SHORELINE GREENWAY TRAIL:

NEW HAVEN-MADISON, CONNECTICUT

-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-

Last Updated:      May 03, 2014

Length:                East Haven Section; [Heading East] 1.6 miles

                              Branford Section; [Tabor Drive to Blackstone Ave] 1.6 miles

                              Branford Section; [Trolley Trail] 0.8 miles

                              Madison Section; [Hammonasset Beach SP] 1.1 miles

Difficulty:            East Haven Section; [Heading West] Easy. Flat stone-dust trail. 

                              East Haven Section; [Heading East] Moderate. Narrow, hard packed dirt & gravel trail along with a wide, flat gravel road. Mt bike a must.

                              Branford Section; [Birch Road Section] Easy. Mostly flat, hard packed gravel & stone-dust trail.

                              Branford Section; [Tabor Property Section] Moderate. Flat, recycled asphalt road. Not well groomed, wet spots after rain.

                              Branford Section; [Young's Pond Park Section] Moderate. Mostly flat, hard packed dirt & grass trail.

                              Branford Section; [ Trolley Trail] Easy. Flat, hard packed gravel trail.

                              Madison Section; [Hammonasset Beach SP] Easy. Flat, wide stone-dust trail with a short boardwalk. 

Directions:     

For the East Haven Section; from the intersection of Routes 1 & 142 in East Haven take Route 142 south for 1.7 miles. Turn right on Mansfield Grove Rd, then take your second right on Hoop Pole Lane. The trail parking lot is right on the corner.

For the Branford Sections; From I-95 take exit 55 to Route 1 south. Turn left on Windmill Hill Rd, then left at Damascus Rd. 

        For the Birch Road parking lot; Just past the school turn right onto Griffing Pond Rd which becomes Sunset Hill Dr. Turn left onto Birch Rd and cross the RR tracks. The Birch Road parking lot will be on your right.

        For the Trolley Trail Section; Continue along Damascus Rd until the road splits. bear left along Stony Creek Rd (Route 146) for 1.4 miles. Slight right onto Thimble Island Rd, travel underneath the RR tracks and take your

         second right on West Point Rd. Continue straight to the West Point Rd parking lot

For the Madison Section; From I-95 take exit 62 to Route 450 south to Route 1. Straight ahead is the entrance to Hammonasset Beach SP . Head left along Route 1 and take your first right between two large yellow gates to a gravel parking lot.

The Shoreline Greenway Trail is a proposed  25-mile trail along the Connecticut Shoreline that will extend from Lighthouse Point on the New Haven Harbor through East Haven, Branford and Guilford, to Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison. Currently 4 short sections have been constructed in the towns of East Haven, Branford and Madison. For more information visit; SHORELINE GREENWAY TRAIL .

East Haven Section:

            Starting from the Hoop Pole Lane parking lot; You'll find a map board located here. 

Heading West (right) from the Hoop Pole Lane parking lot; Follow the stone-dust trail into the woods. Just past a huge boulder the trail splits at 0.2 miles. Right is a spur that brings you to the D.C. Moore School, but the trail continues left. Spot the "green" Shoreline Greenway Trail tag on the tree. This uncompleted, hard packed dirt path takes you out to the Bradford Preserve at 0.3 miles.

Note; This next section is currently in the design phase as of April 2014 and will include a boardwalk across the marsh and out to the "splash park" on Cosey Beach Ave. 

Heading East from the Hoop Pole Lane parking lot; Travel past the map board out to Mansfield Grove Rd and turn left on-road for a short hop to Pevetty Dr on your right. Travel on-road (residential) to the end of this road at 0.2 miles. Just past the large boulders is a narrow, hard packed dirt & gravel trail that enters the Farm River State Park. Watch for the "green" Shoreline Greenway Trail tags to help you navigate through the woods. Head right at 0.3 miles along a wide gravel road (Brown Rd) This travels alongside the Farm River Marsh. The gravel road splits at 0.5 miles. Head left. You'll come to a hiking sign on your left. 

Note; I believe the planned Shoreline Greenway Trail heads left, however, if biking I would continue straight along the gravel road which brings you out to the paved Browns Rd at 0.6 miles. You can follow this road left out to Short Beach Rd at 3/4 miles. Right on-road takes you to a bridge over the Farm River and the Branford town line at 0.8 miles Scenic.

Heading left at the hiking sign, a hard packed dirt & gravel path heads uphill into thick woods. A bit hilly with some tree roots. Cross a few small bridges and climb a steep hill before coming to a picnic table at 0.8 miles. Head left as the trail widens before reaching the Farm River SP parking lot off Short Hill Rd at 1.3 miles. 

Branford Section:

[Tabor Drive to Blackstone Ave Section]

Starting from the Birch Road parking lot; You'll find a map board located here. 

Heading East (right) the trail crosses Birch Rd and quickly ends after 0.1 miles at the entrance to Young's Pond Park. Turn right along a wide, hard packed dirt & grass trail. Wetlands along your right and rock ledge along your left. Ignore any side trails. The trail will then turn sharply to the left where it loops back through the park. Just past a chain-link fence will be a narrow dirt trail on your right. Follow this trail (one rocky section) down to Young's Pond and head right around the tip of the pond. Notice all the upright slabs of stone ringing the pond. Right brings you out an old stone entrance to the Blackstone Ave parking area (space for a couple of cars) after 0.5 miles. A sign on the stone face reads "Bob's Woods". 

Note; To connect to the Trolley Trail turn left and travel on-road along Blackstone Ave (narrow road with no shoulders). A golf course runs along your right and a ball field along your left. Turn right when you reach Totoket Rd and travel back alongside the golf course. You'll come to Tilcon Rd on your left after 0.7 miles where you'll pick up the Trolley Trail. See Below. The next section of trail to be built will travel from Tilcon Rd, alongside Totoket Rd and up to Blackstone Ave.

Heading West (left) the wide hard packed gravel trail Travels through the woods above the Amtrak RR line. The trail briefly skirts Birch Rd before turning back into the woods along a stone-dust surface. A few small hills before reaching Pine Orchard Rd after 0.4 miles. Turn right on-road, then left before the bridge over the RR tracks down a dirt road to a chain gate. This is the Tabor Property section. The open trail follows a town road consisting of recycled asphalt. You pass through scrubland with side roads here and there. Always keep straight along the main road. Not particularly scenic as their are pile of cement, mulch... You'll pass by another chain gate and come to Tabor Drive after 1.1 miles. 

[Trolley Trail]

Starting from the West Point Rd parking lot; Travel west along the hard packed gravel rail trail across a causeway with a marsh on your right and the Long Island Sound & Thimble Islands to your left. Cross the old iron Trolley Bridge over a tidal creek via a narrow wooden walkway. Walk bikes if you encounter pedestrians. Travel through a rock cut and underneath Pleasant Point Rd before a narrow cement walkway takes you through the Pine Orchard Wildlife Marsh at 0.4 miles. Walk bikes if you encounter pedestrians. Very scenic with Osprey nesting platforms as you continue along a causeway. Cross the Tilcon RR tracks before coming to the Tilcon Road parking lot where you'll find a map board at 0.7 miles. Continue straight, the right up alongside Tilcon Rd (which utilizes the old rail bed) where the trail continues paralleling Tilcon Rd. At 0.8 miles the trail currently ends just shy of Totoket Rd. The next section of trail to be built will travel alongside Totoket Rd up to Blackstone Ave.

Madison Section:

[Hammonasset Beach SP]

Starting from the Hammonasset Beach SP (Route 1) parking lot; Follow the wide gravel path out to a service road and head right. When you reach the main entrance road you'll need to cross over it [Use Caution no crosswalk]. The gatehouse is too your left. This will bring you to a gap in the guard rail. A trail straight ahead leads into the park. You need to head right along a narrow dirt & grass path alongside the guard rail. This will bring you to a boardwalk at 0.3 miles which takes you over a small marsh to a wide, stone-dust trail through the woods. You travel alongside the northern border of the park past campgrounds before pulling briefly alongside Route 1. The trail then travels alongside a salt marsh (Toms Creek) before returning you to Route 1 after 1.1 miles where the trail currently ends.

HH

CLICK HERE FOR EAST HAVEN SECTION MAP

CLICK HERE FOR BRANFORD SECTION MAP

CLICK HERE FOR MADISON SECTION MAP

 

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