Best Rail Trails New England  by Cynthia Mascott

Best Rail Trails New England Guide Book

by Cynthia Mascott (Falcon Guides)
Best Rail Trails New England  by Cynthia Mascott
Best Rail Trails New England is the complete guide to walking, jogging, biking, and cross-country skiing more than forty of the region's most popular rural and urban rail trails. Written by an author with expert knowledge of New England, this easy-to-use book provides mile-by-mile descriptions of the most popular rural and urban rail trails in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont--from the Airline State Park Trail, with its panoramic views of Connecticut's hills and valleys, to Portland's Eastern Promenade Trail, rich in history and beauty.

© 2009 Cynthia Mascott/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Best Rail Trails New England" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 36.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 36.

Panoramic views of the surrounding Connecticut hills and valleys characterize the Airline State Park Trail. Its most dramatic features are its two hidden viaducts, which offer expansive views of the scenery below. The Airline State Park Trail has several nice features. It takes the traveler past rolling hills and valleys before opening up to expansive views atop the trail’s two viaducts left over from railroading days. The Airline State Park Trail receives its name from the railroad that sped passengers between New York and Boston.
Colchester, CT - Cross-Country Skiing,Mountain Biking,Rail-Trails - Trail Length: 5
This short but superb trail is nestled in the remote, lake-filled region of northwestern Vermont—just a few miles from the Canadian border. Several wildlife refuges are nearby. As the trail begins, take note of the wetlands to the right of the trail, where you are likely to see at least one great blue heron. To the left are farmlands that yield to an expansive field of goldenrod, which gives way in turn to a marshy wetland. Before the 1.0-mile mark, the vista to the left will unfold into a magnificent wetland area known as the Mud Creek Waterfowl Area. This wildlife preserve is home to dozens of species of birds.
Alburg, VT - Cross-Country Skiing,Hiking,Mountain Biking,Rail-Trails - Trail Length: 3.5
The Ashuelot Railroad opened this line in 1851, offering service between East Northfield in Massachusetts and Keene, New Hampshire. The line was owned by the Connecticut River Railroad until 1860 and then belonged to the Cheshire Railroad until 1877. It was sold back to the Connecticut River Railroad, and in 1893 became the property of the Boston & Maine Railroad. Passenger service was available until 1953. This charming 21.0-mile trail is very pretty and well worth exploring. It passes by the Ashuelot River and through New Hampshire farm country. The surface is sandy at times until it reaches Keene State University, where the trail is much better maintained.
Hinsdale, MA - Cross-Country Skiing,Mountain Biking,Rail-Trails - Trail Length: 21
If you’re looking for truly spectacular views of the hills and mountains that Berkshire County is famous for, you need look no further. This is a gem of a rail trail. This trail is 11.15 miles long by my measurement. It is entirely flat and paved with asphalt, which makes for a very easy ride despite the length. Despite the fact that it parallels Route 8 for much of its length, most of the landmarks on this trail are nature related; encounters with residential neighborhoods are few, and even then the houses are not close together.
Pittsfield , MA - Rail-Trails - Trail Length: 11.2
The Beebe Spur Rail Trail opened in 1999. It parallels Lake Memphremagog and takes its guests through some beautiful Vermont woods.
Newport, VT - Rail-Trails - Trail Length: 4
Located in the northernmost tip of Rhode Island, this is a gem of a rail trail, scenic from start to finish.
Pawtucket, RI - Rail-Trails - Trail Length: 6.8
Among the most scenic recreation trails in Massachusetts and a favorite with cyclists and day hikers, the Cape Cod Trail provides access to beaches, freshwater ponds, cranberry bogs and wild wetlands, quiet villages, and some of the best bird-watching in the state. Anglers may want to try their luck on North Pond, where bass and panfish can be caught from shore.
Hyannis, MA - Rail-Trails - Trail Length: 26
If you want to escape the hectic pace of most urban areas of the Northeast, plan a trip to the Delaware & Hudson Rail Trail. These two sections of rail trail (North and South) are tucked along the western border of Vermont and provide a relaxing tour of t
Castleton, VT - Rail-Trails - Trail Length: 9.2
A lightly wooded trail goes through cornfields and meadows of wildflowers.
West Pawlet, VT - Rail-Trails - Trail Length: 10.6
The trail offers the best way to get to the beach from downtown Providence and is well worth a visit.
Providence, RI - Rail-Trails - Trail Length: 14.5
You’ll get a sense of time gone by while visiting the Eastern Promenade Trail in downtown Portland. It offers a perfect blend of history and beauty in a short 2.0-mile stretch.
Portland, ME - Rail-Trails - Trail Length: 2.1
Enjoy the brilliant views of the Nantucket and Vineyard Sounds on this short trail connecting Falmouth and Woods Hole.
Falmouth , MA - Rail-Trails - Trail Length: 4
The Farmington Canal Trail is a work in progress. When completed the trail will extend for 84 miles, from New Haven, Connecticut, to Northampton, Massachusetts. The sections already opened are in varying stages of development.
Wallingford, CT - Rail-Trails - Trail Length: 40
Located within a half-hour’s drive of the city of Hartford, the Hop River Trail offers a rugged hiking or mountain-biking experience through central Connecticut woodlands, with several small towns and a state park along the way.
Vernon, CT - Rail-Trails - Trail Length: 19
This trail has two sections—both laden with forest and lakes—and is popular with Connecticut residents and rail trail enthusiasts alike. Going south on Route 25 from Newtown Center, take a left on Botsford Hill Road and a right on Swamp Road. There will be a yellow gate to the right of the working freight railroad tracks. In the woods you will see the old double track of rails that will become single rail. After a small dirt speed bump, you will be on the public portion. The trail is 6 feet wide and surfaced with stone dust, and there are flood catch basins on both sides. The trail curves and there is a sudden downhill that is very sandy, so please use caution.
Trumbull, CT - Rail-Trails - Trail Length: 4.3
The best of Lake Champlain’s waterfront can be experienced on this bikeway. There are outdoor opportunities for people of all ages.
Burlington, VT - Rail-Trails - Trail Length: 12.5
The Kennebec River Rail Trail follows the Kennebec River from trail start to finish. Once very polluted, it is now healthy, beautiful, and a fisherman's delight. The Kennebec River Rail Trail is at points scenic, but its primary purpose is to ignite a green economy and give its citizens (kids especially) a reason to exercise. The trail itself starts at the underbelly of the giant green Memorial Bridge in Augusta, capital city of the Vacation State. it then stretches all the way to the Hannaford's supermarket in Gardiner before passing riverside through the towns of Hallowell and Farmingdale. You can ride the 1.5 mile oldest part of the bike trail from Memorial Bridge in Augusta to the waterfront park in neighboring Hallowell.
Augusta, ME - Rail-Trails - Trail Length: 2
Tucked along the edge of the wide Kennebec River, the Solon to Bingham Trail offers a pleasant diversion from I-95. In recent years the Kennebec Valley Rails organization has been working to promote the corridor between Solon and Bingham as a multiuse trail. The group’s ultimate goal is to create a continuous water-and-land-based trail from Belgrade (just north of Augusta) to the Canadian border. The Kennebec Valley Trail is the cornerstone of that effort. As you begin the trail, the wide Kennebec River captivates you—and the smooth surface of the path allows you to focus your attention on the river. The trail carves along the edge of the river for the first 2.0 miles. Mountain bluffs rise along the river’s western edge, while a mix of hardwoods and softwoods—aspen, birch, oak, maple, and pine—line the right side of the trail.
Solon, ME - Rail-Trails - Trail Length: 7
This rail trail takes its guests through a delightful stretch of rural Maine not often seen by tourists. The trestle bridge at the end of the trail is particularly noteworthy.
Lagrange, ME - Rail-Trails - Trail Length: 12
This little-known gem of a trail offers solitude and sylvan surroundings just off Connecticut’s main east-west thoroughfare (Interstate 84).
Woodbury, CT - Rail-Trails - Trail Length: 10.7