On back roads, canal paths, wooded trails and coastal excursions, there is biking for everyone in Connecticut – so pop your bikes onto the top of your car and head out for the wide-open spaces.
So Many Choices
Of course, there are many expert opinions on where to find the best bike rides in the state, so we have pulled suggestions from a number of good sources, along with links, so you can make your own determination. Wherever you head, one thing is for certain: Biking is one of the best ways to experience the wonders of Connecticut.
One of the prime suggestions from traillink.com is the ride through Air Line State Park, a 22-mile glide from East Hampton to Colchester and back again through an old train line first laid out in 1873. You'll pass waterfalls, cross viaducts and get a good idea of how the trail got its name - it was part of a straight run between Boston and New York.
Other experts like the 10.3-mile Larkin State Park Trail that runs between the western Connecticut towns of Middlebury and Southbury, passing small horse farms, ponds, wetlands and streams. You may have to share the passage with a rider on horseback or two, but the feeling is quite isolated and woodsy for the most part.
Make Your Own Trip
You can explore the Connecticut Bike Map and find your own route in whatever part of the state interests you most. If you want to get up by the Massachusetts border and well away from the crowds, you might see something in Route 20 between Barkhamsted and Hartland, skirting the northern end of Barkhamsted Reservoir and running through Tunxis State Forest.
One of our own favorites happens in the state’s so-called northeast Quiet Corner. Once you’ve been to this part of Connecticut, and specifically in the area defined by the Quinebaug and Shetucket Rivers, you’ll understand why it’s been designated as The Last Green Valley. What’s even better is that a nonprofit stewardship organization called The Last Green Valley has come up with a terrific series of biking trips that will take you through the region, with many suggestions for things to see and places to eat and stay as well. One such trip, a 25-mile Canterbury/Scotland Loop, takes you past fields and streams, stone walls and grazing cows, with a stop for lunch at the Scotland General Store. Be sure to stop along the way at the Prudence Crandall Museum to learn the story of the woman who provided schooling for African-American girls in the 19th century despite strong local opposition.
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