In April, 2012, we celebrated the first completion of two short sections of our Trail, with the installation and compacting of the crushed pink granite final topping by Vermont trail builder Josh Ryan and his Timber & Stone crew. These are the first two sections to be ready for bicyclists to use, not just walkers. One trail is in Madison at Hammonasset Beach State Park, and one is in East Haven by DC Moore School.
This coming fall, we will install the final topping on three more trail sections in Branford and Madison, expanding the length of Trail not just open, but completed! Currently, more than 40% of Shoreline Greenway Trail’s proposed 25-mile route is approved, under construction, or completed.
Several sections are now open for your enjoyment, and several new sections are being built.
Open Trail Sections
The Trail sections available for walking are listed below. Two of the short trail sections just completed this April 2012 are open for bicycling. . . . for a short ride! Our Trail sections under construction are accessible for walking, but due to unfinished surfaces or minimal grading, please proceed with care.
EAST HAVEN: 2 Sections
DC Moore School Trail – ¼ mile completed and ready for biking and walking
The Trail winds for 1,200 feet through heavily wooded terrain past a huge boulder (glacial erratic) to the field on the south side of DC Moore School. This wide, level trail section was just completed in April 2012, with alot of volunteer help from local Boy Scouts. A specially designed and graded topping mix of local pink granite was placed on the Trail and parking lot by Timber & Stone, a Vermont trail building firm. (go to SGT Home page…scroll down for the April 2012 story and photos). The Trail is now complete and ready for bicycling. A Trailhead kiosk was installed and the new parking lot completed with timber guard rails at the corner of Hoop Pole Lane and Mansfield Grove Road. Timber bollards were installed to limit access to bikes and walkers at the Trail entrance from Hoop Pole Lane. From there, you will be traveling generally west to the exit at DC Moore school. Note: there is an interesting Trail spur (about 700 feet), as yet unimproved, south to the salt marsh around which a planned boardwalk will lead to Cosey Beach Avenue. Enter the spur at a classroom of log benches about 200 feet from the DC Moore School entrance.
(Trail Map To Come)
Directions: From Route 1 in East Haven turn south, toward Long Island Sound, on Route 142 (Hemingway Ave) 9/10 mile. Turn left on Short Beach Rd (also Rt 142) 7/10 mile. Right on Mansfield Grove Road 1/2 mile. Right on Hoop Pole Lane. Immediate left into trailhead parking lot at corner of Mansfield Grove Road and Hoop Pole Road.
Farm River State Park – 1/2 mile
You will have fun going up and down the hills on this not-yet-constructed path, through a mountain laurel grove, over two short timber bridges in the valley among flowers and frogs, over a gravel access road before finally exiting at the east end of Pevetty Drive. A side trip off the trail south on the gravel road leads to a grassy overview of the Farm River – a great spot for a picnic. Pevetty Drive is very short, ending at Mansfield Grove Road, at the intersection with the Hoop Pole Road parking lot at the entrance to the DC Moore Trail described above.
Note: The Trail is quite steep in three places along the 2,100-foot traverse and so it is not suitable for wheelchair use and must be very carefully used by bike riders – especially young children.
(Trail Map To Come)
Directions: From Route 1 in East Haven turn south, toward Long Island Sound, onto Route 142 (Hemmingway Avenue) 9/10 mile. Turn left on Short Beach Road (also Rt 142) 9/10 mile. Immediately after large dolphin mailbox, turn right into small parking lot of the State Park (diagonally across from Fairview Avenue).
BRANFORD: 4 Sections
Stony Creek Trolley Trail – 8/10 mile
A very popular trail from Stony Creek to the Tilcon Parking lot in Pine Orchard. The town has given permission for Shoreline Greenway Trail to use this trail. It follows the original trolley line and crosses a tidal creek over the old existing trolley bridge, affording views of a nearby osprey nest and the Stony Creek harbor. A little further on, pass through a rock cut below Pleasant Point Road with nearby access to a trail up to the Branford Land Trust Vedder memorial and a view of a classic salt marsh. End at the Tilcon railroad tracks, or continue on the Trail alongside Tilcon Road on the north side to Totoket Road. Shoreline Greenway Trail will build the next section alongside Totoket Road and the golf course over to Young’s Park.
Directions & Parking: Exit 56, I-95 South on Thimble Island Road to Stony Creek. After proceed under railroad bridge, turn right opposite the Willoughby Wallace Library onto West Point Road and go a short distance to park beside the baseball field.
Birch Road to Pine Orchard Road – 1/3 mile
Our first built section has been used extensively by walkers, bicyclists, seniors and many young families with strollers for several years. Enter from our small parking lot near the east end of Birch Road and check the Shoreline Greenway Trail Trailhead sign to see where you are and where you can go from the maps. An easy and very pleasant walk takes you west past community gardens, a small concrete amphitheater, to the Pine Orchard Association building (the old fire house) to Pine Orchard Road.
Directions: From Branford Green, travel south on Route 146 (Montowese Avenue) for about 1 mile. Turn left on Pine Orchard Road, then right at the three-way stop to continue on Pine Orchard Road for about 1 mile. After cross railroad bridge, take first left onto Birch Road. Branford Day Care Center is on the corner. Parking: 3/10 mile further down Birch Road on the north side (left) is the parking lot and Shoreline Greenway Trail trailhead entrance.
Two more options from Birch Road trail section:
Tabor Property 7/10 mile
Continue from west end of Birch Road trail across Pine Orchard Road into the Tabor Property. On the right end of gravel driveway, look for an opening between brush to our pioneered but unimproved trail that leads to Tabor Drive.
Young’s Pond Park
Continue east from Birch Road Trailhead sign, crossing Birch Road directly onto a trail leading into Young’s Pond Park. Turn right for a sylvan walk along wetlands that boast a small stand of native cattails holding their own against invasive phragmites. Continue on to Young’s Pond and enjoy the many trails and sights that Young’s Pond Park offers.
MADISON: 2 Sections
Hammonasset Beach State Park: 1700 ft. Section completed, ready for biking and walking
From the starting point (above), walk beside Route 1 about 300 feet west (towards Madison center). The entrance path to the peninsula Trail is on the left. It winds in a southerly direction to the tip of the peninsula, curves west and then north to end at Route 1, a temporary terminus until we build a boardwalk to the Liberty Street exodus. The round-trip length is 8/10th mile.
Directions: Take Hammonassett Exit 62, off I-95, go South to Route 1 and instead of driving across toward Park entrance (in the summers you would have to pay to go into park), turn right onto Route 1 going west. There is limited parking along Route 1 (between Liberty Street and Park entrance)
Parking: west on Route 1, past Signal Hill Road on your right, after a short distance look for the Masonic Lodge on northside of road – it is opposite the opening to the Trail on your left. U-turn left, park along the road by the trail opening. Be sure your car is completely off the macadam (both wheels, to avoid a ticket!) .
Around the nation, Greenway trail users who bike and walk together along hundreds of greenway trails co-exist with comfort and courtesy. They respect each other, use common sense and yield space as needed.
We suggest the following sensible “rules of the path” to assure that you enjoy your day, and share the Trail with your Trail neighbors:
- Walk left; ride right.
- If the trail is less than six feet wide and walkers are approaching, bikers dismount and walk to pass by.
- Children should be supervised, especially in bridge and street crossing areas.
- Stay on the trail path to assure that fragile environments near the Trail are protected and not trampled.
- Dogs are allowed on the Trail as long as they are leashed and under control at all times. Pick up and remove any waste.
- ‘Carry in – Carry out’ any trash or plastic bottles. And please pick up any litter you may find along the Trail to help us keep it clean for others.
- ‘Be Prepared’ – bring drinking water, and bug spray in the summer. Currently there are no bathroom facilities near the Trail.
- Be quiet – respect the peace and quiet along the Trail.
- Enjoy the beauty of nature and do not pick any flowers or plants.
- Alcoholic beverages are not permitted.
- Boardwalks and trail surfaces are not sufficient for horses.
- Trail is closed from dusk to dawn.
MOTORIZED VEHICLES ALONG THE TRAIL ARE PROHIBITED. Motorized vehicles of any kind (except for motorized wheelchairs) are prohibited on all sections of the Shoreline Greenway Trail.
To report dangerous trail conditions or misuse, or illegal ORV, ATV or motorcycle use on the Trail, contact Jack Wood, Trail Development Chair, at 203-315-1939.
Almost 40% of the Trail has been approved, is being constructed in sections, or is open for use.
Some said this was an impossible dream – to build a continuous 25-mile off-road trail where there is no pre-existing corridor to use; to overcome all the complexities of coordinating a massive project with four New England towns, each with its individual goals, personalities, and resources.
But we are succeeding!!
We are building the Trail section by section as proposed sections become approved for our use by the landowners in each town. As we secure more trail-use agreements, we will be able to link the trail sections together for our ultimate goal: a glorious, continuous varied trail.
Some sections of our route will temporarily need to be on-road until we gain landowner approvals that enable us to link off-road pieces.
And we still have formidable challenges – we have to cross three rivers that form the natural borders between our shoreline towns!
Yet our unswerving commitment and determination have persevered, and the good news in 2010 is that almost 40% of the Trail length in separate sections has been approved, is being constructed, or is completed and formally opened – the total of several separate sections in three of the four towns.
Soon you’ll see small signs/posts with interesting information about the plants and trees, special views and vistas, as well as historical points of interest.
Plant Identification Markers
Trees and plants will be marked with stakes and identification numbers to correspond to a key guide pamphlet, for both the young and older to test their knowledge. Identification pamphlets will be available in boxes attached to major Trailhead signs.
Special Views, Vistas & Historical Facts
Some trails will lead to special features to see, both natural and man-made, such as a cave site, a giant boulder revered by the Indians, a particularly beautiful marsh view, or a dyke or old trolley bed. Discreet signs will identify the site, and highlight interesting facts of history, nature, local lore, etc. to educate the public.
If you have any questions, please contact us.