Last Updated:        July 15, 2011

Length:                  Putnam River Trail; 1.5miles. 

                                River Mills Heritage Trail; 1.1 miles

                                Putnam River Trail Loop (includes the River Mills Heritage Trail); 3.4 miles                             

Difficulty:             Easy. Paved, flat trail.


There are 4 parking lots located along Kennedy Drive:

From I-395 northbound; Take exit 95 to Kennedy Drive and travel north. This will bring you to the southernmost parking lot first.

From I-395 southbound; Take exit 97 to Route 44 west to Kennedy Drive. Turn left and use any of the 4 parking lots located on your right along Kennedy drive. 

The Putnam River Trail was completed in 1998 as a part of the  EAST COAST GREENWAY . It travels through the town of Putnam, following alongside the Quinebaug River. Five historic interpretive signs are located along the trail commemorating Putnamís railroad history, textile mills, and founding citizens. The riverís natural resources and The Great Flood of 1955 are highlighted as well. The River Mills Heritage Trail threads its way around the Quinebaug River between Pomfret St and Providence St - linking together historic mills and buildings. For more information visit; RIVER MILLS HERITAGE TRAIL .

Starting from the Farmers Market parking lot; The parking lot is located next to the Quinebaug River and contains a map board located under the pavilion. A Porto-potty located here as well. Heading north along the paved Putnam River Trail you'll come to a pedestrian bridge over the river on your left after less then a 1/4 mile. 

Note; If you cross this bridge it will bring you to an informational sign about the Flood of 55. Up the hill is the old Airline State Park Trail North that hopefully will someday get developed. The pedestrian bridge is built where the old Airline RR trestle used to cross the river before being wiped out by the Flood of 55. You can still see the stone abutments and the pedestrian bridge utilizes the old center pier. 

Continuing north along the trail will bring you to the Second parking lot. Another Porto-potty, picnic tables and map board for the Water Trail along the river are located here. Heading north between the river and Kennedy Drive you'll pass by two more parking lots before coming to the Route 44 Bridge at 0.9 miles. A cross-light takes you to an overlook of Cargill Falls. The trail splits, right simply heading alongside the road, so head left along the river. Caution, the trail is narrow here. This takes you past some monuments and an amphitheater in a small park. Spot the fire cauldrons in the river that are used for River Fire. See; DISCOVER PUTNAM for more information. A cross-light takes you over Bridge St where the paved trail turns into a wide sidewalk at 1.2 miles. After passing by some old mills you'll come to a tiny park and map board at 1.5 miles where the trail ends.

Note; You may return the way you came or cross the river and loop back along the River Mills Heritage Trail (follow the brown signs), which is what we did. Simply turn left down Providence St utilizing the sidewalk and cross over the river. Turn left along Church St where you may ride on-road (low traffic) or utilize a narrow sidewalk. You'll come to the Putnam Sports Complex at 1.8 miles. Pick up the narrow paved trail on your left and take it back to the river. Here you'll enjoy good views of a dam and waterfall. Follow the trail alongside the river to Bridge St. 

Note; You may head left over the bridge to rejoin the main trail in order to avoid a short hill, otherwise;

Cross over Bridge St and follow the paved trail past the Veterans monuments back out to Church St. Head left on-road past the old Putnam High school, now Town Hall. Spot a magnificent Cooper Beach tree towering over the road. Head up a short, but steep hill where you'll be rewarded with great views of the river and town of Putnam at 2.3 miles. Head back downhill and you'll come to Route 44. Hang a left past the Cargill Mills, cross back over the river and rejoin the main trail at 2.5 miles. Turn right and return to the Farmers Market parking lot for a 3.4 mile loop.