This 59-mile ride from Hartford to New Haven let me once again enjoy those fabulous five-star Farmington trails, some parts of which weren’t even under construction when we discovered them five years ago.
But first we had to get over the hill. Or rather, Talcott Mountain.
This was a one-mile climb between Hartford and Simsbury with traffic whizzing by (but a decent shoulder) under the threat of rain. There’s a plan to eventually build a longer but easier off-road route to help complete the East Coast Greenway, but for now, this is what you face. Honestly, it seemed shorter than going west to east.
Once on the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail, I saw some awesome murals. Great reason to ride!
Thought this was a really cool idea.
And look at these cute ducklings!
Here’s a bit of litle-known canal history: William Lanson, a free African-American in New Haven in the early 1800s, figured out how to extend Long Wharf Pier so it could handle larger boats, built a section of the Farmington canal, was a wealthy businessman … and died poor after being harassed with false charges and having his property seized. Lisa told us the story and was on the lookout for his statue at the southern end of the canal trail.
Another great part of the day: getting to ride with so many of my East Coast Greenway friends. Thank you Rob, Barb, Bev, Lisa and Kate. And of course the Brit.
OK, even with all the new sections, the trail doesn’t go uninterrupted from Simsbury to New Haven. There’s a five-mile gap around Plainville. Pick your poison: hills (the East Coast Greenway route) or traffic on Route 10 (the way we were taken). I can’t wait for the day people don’t have to choose and can stay on the trail from New Haven into Massachusetts. The good news: construction on the first part of the project should begin in 2022 and a second part a year later. Hopefully the details on the third and final section will be figured out by then.