Airline Trail - TRAIL

Airline Trail - Trail, Pomfret-Hamilton-Windham, Connecticut

This is a commonly-traveled rails-to-trails corridor and I've seen nothing indicating that it can't be ridden. More than anything, it is a great way for the more serious rider (or for anyone for that matter)to relax, soak up some great New England pastoral scenery,get a good aerobic workout,or to travel offroad from one trail or town to another. I've rated this trail as amenable to beginners so newer riders won't shy away from it, but that more experienced riders might use it as a thoroughfare or a time-trial-type workout. Keep an eye out for more technical offshoots and more popular bonafide MTB trails along the way. If you know the area, you could make a day of some casual riding and stop at a few roadside stands/farms for some treats. Be courteous to hikers (w/dogs) and equestrians.

User Reviews (13)

Showing 1-10 of 13  
adam12   Cross Country Rider [May 21, 2004]

The airline trail is crushed gravel with offshoots that I certainly would consider intermediate to advanced. It is very scenic. Highly recommended, but pay attention to hikers/walkers, especially with dogs.

Customer Service

Grayville Park in Amston

Similar Products Used: ?
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
adam12   Cross Country Rider [May 21, 2004]

The airline trail is crushed gravel with offshoots that I certainly would consider intermediate to advanced. It is very scenic. Highly recommended, but pay attention to hikers/walkers, especially with dogs.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
adam12   Cross Country Rider [May 21, 2004]

The airline trail is crushed gravel with offshoots that I certainly would consider intermediate to advanced. It is very scenic. Highly recommended, but pay attention to hikers/walkers, especially with dogs.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
Artimus   [Sep 24, 2000]

Rails-to-Trails. It's flat, hard-pack cinder and dirt, and is very scenic (forest, lakes, farms, cornfields). The Airline trail is not really for the hardcore cyclist but no matter what level you are, it's what you make of it (i.e. casually see the sights with friends or hammer the whole 52 miles).

Customer Service

Correction to original directions: James Goodwin Park is in Hampton, not Hamilton.Can also be accessed in Pomfret on 169 just north of the 97 intersection. Careful of where it crosses into the Audubon sanctuary in Pomfret.

Similar Products Used: Goodwin; Patchaug; Arcadia
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
Adam   [Apr 30, 2001]

I'm not a hard core MTB'er probably more of a road biker but I really liked this trail, it wasnt packed with bikers was pretty clean and some of the views were pretty nice. I reccomend this one!

Customer Service

Starting in E. Hampton.

Similar Products Used: hmm I dunno...
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
William   [Nov 15, 2001]

Well, this trail is very interesitng. It is fun to start right where the old rr tracks stop. In Middletown, right after the tracks cross the huge swing rr bridge, the tracks continue for a few miles and suddenly stop. You can see where the old right of way once was. Start from here and you can imagine what it was once like to ride a train over the airline. there are 2 rather large concrete viaducts buried in some places on this trail, they were covered up during the wars. They are still buried beneath the ground and if you know where to look, you may see parts of it sticking up. These viaducts once carried many tons of steel but now carry the occasional biker buried beneath the ground. Wow, how times have changed!

Customer Service

Any other rails to trails! Start on this one from Portland, CT! 4 star rating for exploration of these 2 viaducts.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Bob M   [Jun 04, 2002]

The first thing you encounter, within a few hundred yards of your starting point is several large trees across the trail, recently placed there by someone. In early June, after a wet month of May, there was a lot of water on the trail. It is likely to be drier during the dry summer months. Some people advise not riding when you leave ruts. This 5 mile section, from where the trail crosses Rte 44 to River Road, south of Putnam, is a mess. You need to get off the trail in a few places to avoid the deeper ponds. At each road crossing, it is a challenge to find where the trail
continues. There are long sections of loose 1" to 2" gravel ballast formed into "whoop-de-doos" by the local quad riders. There was one puzzled looking deer watching me negotiate one of these gravel sections. Other sections of the Airline trail are almost level, but due to numerous washouts, you go up and down
about 40 feetat each one . I went as far as River Road, a couple of miles south of Putnam. It ends in a lake, about 150 feet long, 75 feet wide. The steep walk up to the road is overgrown, no visible trail to follow here. I could not see any way to continue north other than to go part way down a private driveway, and then down a steep rocky washout. My conclusion is that this section is going to need a great deal of work to get it into shape as part of the proposed Greenway project.

Customer Service

Parking is available at Mashamoquet Brook State Park, south of Route 44, about 1 mile east of Rte 97. There is probably a fee charged during the summer. You can access the trail from Babbitt Hill Rd, about 100 yards east of the park entrance. The trail is about 1/4 mile north of rte 44. The only markings are "DEP" stickers on the green gates blocking cars from using the trail.

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
Bob M   [Jun 04, 2002]

This section is well maintained, and even has a recently completed wooden bridge. I rode there on March 11, 2002. It seems perfectly level, but over the 5.5 mile section I covered, the elevation goes from 262 to 492 feet. In the solitude of a place like this, it makes you think: This was quite an engineering feat
at the time it was built, and would be very energy efficient for the trains that used to run there. The amount of earth which had to be moved to accomplish this rivals the building of the pyramids or the Great Wall of China. The people who planned and built it must have thought it would last forever. Now it sits abandoned. It makes one pause to reflect about the temporary nature of man's projects. How much longer will the car be the main mode of transportation? There is only a finite amount of oil left. According to a Hartford Courant Article by Peter Marteka last year, this section was completed in 1872. It goes past the
"Windham Atlantic White Cedar Bog". There is not much challenge here for the serious mountain biker, but it is a pleasant ride. Crossing several roads requires that you go down to the road level, then back up about 40 feet back to the trail. A beginner could walk up these inclines. I turned around in a place that had
been blasted through the rock, where all the boulders they had removed were piled up along the side. This must have taken a great deal of energy to move that much rock up and out of the way. This is just south of route 6 in Clark's Corner. Which is near James L. Goodwin State Forest, another good place to access
the trail.

Customer Service

Another access point for the Airline trail is between Willimantic and North Windham. Go to the intersection of Routes 6 and 66 northeast of Willimantic. These 2 roads also intersect west of Willimantic. Parking is available in a bowling alley parking lot just northeast of the bridge. Once on your bike, cross the bridge heading southwest. Stay on the "wrong" side of the road, as you are not going far. Just past the end of the highway bridge, you will see Tuckie Road to the left. This is also the start of a short paved bike trail, about 1/2 mile long, which leads to the Airline.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
Marcus G   [Sep 12, 2002]

I live in East Hampton and have been riding on the airline trail since we just refered to it as "the trail behind Cranberry Bog, and it has changed quite a bit. I like to ride on and off road, and this trail gives a little mix of both, a good trail for beginners and more experienced riders alike.
Today I decided to go further than I have before, starting at the Bog in E. Hampton, ending up somewhere past rt. 85 in Hebron, and then back. It was a good ride but towards the end it got a little bit rougher and I was scared off by a snake in the trail at a powerline crossing, which I found out later wasn't poisonus.
Altogether however, the trail is a nice smooth ride for many miles, and I assume that it becomes decent again after the dirt part that I have gone through, which is fun for a slightly experienced rider anyway. On the way back I was able to stop at a nearby cafe that was advertised on a billboard, and the food was pretty good, and then I rode home, a good exercise altogether and I definately reccomend the trail.

Customer Service

Starting in East Hampton, to Hebron, then back.

Similar Products Used: None that I know of.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Justin G   [Apr 30, 2003]

You can either just follow the trail or ride the single track off of it. I usually ride the single track off of the trail because it is more technical. Most of the trails loop back onto the tracks, so you can't get too lost. Just explore!

Customer Service

Off of route 16 go go toward the salmon river covered bridge and continue going up the road to the parking area at the tracks.

Similar Products Used: Salmon river, power lines, meshomasic on other side of town.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 13  

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