HALEY FARM STATE PARK:

BLUFF POINT STATE PARK:

G & S TROLLEY TRAIL

POQUONNOCK RIVER WALKWAY

GROTON, CONNECTICUT

-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-

Last Updated:     August 05, 2018

Length:               Haley Farm SP to Bluff Point SP; 1.8 miles

                              Bluff Point SP Loop Trail; 3.7 mile Loop

                             G & S Trolley Trail; 1.1 miles

                             Poquonnock River Walkway; 0.9 miles

Difficulty:           Haley Farm SP Trail; Easy. Flat, stone dust surface.

                              Bluff Point SP Loop Trail; Moderate. First section mostly flat, hard packed dirt & gravel surface. Second section more hilly with rougher surface.

                             G & S Trolley Trail; Moderate. Paved with two steep hills.

                             Poquonnock River Walkway; Easy. Paved, boardwalk trail.

Directions:

Take exit 88 off of I-95 to Route 117 south.

To start from Haley Farm SP; Turn left on Route 1 east and go 0.9 miles. Turn right onto Route 215 south and go a ½ mile. Take a right on Brook St, go a ½ mile and then turn right on Haley Farm Rd to the parking lot.

To start at Bluff Point SP; Turn right on Route 1 west and go 0.2 miles. Then turn left onto Depot Rd and bear right after a ¼ mile, passing underneath the railroad tracks. Continue down the gravel road to the parking lot.

Connecticut's first governor, John Winthrop Jr., owned part of the Haley Farm in 1648. Over the years the land passed through various hands, including the Chester family in the 18th century, whose headstones are still on the property. When Caleb Haley owned and farmed the land in the late 19th to 20th centuries, he had a very unique hobby which can be seen throughout the park: the building of stone walls. Boulders found on the property were extracted and placed by an ox drawn stone-puller. Bluff Point was a popular vacation destination in the 1920's and 30's and even had a small amusement park along with the summer cottages. However, the Hurricane of 1938 destroyed much of the area and in 1975 it became a state park. For more information visit;  BLUFF POINT SP & HALEY FARM SP . The Groton & Stonington Trolley Trail follows the old 1904-1928 Groton & Stonington RR that traveled from the Thames River to Westerly, RI. The Poquonnock River Walkway follows the Poquonnock, a tidal river, that connects to reservoirs in Groton.

Haley Farm State Park:

Starting from the Haley Farm State Park parking lot; The stone-dust trail starts next to the map board. You pass by a small pond and nature trail to your left. You then go alongside a massive stone wall that Caleb Haley built using a stone puller, which was drawn by oxen and could move a 3 ton boulder. Enter the shade of the woodlands. After 0.6 miles you come to the intersection of the G & S Trolley Line Trail

Note; Turning right takes you down the G & S Trolley Trail. See Below.

To continue towards Bluff Point SP, follow the paved trail left over a bridge spanning the railroad tracks. This is a busy railroad corridor and while there we saw three trains go by. After you cross over the tracks, the trail takes a sharp right at the sign for Bluff Point. Don't go straight down the utility line path. Here the trail consists of hard packed dirt and gravel. You then travel alongside the railroad tracks (coarse gravel) for a ½ mile. You pass by a side trail on your left (leads to Mumford Cove) before the trail veers left back towards the woods at a green gate into Bluff Point SP. Be sure to travel straight along the stone-dust trail, as there are a lot of side trails along this section. After 1.8 miles you come to Bluff Point SP.    

Bluff Point State Park:

Starting from the Bluff Point State Park parking lot; [Re-zeroing] Porto-Potty, picnic tables and water located here. The Loop Trail starts to the left of the map board. The wide trail is a hard packed/gravel surface that runs alongside the tidal Poquonnock River. You quickly come to a Y in the trail, this is where the trail Loops back to. Head right along the river. After 1.5 miles, you’ll pass by the beach entrance on your right. Porto-Potty on your left. As you start your climb uphill spot to small paths on your right that lead to Bluff Point. Great views of Long Island Sound from this rocky bluff.  After visiting the bluff, you may return the way you came if your not up for an assent.  From here the trail turns inland and becomes narrower, rougher and hillier. After 2.3 mile look left for a sign for Sunset Rock. This trail leads to a huge boulder where sunset religious services were once held. The trail continues uphill to the site of the Winthrop Home after 2.8 miles. Some of the old foundation is among an overgrown meadow. This was the former home of Connecticut's first governor, John Winthrop. Right a grass & dirt side trail leads down to Mumford Cove. Continue left into the woods where the trail finally descends back to the main trail. Right returns you to the parking lot for a 3.7 mile Loop.

Poquonnock River Walkway/G & S Trolley Trail:

Starting from the Bluff Point State Park parking lot; [Re-zeroing] You may return to Haley Farm SP the way you came or choose to loop back via the Poquonnock River Walkway/G & S Trolley Trail. Travel through the parking lot out the entrance road (dirt and gravel which can be dusty when a car passes) to Depot Rd after 0.4 miles. On your left is the start of the Poquonnock River Walkway. This narrow paved trail travels past a playground and the Poquonnock River Walkway parking lot out to a boardwalk that follows the river. Bench overlooks along the route. After 0.9 miles you pass a small gazebo and come to Route 1. You may return the way you came or choose to loop back on-road. Head right along Route 1 (wide shoulder), then take your first right along Depot Rd (no shoulder). Take your first left on Fitch Ave (residential) and your forth right on Knoxville Court to a cul-de-sac after 1.8 miles. Here the G & S Trolley Trail begins. This wide, paved trail follows the power lines. Two steep hills and one small bridge crossing over Fort Hill Brook) before you come to the intersection for Haley Farm State Park on your left at 1 mile, where you may complete your loop. The G & S Trolley Trail continues straight across the RR bridge where it ends at 1.1 miles.

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CLICK HERE FOR HALEY FARM SP MAP:

CLICK HERE FOR BLUFF POINT SP/POQUONNOCK RIVER WALKWAY/G & S TROLLEY LINE TRAIL MAP:

 

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WAIVER OF RESPONSIBILITY AND DISCLAIMER

 

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