Incorporated 1685 / population 29089 (as of 2005), the town of Branford is unique among Connecticut shoreline towns in terms of the quality and quantity of open space it provides. Working with the Town of Branford, the Shoreline Greenway Trail aims to fill the gap between road travel and woodland paths by creating a trail that can be used by bikers, hikers, wheel chairs and carriages. Branford is thirteen miles east of New Haven and the second town along the Shoreline Greenway trail as it makes its way to Hammonasset. The plan is for Branford to have 8.9 miles of trail designated as Shoreline Greenway.
To date the following sections of the Shorelline Greenway Trail in Branford have been owner approved, and much of it is open to the public, though not completely ready:
- 3600 ft – Tabor Property Drive to Pine Orchard Road
Access: Off Pine Orchard Road just south of railroad bridge.
Park: On the access road opposite the pet lodge (please park the furthest you can from the pet lodge) or on Tabor Road north of the chained-off entrance to former landfill.
Directions to Pet Lodge parking: From I-95 exit 55, go west on route 1 past Walgreens. Turn left at light by Mobil station, onto Windmill Hill Road. At end of road, turn right, onto Damascus Road. At next stop sign, turn left onto Pine Orchard Road. Cross RR bridge and turn right into access road; park on right., enter trail at end of driveway.
Directions to Tabor Road parking: Take exit 54 off I-95, go south to end. St Mary’s Church will be in front of you and the Blackstone Library will be on your left. Turn left, then quickly bear right at fork onto Rte. 146. At stop sign, go right, continuing on 146, which is called Montowese Rd here. Follow this road across the bridge, then make first left onto Tabor Drive. Park in church lot at bend of road and walk further down road, looking for entrance to woods on your left. Or drive past church, around bend, and park on road.
- 2400 ft – Pine Orchard Road to Young’s Pond Park
Access: On Pine Orchard Rd in parking lot of Pine Orchard Association (former Pine Orchard Firehouse) or across the road near the Pet Lodge (see above).
Park: Pine Orchard Association parking lot or in the parking area on north side of Birch Road, 3/10 mile east of Pine Orchard Road.
Directions: From I-95 exit 55, go west on route 1 past Walgreens. Turn left at light by Mobil station, onto Windmill Hill Road. At end of road, turn right, onto Damascus Road. At next stop sign, turn left onto Pine Orchard Road. Cross RR bridge and turn left into the parking lot.
- 4224 ft – Trolley Trail
Access: The east end of Tilcon Drive by the Shoreline Greenway trail head kiosk. Travel on the trail east 8/10 of a mile to Branford’s Stony Creek. This popular destination has two restaurants, a town dock with tour boats to the Thimble Islands and a connection to the white dot/Branford Land Trust trail over Jarvis Creek.
Park: In the lot at end of Tilcon Drive or in the ball field parking lot off West Point Road in Stony Creek
Directions for Tilcon parking lot: From I-95 exit 55, go east on route 1. Just after Su Casa Restaurant, turn right onto Featherbed Lane to stop sign at end. Turn left onto route 146 (Damascus Road), then bear right at the fork, towards Pine Orchard. Cross under RR tracks, pass Pine Orchard golf course and turn left at Tilcon sign to the end of the road.
Directions for Stony Creek entrance: Take exit 56 off of I-95 and turn south on Leete’s Island Road. At stop sign at intersection near liquor store, take Thimble Island Road, continuing south towards the water. After crossing under RR tracks, take first right onto West Point Road. Park at ball field and walk straight ahead onto trail.
There are many, many important tasks associated with the Shoreline Greenway Trail, which include:
- Building and maintaining trails
- Raising funds
- Increasing SGT membership
- Government Liaison
- Fiscal work
- Identifying and tagging trees along the trail.
If you would like to volunteer, callCo-chair Judith Miller at 203-481-3870 or click the Volunteer tab of this website.
We’d love to have you on board!
Branford Team Meetings
All those who wish to promote the trail in Branford are welcome to join us at 7:00 p.m. on the 3rd Wednesday of each month at the Community House on the corner of Church and Prospect.
Branford Team Contact Information
Co Chairs: Chet Blomquist (203-488-5640; firstname.lastname@example.org) and Judy Miller (203-481-3870; email@example.com)
Trail Development: Jack Wood (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Pete Peterson (email@example.com)
Web manager and publicity: Jo Zaehringer (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Grants and Project Manager: Peg Stamp (email@example.com)
Local Points of Interest / Other Links
Branford Hikers – Geoffrey Smith 203-215-1175; firstname.lastname@example.org
Branford Land Trust – 26 School St., Branford 203-483-5263
James Blackstone Library – 758 Main St., Branford 203-488-1441