It cuts through green forest and passes serene river scenery. Hop River State Park Trail is a 33.2 kilometer heavily trafficked point-to-point trail located near Manchester, Connecticut that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. 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. This is a beautiful trail and very family friendly, lots of shade. The round trip measured 25 miles on my indicator. 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. 6 today and was disappointed to see that the bridge abutments are finished but in two years they have not built the bridge. We shared this trail with joggers,mountain bikers, and others walking their dogs. Ideal for point A-B trail runs. The trail is well maintained, and as others have said, the easternmost mile or so is narrower and markedly rougher than the rest of the trail. Sections of the 20-mile rail-trail dive through steep rock cuts that seep moisture, supplying air-conditioning in summer and freezing into glistening icefalls in winter. Trail is in very good shape, almost all shaded, really takes you away. Show more photos. continuing down hill there is a steep drop of on the left all the way. Learn More. So a little jaunt with my son along the Hop River State Park Trail in 35-degrees would be no problem. A parking area is also part of the work. It can be high traffic around the parking lot areas, but there’s nice quiet stretches in between. From Burnap Brook to Kings Road is a hard packed surface with some loose stone that is best negotiated with a mountain bike. My wife and I have seen several deer, turkey, hawks, owls and even a giant Turkey Buzzard! While we were only walking along the trail and not running or biking, this trail would be excellent for those as well. This is a new adventure! I rode on the portion of the trail that included the new covered bridge over rt. A late summer opening is anticipated. The trail is mostly wooded, and for the most part, except for a 1 mile stretch, not well maintained. This trail section is not for the, little ones, handicapped, or road bikes. Local equestrians seem to use the trail frequently and there is a good deal of droppings to watch for. 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. 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. the views of the river are breathtaking. 14 miles today. Maps. Turn around at Kings Road. ", "I work in Vernon, so typically after work I go to the Church St trailhead parking lot and the farthest I had ridden was to Bailey Rd. I must say this is now my favorite rail trail so far and I will deff. I was pleased to see that there was a backhoe on the western side of the trail (where there was a barracade and you had to scramble down the hill - now there's a backhoe there and netting so no one can get that far). I did this trail today July 20th, it was going to be a very hot day so I got an early strat. We parked by the pet store mentioned in a previous review and biked to just passed the covered bridge, maybe 6 miles out? Drive 0.5 mile, take a left on Phoenix Street, then an immediate right on Church. I was traveling down Rt. The first 5 miles were a definite uphill grade, around mile 6 it became a downhill grade all the way to Manchester. 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. Just last year I tried riding this part of the track and was hindered by trap rock. In some sections brush is covering the trail and there are expanding sand traps at some of the entrance gates. 316, there is a safer and easier way than walking down the steep embankment next to the bridge abutment. On Saturday, May 10, 2003, we rode the trail from Church Street in Vernon to Columbia and back. The trail surface is hard packed, we saw numerous skinny wheeled street bikes experiencing no difficulties once so ever. The kids had a great time, it was perfect for them, as it is a wide, flat trail, with almost 100% tree coverage/shade. http://www.ct.gov/deep/cwp/view.asp?a=2716&q=445284&deepNav_GID=1650#BoltonNotch 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. Downed trees, rocks, and low hanging branches, coupled with sections where the rail ties were still embedded were a challenge. For years this page existed to tell readers that I wouldn’t be completing the Hop River State Park Trail. Maples and oaks bring fiery autumn hues, and in the spring, trilliums and other wild-flowers speckle the ground with color. Most of the tail is fairley wide of packed stone dust . Heading west on I-384 from Bolton Notch, turn right at end of guardrail and go downhill to parking lot. It’s hard to pick a favorite season to experience the Hop River State Park Trail, set amid the dense forests of Eastern Connecticut. deep.stateparks@ct.gov - See more at: http://www.ctvisit.com/listings/bolton-notch-state-park#sthash.mkdnjxlL.dpuf. 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. I do interval training on trails - Hop Brook is one of my favorites. View bonnie's Recording. 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). Hop River State Park Trail . No improvements down there. We've been back three times so far and it ranks #1 on our list of rails-to-trails rides. The most polished sections start from the Manchester-Vernon town line extending to Burnap Brook Road in Andover. Turn left on Rt. Coming back is of course up hill. Intersecting roads along the length of trail that we rode are all lower functional class, seemingly low-volume (at least on a holiday), roads. My wife rode the trail on a recumbent trike and I on a Mt bike. Be careful in this section. My Maps; Create Map; Print Maps; Help defend and expand trails nationwide. ", "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. Fees. Valley Falls Park. From US 6 west, enter Andover, turn left onto Lake Road then right onto Merritt Valley Road. Simply put, this is a marvelous trail. I wish there some benches along the way to take a break. It is just a short detour that takes you over the river and puts you safely back on the trail. Perhaps those responsible for the maintainence of the trail will remedy that in the future. Columbia: Take I-384 to US 6, and continue east on US 6 for 9.3 miles. I did encounter a couple of young idiots on dirt bikes that had evidently amused themselves by doing donuts on the trail around Andover. 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. Countries; Regions; Cities; Parks; Trails; Maps. Thanks to those who've worked hard to make it all possible. Bolton Notch State Park to Parker Bridge Road, 8.5 Miles Bolton, Coventry, & Andover, May 2020. 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. By car it was 15 minutes driving time one way between locations. Considering the trail is mostly hard packed dirt it was very well maintained, wider in some areas than others with a few road crossings. Trail Reports. It was truly a joy - so pretty - and a very smooth ride. My favorite section was the Vernon portion of the trail which featured several remnants of the old railroad as well as historical plaques with interesting facts about the railroad. I will keep you posted. There are many good access points in the towns of Bolton and Andover. Dining at Home with Connecticut Chefs. A mile south, turn left on Church Street. We hiked up to the rock for the view. (860) 424-3200 These sand traps are dangerous to cyclists and have caused accidents. 316, there is a two-foot wide path on the left side of the abutment that users presumably created. Clean trail. With regard to the crossing of Rt. Can't wait until the entire trail is finished with stone dust. Uploaded: 2/9/2017. The west end of the Hop River Trail in Williamatic ends at the Connecticut Eastern Rail Road Museum at the bridge where the Hop River Trail joins the Airline trail and both go east to join Rt 32. If you’re looking for a packed dirt/cinder trail through the woods, this is just about perfect. ", "The lights in the tunnel running under Rte 6 in Andover are on. ", 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. I love riding this trail, but the Andover section does not appear to be maintained. This is one that's worth going out of your way to experience. in Columbia. ", "I've ridden this trail many times from Rockville to Valley Falls and to Bolton. The trail is primarily shady so the temperature was comfortable. Follow Center Street to Rt. The tunnel under Rt. 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. 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. )The good news is, the railroad bridges are now decked, and the one over the Hop River is great! Went back to work that day, and returned at the end of the day, for a nice run, and saw three fawns down in one of the sides. This trail is great; what a gem. On July 1st I walked over the new Willimantic River Bridge from the current end at Mackie's Ag. It is well-maintained, easy to follow and can be combined with the Rockville Spur for different options. 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. › Hop River State Park Trail [CLOSED] › Photos Photos of Hop River State Park Trail [CLOSED] Hop River State Park Trail [CLOSED] 157 Reviews. I was riding my road bike the entire time and had no problem. ", "State and local officials have secured a $283,000 Small Town Economic Assistance Program grant from the State Bond Commission. I rode the entire Hop River Trail beginning in Manchester and ending in Willimantic on a wonderful Fall day. The map for the Airline trail shows this new connection with a dark red line for the Hop River Trail. A real gem- those local to this are lucky! Right into the Museum of Andover History driveway, then left onto the trail. Use trail reports to comment on trail conditions. Previously an unused railroad corridor, this "rail-trail" is now a great place to walk Fido in Coventry! Directions. The Hop River Trail from the bridge has been bushed back and is easily passible to Flanders Road. After 0.25 mile, turn right on Warren Avenue. It is very difficult to find the entrance road to the parking lot for the trail at Bolton Notch. Maybe someday it'll be useable. Hiking trail is unmarked; trail starts just across from the parking lot. Trailhead parking is on the right. ", "Four of us road round trip from the Rte 6 tunnel in Bolton, headed south to the jersey barriers at Flanders Rd in Columbia, and back. 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. Hop River State Park Trail 20 mile linear trail passing through six towns in Eastern Connecticut. It's a nice spot for a snack and to dip your feet. Reviews (1009) Photos (1633) Recordings (1006) Jen L reviewed Risley Reservoir Loop. There were lot of historic Markers and a number of benches and a few picnic tables along the way. We stopped at the 7-Eleven today and then turned around and headed back to Sacred Heart Church in Vernon. Out of Vernon there was a lot of traffic for the first few miles and then very little once you got to Bolton. The Towns of Vernon and Bolton have also endeavored to make improvements and some bridges have been added in the past year. Turn right into the museum driveway, and left to resume the trail. 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. 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. (Rt.316) he workers at Rt.316 say it will be done in 2 months. Walked up the steps, which are nicely cut into the hill side. Almost everyone smiled at us. Bolton notch lot has a Porto potty (: Really nice, flat run on packed gravel/dirt. They are easy to print and show mileage. 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. Missing from this last section of the trail is the picnic tables and benches that were plentiful in the first day hike we did from Manchester to Andover. So many ways to enjoy this trail! Other than the uphill grade for 5 miles it was a very pleasant ride. However, the eastern end of the trail is a different story. We passed a handful of friendly bikers and walkers. At the top is trail that will tranfer you to a different place. The trail is tightly packed gravel and was in very good condition. store into Columbia. 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