NORWALK RIVER VALLEY TRAIL:
-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-
Last Updated: June 14, 2014
Length: NRVT Norwalk Section; 1.9 miles
Oyster Shell Loop Trail; 3/4 miles
Seaview Park Loop Trail; 0.9 miles
NRVT Wilton East Side Section; 0.7 miles
NRVT Wilton West Side Section; 3.2 miles
Difficulty: Norwalk Section: Easy. Flat paved trail.
East Wilton Section: Moderate. Hard packed gravel trail. Hilly.
West Wilton Section: Easy. Hard packed gravel trail. Some on-road sections.
To Start from Union Park or Mathews Park (Norwalk Section);
From Route 7 northbound take exit 1 to Belden Ave and turn right. Next, turn right on Byington PI, then right alongside Union Park. To reach Mathews Park continue along Belden Ave which becomes West Ave. The park entrance will be on your left.
From Route 7 southbound take exit 1 to Van Buren Ave and head left. Next, turn left on Union Park S, then left alongside Union Park. To reach Mathews Park continue along Van Buren Ave to Connecticut Ave. Turn left and travel underneath Route 7. The park entrance is on your right.
To Start from the Route 7 commuter lot or Merwin Meadows Park (Wilton section); From the junction of Routes 7 & 33 in Wilton head north on Route 7. Just before you reach Route 106 (Wolfpit Rd) turn left into the Route 7 commuter lot. Continue north on Route 7 another mile and turn left on Route 33 (Ridgefield Rd). Take your first right on Lovers Lane and follow to Merwin Meadows Park.
The Norwalk River Valley Trail (NRVT) will provide a 27 mile route for cyclists, hikers, and walkers from Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk north to Danbury. There are currently two sections complete in Norwalk and two in Wilton (connected via an on-road section). The northern section in Norwalk extends from New Canaan Ave (Route 123) to Broad St, however, there is no parking areas to access this section. For more information visit; NRVT . The Norwalk section contains Mathews Park, which is very impressive. If you have young kids, they will love it. It contains the STEPPING STONE MUSEUM , the LOCKWOOD MATHEWS MANSION and Devon's Place, a 20,000 square foot playground. It also travels past the MARITIME AQUARIUM .
Starting from Union Park; The paved Norwalk River Valley Trail travels south through a residential area on your left and Route 7 above on your right. After a couple of street crossings you come to west Ave and Connecticut Ave after 0.5 miles. Directly across West Ave is the entrance to Mathews Park.
Note; The trail continues just to the right of the entrance past the visitors center, however, there is no cross-walk or cross-light available from the end of the trail. One option is to head right along Connecticut Ave to a cross-light, then back along Connecticut Ave to West Ave. Then head right to another cross-light over West Ave and head left. You'll pick up the trail on your right just before the visitors center (a rest room is available next to the visitors center).
Heading through the park, you'll pass by the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum on your left before coming to a wooden sculptured map board by the Norwalk River Water Assoc. Just past the tennis courts you approach a black iron gate at the entrance for Devon's Place playground. The trail continues straight through the center of the playground, bringing you to a picnic pavilion and another map board of the Norwalk Heritage Park. Continue out to Crescent St for a brief on-road section. Turn right and come to the Pine Island Historic Cemetery, then left over the RR tracks along Science Rd before picking up the paved trail again to your right. The trail travels underneath I-95 and brings you to an intersection at 1.4 miles.
Note; You may take a short detour here through Oyster Shell Park along the 3/4 mile Oyster Shell Loop Trail. Follow the old road up the short hill through open fields with views of the Norwalk River and past many sculptures. You'll come to a cul-de-sac where you'll find a gravel trail that leads you down along the rivers edge. The trail then travels alongside the river past a wooden promenade overlooking the river before passing by a fishing pier. You may rejoin the Norwalk River Valley Trail by heading left over a bridge or continue straight where you'll return to the trail near where you originally left it for a 0.9 mile loop.
Continuing along the trail you'll come to a small parking lot located off of N Water St and the bridge over to the Oyster Shell Loop Trail. The urban trail continues alongside the river and N Water St before coming to a promenade/fishing pier with a pagoda and benches at 1.6 miles. Great views of the RR swing bridge across the river, which we saw opening to let a tugboat pushing a barge through. A map board is also located here. The Maritime Aquarium is located here as well. To reach the last short section of the completed trail you'll need to travel up past the aquariums entrance and head left between the aquarium and parking garage along N Water St. Just past the IMAX Theatre turn left into the parking lot to rejoin a very short section of the boardwalk trail. Lots of informational signs, as well as, the Sheffield Island Lighthouse Ferry dock; See: NORWALK SEAPORT ASSOC . The trail then ends at Washington St after 1.9 miles in South Norwalk.
Note; From here you can check out historic South Norwalk by heading right along Washington St or you may continue your bike trip along the Seaview Park Loop Trail which is less the a 1/4 mile away. Just head left along Washington St over the drawbridge to the east side of the Norwalk River and you'll come to a cross-light. Cross Washington St and turn left, then left again into Seaview Park. Travel along the entrance road passing the gatehouse. A paved trail picks up on your right and follows the rivers edge along the park. The trail splits, with the left trail heading inland before rejoining the rivers edge (Note; the rivers edge trail is in poor shape along here). When you reach a parking lot the trail turns left into the park, then right alongside the parking lot. When you come to some restrooms head left along the paved trail (not the gravel road) passing through a fence. The trail now takes you through the center of the park, passing by more restrooms, before you return to the gate house. Head right along the entrance road to return to Washington St for a 0.9 mile loop.
Note; There are bits of a trail system along the eastern side of the Norwalk River heading north, but they are very disjointed at this point. The longest section, the Norwalk River Esplanade, starts from the Public Works building and travels south along the rivers edge to the Washington St drawbridge and then just stops. However, it is poorly maintained and narrow where the brush has not been trimmed. Also, some sections of the Norwalk Harborwalk have been completed north of I-95, but they are difficult to reach and very short.
East Side Wilton Center Loop:
Starting from the Route 7 commuter lot; Head out of the commuter lot to Route 7 and turn left to the junction of Wolfpit Rd. A cross-light gets you over busy Route 7 to the start of the hard packed gravel Norwalk River Valley Trail. You head into the woods and soon cross Gaylord Dr. The trail winds its way through the hilly woods briefly following Chestnut Hill Brook before crossing a short boardwalk at 0.4 miles. The trail currently ends at Raymond Lane after 0.7 miles.
West Side Wilton Center Loop:
Starting from the Route 7 commuter lot; Head out of the commuter lot to Route 7 and turn left to the junction of Wolfpit Rd. This section of the Norwalk River Valley Trail currently utilizes on-road sections. Travel west (Left) on-road (sidewalk available) along Wolfpit Rd for almost 0.4 miles to Horseshoe Rd and turn right. Horseshoe Rd becomes River Rd. When you pass by Glen Side on your right just shy of 0.8 miles you'll pick up a paved trail alongside the road. River Rd becomes Old Ridgefield Rd at 1.2 miles where you continue on-road (sidewalk available) through the quaint downtown. When you come to a wide intersection with a small island continue straight along Center St. Immediately take your first right into Old Post Office Square (spot an NRVT sign) and travel through the parking lot where you'll pick up the hard packed gravel Norwalk River Valley Trail as it travels underneath Ridgefield Rd next to the Norwalk River at 1.5 miles. Travel through Merwin Meadows Park past a soccer field and across the Comstock Brook where you'll pass a beach and playground before coming to the Merwin Meadows Park parking lot at 1.8 miles. Travel through the parking lot and you'll come to a map board. The wide gravel trail continues to the left of the map board heading into the woods and alongside the river. Continue straight past a spur trail on your left alongside the river and you'll soon come to School Rd after 2.4 miles. Head right on-road past Cider Mill School to a cross-walk where you'll find a map board across the road. Pick up a narrow paved path that heads right then left alongside Kristine Lilly Way. Pass by ball fields and a parking lot before reaching Catalpa Rd and Wilton High School at 2.8 miles. Cross the road to the paved path and follow out to Route 7. Head left utilizing the sidewalk past the High School. Turn left just past the school towards the parking lots and make an immediate right. Travel straight through the parking lot where you'll pick up the gravel trail as it travels past the soccer field and into the woods. You'll come to an intersection, head left. This will bring you to Allen's Meadows Park after 3.2 miles. More ball fields located here. Future plans call for continuing north, then across Route 7 and looping back to the East Side Wilton Center Loop.
CLICK HERE FOR NRVT MAP
CLICK HERE FOR NORWALK SECTION
CLICK HERE FOR WILTON SECTION
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BIKE IT OR HIKE IT