, Hebron, Columbia

The Air Line was once the primary inland railway between New York and Boston. Unable to support larger modern trains it was recommissioned as a recreational path and linear State Park. It features a wide crushed stone path and is easy biking for any level rider.

Article and Trail Map Here



#5 Farmington Canal Heritage Trail


(Photo By: Farmington (New Haven Northhampton) Canal recreational trail sign, Hamden, CT, USA. Photo taken by en:User:Staib on 30 September 2007)


Distance: 80 miles
Paved: Crushed Stone  & Pavement
County:New Haven, Hartford
Communities: New Haven, Hamden, Cheshire, Milldale, Plantsville, Southington, Plainville, Farmington, Avon, Simsbury, Granby, West Suffield MA, Southwick MA, Westfield MA

"Running north from the Yale University campus in New Haven through the heart of Connecticut, the multi-use Farmington Canal Heritage Trail, when completed will stretch uninterrupted more than 80 miles from New Haven to Northampton, Massachusetts. As of summer 2011, 72% is completed in CT and 47% is completed in MA. Only a few small pieces need to be completed in New Haven, and there is a 4.7-mile gap in Cheshire."

READ MORE ABOUT THIS TRAIL