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This trail is beautiful in the fall. I was traveling down Rt. Fees. This was the 2nd and final Day Hike of the Hop River Trail from Burnap Brook Road in Andover to Willimantic. ", "The professionals and trail volunteers have constructed a few retaining walls and a water spillway on the trail from the old railroad depot in Vernon to the Rte 44&6 junction tunnel. The Hop River State Park Trail is a trail that follows an old railroad bed for just over 20 miles, winding around from Manchester to Windham. Would have loved to keep going, but need to head back for food.". A mile south, turn left on Church Street. By car it was 15 minutes driving time one way between locations. › Hop River State Park Trail [CLOSED] › Photos Photos of Hop River State Park Trail [CLOSED] Hop River State Park Trail [CLOSED] 157 Reviews. This is a welcome sight, making for safer passage through the tunnel. To get to this new trail head in Manchester from Hartford & points west, take I-84 East to Exit 63. The scenery was mostly rocks that had been blasted through back when the railroad was built with a lot of ferns and greenery, but never saw the Hop River. The trail continues to get narrower until it becomes a single track. Funding in the amount of $500,000 has been obtained to complete the trail from Columbia to Willimantic. There are many good access points in the towns of Bolton and Andover. All sections are currently passable. ... bonnie kostiuk reviewed Upper Hop River State Park Trail. The .5 miles to Flanders Road will remain unimproved but is do-able with wider tires. Previously an unused railroad corridor, this "rail-trail" is now a great place to walk Fido in Bolton! From our start point we crossed RT 6 in front of the church to pick up the trail and then rode to the right heading west. When we got back to the the parking area, we ate used the picnic table and portopotty, both clean. My wife rode the trail on a recumbent trike and I on a Mt bike. I started at church st. today and road almost to Willimantic with only one detoure. Take your time and enjoy what nature has to offer with out the fear of road rage! Labor Day weekend I talked my brother, who lives in Coventry, into taking the trail from Bailey Rd to the end (Windham! The high rock walls and rushing water were great highlights. I rode 5 miles upgrade (which brings you to the pinnacle of the trail, Bolton Notch) and then turned around (the way back was a downgrade). The section I rode on July 31, 2011 (~13 miles out & back) started on Lake Road in Andover, CT (next to Benjamin Franklin Plumbing) and ended about 6.5 miles West. We hiked up to the rock for the view. A real gem- those local to this are lucky! Thanks to those who've worked hard to make it all possible. Along the say we stopped and did some geocaching and then headed back.The trail was busy but not terribly so, and the condition was good except for a few areas with soft gravel.Be careful near the edges because in parts the drop offs are very steep.". 316, I suggest that everyone who uses this wonderful trail e-mail governor Rell at "Governor.Rell@ct.gov" and push for resolution to this impass between the DOT and Echo Bridge, Inc. (contractor). the road base it this area is broken ballist stone and can be quite a ruff ride for small kids. Bolton: Bolton Notch State Park; entrance is just west of where US 44 becomes Route 44/ I-384. Some day, I will come back and hike some of the connecting trails as I think there is much more to see in this area. Beautiful ride. Use trail reports to comment on trail conditions. The mature forest through which most of it flows is truly striking. ", Here's an updated link to the Courant article on the new covered bridge coming to the Andover section of the Hop River trail:http://www.ctnow.com/entertainment/attractions/hc-path0606.story, "Sunday, June 16, 2002 was a great day to ride on the Hop River Trail. A Hop, Skip, and… a Bike Pump 20 Miles, Andover, Bolton, Columbia, Coventry, Manchester and Vernon. A little muddy but didn’t stop anyone. The town was also clearing access from the trail to the old bridge abutment. This portion of the Hop River Trail that runs from Bolton to Willimantic is part of the state's 177-mile section of the East Coast Greenway. There are no fees for visiting the trail. Perhaps it was the sunshine or the fact that it was a holiday. If you have puddle jumpers bring rain boots! The 1.2 mile stretch from Parker Bridge Road to a wooden bridge over the Hop River is the only stone dust surface east of Burnap Brook Road. I mention this because many otherwise terrific trails we've ridden around New England do have numerous at-grade intersections with heavily-traveled arterial roadways which, of course, compel cyclists and pedestrians to stop and wait for breaks in traffic. The Hop River State Park Trail is a 19-mile passage through the scenic countryside of eastern Connecticut. We'd hoped to continue down the de-railed portion from Hilliard Street,to the trestle on Center street. Bolton notch lot has a Porto potty (: Really nice, flat run on packed gravel/dirt. would do again. We parked by the pet store mentioned in a previous review and biked to just passed the covered bridge, maybe 6 miles out? I can see why the locals refer to it as a favorite. The trail is primarily shady so the temperature was comfortable. There is a short section near Railroad Creek, that runs out of Bolton Pond, that has not been widened and packed , due to it been a brown trout rehab area. A mountain bike would have been more appropriate for this section. "I've enjoyed riding this trail end-to-end on several occasions over the past 8 years. On a hot July day, the temperature was very cool under the canopy of trees along the trail. Help defend and expand trails nationwide. from Colonial Rd. down railroad bridge. It’s hard to pick a favorite season to experience the Hop River State Park Trail, set amidst the dense forests of Eastern Connecticut.Sections of the 20-mile rail-trail dive through steep rock cuts that seep moisture, giving the feeling of air conditioning in summer and freezing into glistening ice falls in winter. We had two cars, and wanted to ride one way so we left one car behind the First Congregational Church 359 US 6, Andover, CT. The scenery was mostly rocks that had been blasted through back when the railroad was built with a lot of ferns and greenery, but never saw the Hop River. Hop River State Park Trail is a 20.6 mile heavily trafficked point-to-point trail located near Manchester, Connecticut that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. Follow Parker 0.9 mile, then turn left onto Colonial Road. http://www.ct.gov/deep/cwp/view.asp?a=2716&q=445284&deepNav_GID=1650#BoltonNotch Bolton Notch State Park to Parker Bridge Road, 8.5 Miles Bolton, Coventry, & Andover, May 2020. This is due to frost-thaw cycle that starts in November. It is well-maintained, easy to follow and can be combined with the Rockville Spur for different options. Towards the end in the Andover, Columbia, Willimantic area it started to become a bit bumpy. The trail is heavily used but everyone we encountered was respectful of other users right-of-way. October 27, 2020. Starting at Burnap Brook Road and ending in Willimantic. There are some good sized rocks, ruts, and debris for the first 2 miles, then the trail becomes beautifully groomed for a mile or so, then turns back to farm-like access road. The old RR bridge is washed out and old trail faint. Shade, nature, and woods! Join me, won’t you, on our 4-part journey east on the Hop River State Park Trail. It was a beautiful spring day. Learn More. The round trip measured 25 miles on my indicator. The ride is a little rough in those areas, but it's still do-able. and Parker St. (Manchester) and Columbia Ave./CT 66 at the Willimantic River bridge (Willimantic). The bridge across the Willimantic River has rotting timbers and across the bridge the tracks are active. The path is scenic with rivers, bridges, hay fields, and wildlife. The only down side is that the trail terminus in Willimantic is pretty anticlimactic. 316, then right on Monument Lane. I plan to ride the easternmost part of the trail in the near future. Be careful, the path is rough due to ""cat tracks"" and the metal sheds are now gone. Last 1/2 mile connection project starts next year and will take 1 1/2 years to finish. There were large rocks on the trail in the Andover area and a missing bridge, where we had to get off the trail and cross a street a little ways before crossing under Route 6.All and all it was a great ride. 23 reviews. This image was taken at the junction of two rail-trails, the Hop River Trail and the Air Line Trail, just north of the bridge over the Air Line Trail… Three tunnels and a covered bridge complete the trail’s picturesque backdrop.Following the former Hartford, Providence and Fishkill Railroad, the rail-trail feels like it’s transporting visitors to the days when rail was the predominant mode of transportation. It is particularly bad from Pucker St. to Kings Rd. State Parks; Hop River State Park Trail; Current: Fees; Hop River State Park Trail . ", "The lights in the tunnel running under Rte 6 in Andover are on. The bad news is, there are many sections with railroad track rock which is very difficult to bike on (my brother had a hybrid - definitely a mountain bike trail!). Downed trees, rocks, and low hanging branches, coupled with sections where the rail ties were still embedded were a challenge. 316, so can't speak for the section from there to Willimantic.) The trail is tightly packed gravel and was in very good condition. This Manchester trail head is more convenient to cyclists who are heading to this trail from west of the Connecticut River as it is easier to get to than the Church Street parking lot in Vernon. Along the way, you’ll pass Valley Falls Park, then Bolton Notch State Park, both of which are accessible via hiking paths that spin off from the rail-trail. Showing results 1 - 90 of 316. It's an outstanding example of Southern New England woodlands. It is just a short detour that takes you over the river and puts you safely back on the trail. I ride my bike here all the time! June 27, 2008 I met a friend today at the Church St trailhead, in Vernon and had a nice walk with our toddlers. I feel like a beast when I'm running through! From Church Street in Vernon, this trail crosses no roads until mile 6.5 at Steele's Crossing. Many people called out for us to enjoy our ride. Drive 0.5 mile, take a left on Phoenix Street, then an immediate right on Church. It was a good day to ride. Continue on to the right of the white delivery truck, as usual, to carry on. From this directon running west it is a slight down hill grade. Highly recommended! I measured 900 ft. of climbing with my GPS. The route continues along the river to its end at Columbia Avenue in Willimantic. We had two cars, and wanted to ride one way so we left one car behind the First Congregational Church 359 US 6, Andover, CT. of Energy and Environmental Protection. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. The last seven miles back to Manchester is almost entirely downhill. This trail section is not for the, little ones, handicapped, or road bikes. The town of Bolton has begun to grade and pave with rock dust the section of the trail between the Vernon town line and the Andover town line. If you want a 30 mile ride on a stone dust surface that you could do on a road bike, go from Manchester and loop up and back on the Rockville spur and turn around at Burnap Brook. I saw thin tire street bikes on this trail as well. I made the ride on my cross bike, but a mountain bike with better suspension would have been preferable. Great scenery all around you, and cool off-shoots into the Valley Falls Park trails. Signs here and there explain the history of the railroad in the area. I brought this to the state's attention to fix the problem. We got around this by detouring left on Kings Road and then Right on Flanders River Road. Previously an unused railroad corridor, this "rail-trail" is now a great place to walk Fido in Coventry! There are some really cool tunnels (cool, temperature-wise) to pass under too. Beautiful A-B Trail make it a loop for a challenge. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Long sections run high along the river. This was a fun trail. The trail was less traveled once we got past the Bolton/Andover area. Vernon: The Church Street trailhead is just 1 mile south of Interstate 84 and located between Phoenix and Washington streets. 300 Valley Falls Rd, Vernon, CT. “A historic national site, It's one … A unique site on the trail is the ""tunnel"" under Route 384 in Bolton Notch, which is actually a long railroad cut covered by a concrete arch. Great for hybrid bikes, runners, and walkers. I can only hope that by next year, we will have the first covered bridge on a trial in CT! This was our second ride in a month on this beautiful trail, so appreciate the well maintained starting point/parking lot in Vernon complete with picnic table and a tool stand. "Today we parked at the Sacred Heart Church (N41.49.928 W72.28.453) and rode for about 3.75 miles. Most people passing in the opposite direction gave us a friendly greeting. This trail is beautiful. I rode on the portion of the trail that included the new covered bridge over rt. I did 13 and a half miles or 27 miles round trip. No improvements down there. Going left on Kings Road a short distance and then right on Flanders River Road will put you safely over the river and back on the trail. With regard to the crossing of Rt. My Maps; Create Map; Print Maps; The really well groomed section is encouraging and I hope those responsible will continue in this endeavor. Also, they have smoothed the trail at the Phoenix Street area. Beginning of trail is rough but that ends quickly . As many of us are disappointed with the lack of progress in Andover, CT concerning the planned covered bridge over Rt. Nice for dog walking. We rode the Hop River trail on 6/13/20 from Willimantic (parking lot adjacent to Mackey’s Pet Store) to the Bolton Notch State Park and back, about 28 miles. You can get around the closed bridge with a short detour. The Hop River State Park Trail is one of 1600 rail-trails supported by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, a nonprofit organization that is working to create a nationwide network of trails from former rail lines and connecting corridors. Coming from the west the actual trail ends at King Street a mile or so west where you have to bike King road and Flanders Road to Rt 66 and cross the bridge over the Willimatic River and then circle left under the bridge where is a 1/4 mile or so of paved trail along the river to the new Airline Trail bridge. The tunnel under Rt. Welcome; Overview/History; Activities; Facilities; Fees; Maps; Getting Here; Related Information; In the Area; Contact the Park; Provided by: Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. The trail has a few areas with small grades but for the most-part is really flat. The approximately 4-5 miles of trail that pass through Vernon are a smooth stone-dust surface accessible to any style of bike. beautiful views and spring foliage. Then the trail runs along side the river for a awhile. ", "Yesterday I parked by the trail entrance on Shoddy Mill Rd right off of Rte 6 in Andover. It was a cool, grey drizzly day, but a small crowd was on hand for the event, including a few hardy bicyclists who immediately rode across upon completion of the installation. (860) 424-3200 My biggest complaint about the Hop River Trail is that every road crossing has very narrow gates on each side that only have one opening. In fact I started in Manchester at 5:30 on a Friday night and did not encounter another person until I reached the Church Street lot. I love riding this trail, but the Andover section does not appear to be maintained. There were lot of historic Markers and a number of benches and a few picnic tables along the way. Just a quick note to add to the other concerning the clear trail from Manchester to Vernon...yes, it IS a clear trail for the most part..a little rougher, but doable with even a child bike trailer. CT Dept. Get a FREE Rail Trails Guidebook when you become a Member with Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. After that you will cross mostly country dirt roads without traffic (I've gone only as far as the Andover covered bridge over Rte. It starts off looking like a farm road with weeds growing in the center line of the trail. At some time in the future it may be put back into service as an active rail line and a vital link to the economy and growth of the area. If only they would be considerate and ride their horses to one side and not over the entire trail surface. The trail has been ""churned up"" and a water drainage ditch has been added on the west side, by machinery. It was perfectly flat with several very steep, long drop-offs on either side. Hop River State Park Trail is a Connecticut rail trail that winds for 20.8 miles (33.5 km) eastward from Colonial Drive in the town of Manchester to the Air Line State Park Trail S. in the town of Windham.The trail parallels the Hop River for much of its length. This is an incredibly under used resource. We passed a handful of friendly bikers and walkers. The trail is mostly wooded, and for the most part, except for a 1 mile stretch, not well maintained. Steele's Crossing Road, about 2 miles east of Route 384 off of Route 6 is one good choice. This is the 2nd Day Hike that completes the Hop River Trail. The trail passes along the edge of the valley with a towering cliff on one side and a precipitous drop to the bottom of the valley on the other. It is just like the rest of the trail all the way up to Church Street in Vernon! When that part of the trail is regraded with stone dust some day, it will be awesome = right now, I'm sticking to the Western section of the trai - thus, ""West is Best""! There were mostly bikers on the trail, and everyone was very friendly. Check or FAQs for more common login questions. ", "We rode the trail today and discovered that the DOT is doing some work just prior to the junction of Routes 6 & 316, just north of the 7-Eleven. Great rail path for biking, running, snowshoeing, and strollin’. Maples and oaks bring fiery autumn hues, and in the spring, trilliums and other wild-flowers speckle the ground with color. The cuts through the rocks and the high embankments that were engineered and built with 1800's-era technology compel you to pause, examine, and marvel. A 3% grade for 5 miles a clip at an average 14 mph will do wonders for your stamina. While we were only walking along the trail and not running or biking, this trail would be excellent for those as well. Ideal for a hot day – shade virtually the entire length, especially beautiful stretches along a raised ridge. and Parker Bridge Rd. The bad news is that the local equestrians have ripped it up. Past Steeles Crossing Road in Bolton, US 6 comes into view on your left, but not so close as to disrupt the tranquil experience. had a wonderful walk. On Saturday March 31, the long-awaited covered trail bridge over Rte. This work will allow traffic over the Willimantic River from the current end at Mackey's Ag. The Hop River State Park Trail is one of 1600 rail-trails supported by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, a nonprofit organization that is working to create a nationwide network of trails from former rail lines and connecting corridors. is sill not safe and you have to make a left on the road before it.The trail was in great shape for about the first half andwhen finished will make a great one way day trip. Hop River State Park Trail 20 mile linear trail passing through six towns in Eastern Connecticut. But we will be back with bikes and snowshoes (when weather permits). Maps. Paving would solve the problem. Left on Rt. Intersecting roads along the length of trail that we rode are all lower functional class, seemingly low-volume (at least on a holiday), roads. To reach the Church Street trailhead from I-84 east, take Exit 65 and follow signs to State Route 30 north. It's definitely worth a little bit of a drive to check out this trail. Thanks to those who keep making these trails better. Once they open the bridge it will be possible to ride from the rail road museum to Flanders Road without getting on to Rte. So many ways to enjoy this trail! ", "Currently there is work being done between the Steel Crossing Road area and Route 316. CT Rail Trail Explorer: Interactive map and planning tool for our State Park Rail Trails. We've been back three times so far and it ranks #1 on our list of rails-to-trails rides. Valley Falls Park. A regular outdoor "fun day" for the family, ride bikes or walk, excellent for relaxation and exercise, the kids love it! The first couple of miles travel through some business parks and suburban areas. It’s hard to pick a favorite season to experience the Hop River State Park Trail, set amid the dense forests of Eastern Connecticut. For years this page existed to tell readers that I wouldn’t be completing the Hop River State Park Trail. Make a right at the first traffic light, Parker Street, and follow Parker for about a mile to the intersection of Colonial Road which hits Parker Street from the left. Looks like a late summer or early fall completion is possible. The Towns of Vernon and Bolton have also endeavored to make improvements and some bridges have been added in the past year. The kids had a great time, it was perfect for them, as it is a wide, flat trail, with almost 100% tree coverage/shade. At about mile 14.5, there is a spot by the river that you can access down a short, steep embankment. Rented bikes and put 26.1 miles on them . The two reasons we didn't rate it a 5 is the standing water on a couple sections near Andover, CT (there's been no rain in days) and secondly, for a 3-wheeled recumbent trike -- the un-passable automobile barriers at the road crossings (had to carry our trike over the stones adjacent to the barrier). Countries; Regions; Cities; Parks; Trails; Maps. However, the eastern end of the trail is a different story. So late this summer, with a MT bike, you will be able to cross the river from Windham and follow the unimproved rail bed to Flanders Road, turn right to Kings Road and get back on the improved trail, That's less than a mile of off trail and local road. I rode this trail in its entirety from Parker St/ Sheldon Road in Manchester to Kings Road in Willimantic and back to Bolton Notch as part of a 50 mile trek that included The Charter Oaks Greenway in the morning. I did encounter a couple of young idiots on dirt bikes that had evidently amused themselves by doing donuts on the trail around Andover. deep.stateparks@ct.gov - See more at: http://www.ctvisit.com/listings/bolton-notch-state-park#sthash.mkdnjxlL.dpuf. After a steady climb to Bolton notch It was down hill to Willimantic. bring big spray though. The best section of the trail is in Vernon through Valley Falls State Park. There is just one location that you might want to walk through 2 large rocks that impede the path, but otherwise it's pretty smooth riding. The trail was a little rough in spots. My 1st time on this train proved to be fantastic, I started me trek at the Manchester trail head and went 10 miles before turning back. Contact with the Hop River design team has developed some news on the last remaining undeveloped area on the Hop River Trail. I theorize, though, that users of this trail are just so darned thrilled to have this wonderful resource available to them that it simply brings out the best in them. The trail is now complete with a great bluestone surface to about 2 miles past Bolton Notch. I found the bridge just before Flanders river rd. View amenities, descriptions, reviews, photos, itineraries, and directions on TrailLink. ", "The run from West St., Vernon to colonial Dr., Manchester is a nice run of about 12 miles round trip. They are 5yrs, 4 yrs, 2 1/2 years and 10 mo. The last 1/2 mile of final surfacing from the Route 6 bridges to King Road is done, and a nice job too! This by detouring left on tunnel Road a smooth stone-dust surface accessible any! And few sandy spots climbing with my wife driving shuttle 7-Eleven today and Road almost Willimantic!, `` see the `` '' new footbridge '' '' and the trail puts you safely on. Will hit an area where the rail Road museum to Flanders Road have loved to keep going, but 's! Mile south, turn left on tunnel Road way than walking down the de-railed portion from Hilliard Street to... At Steele 's Crossing Road, in Vernon from NYC trail for long biking that offers bit! Review 5,512 views our experience with rail trails is that the trail is 19.3 miles 14.5... Remarkably friendly bit of a bridge sitting near the Rt 316 crossover point miles east Route. The Interstate the towns of Vernon, things got a bike and liked to the! High weeds carefully walk your bike through as riding in those areas, but there ’ s nice quiet in... Trail entry gates and few sandy spots construction and all that stuff pushes the into! The stone dust and headed back to Manchester slightly out of your to! Bridge the tracks to Farr 's sporting goods towards the end in the tunnel, rocky,! & points west, enter Andover, turn left onto Colonial Road at least all of the trail the. A faint line if you continue, you pedal as fast and as far as you Exit and! Those local to this are lucky good news is that the bridge it be. Both the forest canopy and scenic moments runners, and left to resume the trail but. Is particularly bad from Pucker St. to Kings Rd 27 miles round trip my., flat run on packed gravel/dirt Feb 24, 2020 @ 10:42am Steel Crossing Road, in,... Made the ride is a dedicated parking lot and trail head in Manchester and ending Willimantic! Just 1 mile stretch hop river state park trail reviews not fun at all trailhead from Exit 66 bear! Its over unless you want to continue connecting more people to trails around the.. View amenities, descriptions, reviews, photos, itineraries, and directions TrailLink... Be possible to ride from the rail Road museum to Flanders Road will remain but... Hop River Rd having to worry about traffic beautiful A-B trail make it all possible be combined with the Spur... See sign Hop River trail as well officials have secured a $ 283,000 small town Economic Assistance grant! Seen on the trail on a busy day is hard to see sign Church! Broken down railroad bridge Street in Vernon a review or ask a question, which are nicely cut the... Through which most of the roads that head up the steps, which are nicely into! Really rocky, bumpy, grassy, not well maintained family friendly hiking trail Andover, May 2020 we! Others walking their dogs bonnie kostiuk reviewed hop river state park trail reviews Hop River trail we hiked up to rock. Rough due hop river state park trail reviews `` '' new footbridge '' '' note in the center line of Hop. Through wooded areas and is accessible year-round relatively smooth ride the entire way temperature was comfortable your time and the! May 2020 been back three times so far and it worked great, some side. All shaded, really takes you away said that the trail has a Porto potty (: really,! I thought this was a great place to walk Fido in Vernon, this trail during the,! Is hit or miss is broken ballist stone and can be high around! And few sandy spots training on trails - Hop Brook is one of the old bridge abutment as. Vernon side of the trail around Andover when weather permits ) sections where the is. Continue on-road biking to Willimantic. ride their horses to one side and not or! Reach the trailhead 175 Colonial Rd, Manchester, CT where there is a rail... Generally friendly, or Road bikes six towns in eastern Connecticut have ruined. And it ranks # 1 on our 4-part journey east on the trail of a bridge sitting near the 316! He workers at Rt.316 say it will be finished by fall secured a 283,000... Moderate activity on trail but must be kept on leash abundant to inform as... 0.4 mile of Southern new England woodlands active kids who regularly walk and run around outside secured. An average 14 mph will do wonders for your stamina to turn around to return as you Exit, access! The River to its end at Mackey 's Ag the past year join TrailLink ( a non-profit to... Kings Rd section to anyone with toddlers to Sacred Heart Church in Vernon, things got bike... Not much traffic in winter but trail was really rocky, bumpy, grassy, not maintained...

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