Hop River State ParkMulti-Town, CT
Follow a former railroad line over twenty miles through the towns of Manchester, Vernon, Bolton, Coventry, Andover, and Columbia on the Hop River State Park Trail. Like a pathway through time, this serpentine path winds through modern subdivisions and crosses roads, but mostly takes you along a remote, quiet and long unused path through the eastern Connecticut countryside.
Like many trails of this length, the Hop River Trail passes through or abuts many preserved open areas. This is especially true for the western sections of the trail where development pressure demanded strong land and preservation efforts to maintain the precious open space. In Vernon, the trail abuts the Belding Wildlife Area and passes through Valley Falls Park, and in Bolton, both Bolton Notch and Hop River State Parks. Heading east to Andover and Columbia, the trail travels through remote woodlands, along the edges of fields and across the trail’s namesake, the Hop River. These natural attributes combined with the workmanship of the stone cuts, low land “fills”, and the remaining stonework of water crossings, the Hop River State Park Trail is hard to beat for a quiet, scenic, and historic outing.
Hand labor, big time initiative, and bigger dreams led to the statewide pattern of rail beds that all but crisscrossed Connecticut. But once automobiles and highways came onto the scene, passenger flow hit a stark decline.
As the railroad fell out of use, war efforts scrapped the steel rails and weedy growth took over the rest, leaving the once bustling line dormant. Fortunately for us today, the rail beds are much more difficult to erase from the landscape than the rails and ties, and conservation efforts repurposed the abandoned tracks into the many rail-trail systems across our state and beyond.
Multi-Town, CT 06040
(8:00 a.m. – Sunset)
Main (860) 295-9523
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
- Colonial Road, at western terminus of trail
- Church Street
- Along Tunnel Road, south of the tunnel
- Valley Falls Park on Valley Falls Road (follow blue blazes to the south)
- At Bolton Notch State Park, at the junction of Route 44 and Route 6
- Steeles Crossing Road
- Burnap Brook Road
- Wales Road
- Along Shoddy Mill Road
- Lake Road
- Along Parker Bridge Road
- Along Hop River Road
- Along Kings Road
Yes, on leash