Top 5 Paved Bike Trails in Connecticut



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 some 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. They are each worth your time and effort to get to (especially The Farmington River Trail). And, each trail is wide and easy enough to accommodate any level of rider.




#1 FARMINGTON RIVER TRAIL

 
Farmington River Trail
Distance: 26 miles
Paved: Paved
County:Hartford
Town:Simsbury, Farmington, Canton, Avon


The Farmington River Trail is a national treasure. In fact it is registered as a National Scenic Waterway. The trail is a 26 mile loop branching off from the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail which runs from New Haven across the State and into Massachusetts. Tucked along The Farmington River the trail meanders past 19th century mills, dams and waterfalls, rapids and ponds, forests and prairies.


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#2 TRUMBULL RAIL TRAIL (PEQUONOCK GREENWAY)



Distance: 9 miles
Paved: Pavement & Crushed Stone
County: Fairfield
Town: Trumbull



The Pequonnock Greenway is much more than a bike path. First of all, it has a bike path, and a good one at that. It is wide and paved - easy and flat - with well made bridges. But, by embracing the concept of "greenway" it is a series of parks which each have their own identity and tell their own story.

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#3 MONROE HOUSATONIC RAIL TRAIL (PEQUONOCK GREENWAY)




Distance: 5 miles
Paved: Crushed Stone
County: Fairfield
Town: 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.

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#4 AIRLINE STATE PARK TRAIL

 

Distance: 21 miles
Paved: Crushed Stone
County:Middlesex, Windham
Town: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.

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#5 FARMINGTON CANAL HERITAGE TRAIL

 

Distance: 80 miles
Paved: Crushed Stone  & Pavement
County:New Haven, Hartford


"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."

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