HERITAGE RIVERFRONT TRAIL:

NORWICH, CONNECTICUT

-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-

Last Updated:        May 16, 2009

Length:                  Heritage Riverfront Trail; 2 miles                               

Difficulty:             Difficult. Many steep hills and a lot of on-road sections.

Directions:

To start from the Upper Falls parking lot; Take Route 2 into Norwich. Follow Routes 2 & 32 south past Backus Hospital and take a right onto Lafayette St. Bear right on Sherman St. Look for the sign for Upper Falls Heritage Park on your left. Take the dirt road to the end and park around the circle.    

To start from the Yantic Falls overlook parking lot; Take Route 2 into Norwich. Follow Routes 2 & 32 south past Backus Hospital and take a right onto Lafayette St. Turn left on Sherman St, then right down Yantic St. Just past the sign for Yantic Falls Indian Leap will be a dirt parking lot overlooking the falls.

To start from Howard T. Brown Park; Take Route 2 into Norwich. Follow Routes 2 & 32 south past Backus Hospital and down to the Norwich Harbor. A parking lot is located in the Howard T. Brown Park.

This trail follows the Yantic River through areas of historic homes, mill villages, and mill buildings to the Thames River. A public park and docks are located at the south end of the trail in the Howard T. Brown Park overlooking the Norwich Harbor. For more information visit; HERITAGE RIVERFRONT RAIL or EAST COAST GREENWAY .

Starting from the Upper Falls parking lot; The old power house now houses a museum. Check out the dam and canal that fed the power house. Unfortunately, you can't access the next park directly from here, so you need to return to the park entrance for an on-road section. Turn right up Sherman St, cross a bridge over the railroad tracks and hang a right down Yantic St. This will bring you to Yantic Falls Indian Leap after only 0.4 miles. These are some impressive falls over a dam. A railroad trestle crosses the pond behind you and the trail across the dam takes you up to Monroe St (stairs). Follow the sidewalk down Yantic St and you'll come to a dirt parking lot overlooking the falls and a deep gorge. Very unexpected find in the middle of Norwich. Looks as if it belongs in NH. Continue down the hill, passing by the Fall Mill Apartments (lived there for a year in the 80's) and you'll come to a cu-de-sac where you'll pick up the paved trail as it follows a large sewer pipe and stone retaining wall. Check out the interpretive signs located along the trail. You'll pick up Yantic St again briefly and then head down then up the trail to Tyler St. Travel on-road along Tyler St (residential) to its end, then turn right and follow Sturtevant Ave downhill to the paved trail. This section travels alongside the Yantic River and passes below a large black pipe at about 1.1 miles. You'll have to go on-road again by heading left up Maple Grove Ave to Washington St (Routes 2 & 32). Turn right and follow the sidewalk down to a brown sign "shoreline access" just before a church. Hang a left and head downhill to the paved trail at 1.4 miles. Your back along the river as you travel below Route 82, then across from a marina. When you come to the second tunnel underneath Route 82 at 1.7 miles you may have to backtrack. As of May 2009, the next section is closed for repairs to the miniature golf attraction. Otherwise, you'll pass by the miniature golf course and come to the Norwich Marina and Howard T. Brown Park. There is a parking lot, pavilion and docks along the Thames River. The trail then ends at 2 miles.

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