AIRLINE STATE PARK TRAIL; COLCHESTER SPUR:

COLCHESTER, CONNECTICUT

-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-

Last Updated:      May 27, 2017

Length:                Colchester Spur; 3.4 miles                           

Difficulty:            Easy. Flat rail trail with stone dust surface.  

Directions:

To start from Colchester; From Route 2, take exit 18 to Route 16 north. Continue past the Route 85 intersection and start watching for the old Colchester Train Station and Freight House on your left. It will be just before a fork in the road, where Route 16 turns left. Large sign. Follow the dirt road past the old RR Station to a small parking area next to the trailhead.

To start from Amston; Take Route 85 between Hebron and Colchester to the Amston section, this is about a half mile south of Route 207. There is a parking area located on the western side of Route 85. Head west on the Airline State Park Trail for a little over a 0.2 miles until you see a brown mileage marker on your left with a 10 on it. Just past this marker, the Airline State Park Trail; Colchester Spur begins on your left.

The Air Line State Park Trail follows the rail bed of the former Air Line Railroad which was built to connect Boston and New York City in the shortest distance possible - as if by a "line" drawn through the "air" via the city of New Haven. The railroad climbed from Middletown to East Hampton, and then went over the Lyman Viaduct, a spectacular 1,100 foot long iron trestle over a deep and wide gorge. The railroad then continued on through North Westchester and Amston in the southern part of Hebron. The line passed along the boundary of Lebanon and Columbia before dropping steadily down the Ten Mile River valley to Willimantic. The final portion of this section was completed in 1873. In 1877, the Colchester Railway built a spur between Turnerville (now called Amston) and the central village of Colchester. The town of Colchester paid $50,000 for half of the three mile long rail bed and leased the line to the New York & New England. The spur carried passengers and freight to the rubber plant in town. The Colchester Spur follows this old rail bed. There are 3 old RR buildings left. Across Route 85 is an old RR storage building. The two buildings next to the trail both served as the train station at one time. The most recent Train Station now houses SUNSHINE CYCLE AND RUN bike shop and rental. For more information visit; AIRLINE TRAIL .

Starting from Colchester; From the parking area the Colchester Spur runs straight and flat along a power line corridor with a stone dust surface. Mile markers are located every mile along the trail. After 0.8 miles the trail shares a dirt road before crossing Old Amston Ave at 1 mile. Here the trail widens as you head into the woods. You follow a causeway between a marsh at 1.3 miles. Cross-walk over Crouch Rd at 2.4 miles followed by another cross-walk over Route 85 (Caution high speed traffic). Travel around the sub-station and re-enter the woods at 2.9 miles where the trail narrows. At 3.2 miles you'll pass by a small pond. You go along a small berm, with a large marsh to your left and emerge onto the Airline State Park Trail at 3.4 miles. If you turn right, you'll pass by a brown 10 mile marker and come to the Amston parking lot at 3.8 miles. For information; See Airline State Park Trail South and Airline State Park Trail North .

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