CHESHIRE – The Farmington Canal Heritage Trail is a popular hub for recreational biking, rollerblading and jogging. The paved pathway begins in New Haven and spans 58 miles throughout the state of Connecticut, to the northern Massachusetts border and beyond. The trail runs along 11 towns and is 80.2 miles long in its entirety.
There are multiple entrances to the greenway throughout the state. The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) cites four access points to the Farmington Canal State Park Trail in Cheshire and Hamden.
• Cornwall Street, 0.6 mile west of the Cornwall Street and Route 10 intersection.
• North Brooksvale Road, one mile west of its intersection with Route 10.
• At Brooksvale Recreation Park on Brooksvale Avenue.
• Todd Street, 350 feet west of its intersection with Route 10.
These local portions of the multi-use trail system make up approximately 5.5 miles. DEEP lists recreational activities for the Farmington Canal Trail as being: biking, cross country skiing, hiking, in-line skating and walking.
The trail is open for non-motorized recreational use year-round from sunrise to sunset, except where posted. Avid bikers like Sandra and Tom Long from Norwalk use the Farmington Canal Trail on the weekends.
When asked where this trail ranks on the list of trails that they’ve biked over the years Sandra Long said, “Very high, it’s a 10.”
“It’s paved, it’s very easy. More people should come here,” said Tom Long.
The trail has restrooms, trailside benches and picnic tables. There is also a mobile-friendly trail map that uses GPS technology. The Dero Fixit bike maintenance stations are a favorite with cyclists.
“Somebody put a lot of thought into this.” Tom Long said of the trail’s Fixit stations, which include air pumps.
“If you breakdown they have the tools and the bike stand for you to fix it… You don’t find that at other rail-trails.” Sandra Long said.
There are many waterways off the Farmington Canal along the trail that are home to New England’s indigenous flora and fauna. The trail’s wetlands and wildlife make it a prime day trip destination.
“It’s very pretty here” Tom Long said.
“And you can’t beat the weather for today,” Sandra Long added.
The multi-use trail traverses urban, suburban, and rural areas of the Farmington Valley and Southern Connecticut. Historic buildings, abandoned rail corridors, and remnants of canal aqueducts are just a few of the many landmarks that visitors can expect to encounter.
There are various road crossings along the trail. These crosswalks are clearly marked with signs and pavement paint to ensure the safety of pedestrians.
The “Guidelines for Trail Users” tab on the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail webpage encourages visitors to keep their recreational equipment in good operating condition and always wear proper safety gear, including helmets and other protective equipment.
Additional information about the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail can be found at https://fchtrail.org.
Kristen Dearborn is a Wallingford native, NASM certified personal trainer and author of the blog dearfitkris – https://dearfitkris.com/
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