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Rails To Trails: Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine
by Cynthia Mascott (The Globe Pequot Press)
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. Surface: Gravel and original ballast, including cinder, coarse gravel, and rocks. Location: Hartford and Tolland Counties.
Best Rail Trails New England
by Cynthia Mascott (Falcon Guides)
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.
I traveled this trail about 5 or 6 years ago with my three youngest children. It was fun then as it is now. I found it to be better marked and better traveled, trails easy to find. It really starts in manchester on colonial rd. The trail is gradual up hill going east and has two parts that are trap rock each about 1/8 mile long. Not for road bikes.
In Andover you must get off the bike go down a steep bank cross a road and back up the other side. It is well used by bikers, walkers, runners. I'll be back.
I bike this trail regularly between Columbia and Manchester. Some beautiful views and secluded trails, mostly cool and shaded. Columbia/Andover is grab-bag of dirt, crushed rock, gravel/trap rock, and some large (difficult) trap rock, with width varying from narrow to moderate and some wet areas; Coventry/Bolton is wider, dirt and gravel; Vernon is generally wider, crushed gravel and compacted sand/dirt - very nice; Manchester end is narrow and more of a dirt path. Dangers: some big drop-offs on the sides, at least one bridge out (can work around), some mud, some exposed tracks and bigger rocks. Gradual incline, crests at Bolton Notch.
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