WINDSOR LOCKS CANAL TOWPATH:
SUFFIELD-WINDSOR LOCKS, CONNECTICUT
ENFIELD BIKE PATH:
-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-
Last Updated:September 8, 2018
Length: Windsor Locks Canal Towpath; 4.5 miles
Enfield Trail Extension; 0.7 miles
Enfield Bike Path; 2 mile Loop (2.6 mile Loop including Barns Boat Launch Loop)
Difficulty: Easy. Flat paved surface. Note; The trail has steep drop-offs along both sides of the trail. Not recommended for small children on bikes.
Enfield Trail Extension; Easy. Slight hill along a paved trail.
Enfield Bike Path; Easy. On-road and paved path relatively flat.
To start at the Canal Road parking lot; Take exit 47W off of I-91 and follow Route 190 west over the Connecticut River. Turn left onto Route 159 south. Take the first left onto Canal Rd and follow to the parking lot.
To start at the Route 140 Mill Complex parking lot; Take exit 45 off of I-91 and go west on Route 140. Just after you cross over the Connecticut River will be a mill complex on your right. Take the narrow road down along the canal to a parking lot.
NOTE: The Towpath is closed to all uses from November 14 until April 1 of each year. This is to protect the nesting habitat for endangered birds of prey.
The Windsor Locks Canal was built by hand between 1827 and 1829. It is 5 Ĺ miles long, 80 feet wide, but only 4 Ĺ feet deep. Three locks were built to accommodate the 30 foot elevation drop along itís route, as well as an aqueduct to carry the Canal over Stony Brook. The Towpath, which is the hiking/biking path today, was used by horses to pull the boat traffic through the Canal. The Canal was built to enable boating traffic to avoid Enfield Falls, a series of rapids along this section of the Connecticut River. After the railroads came along, it functioned as a power source for nearby mills. The Enfield Bike Path continues from the end of the Enfield Trail Extension next to the Route 190 Bridge bringing you to the Thompsonville section of Enfield. For more information visit; WINDSOR LOCKS CANAL SP TRAIL .
NOTICE: April 2018; Due to construction projects and to protect wildlife, the southern entrance to this trail in Windsor Locks will be closed until further notice. Trail users will have only one single access point at the end of Canal Road in Suffield. There will be no through access.
Starting from the Route 140 Mill Complex Parking Lot in Windsor Locks; The paved trail heads north past the gates and alongside the canal. An iron bench and plaque describing the canals history are located overlooking the canal which has been cleared of brush along this section. Good views of the stone culverts built underneath the railroad tracks on the opposite bank. The Connecticut River parallels the canal along your right. After a mile you'll pass under a railroad trestle that crosses over the Connecticut River. We had two Amtrak trains pass through on our journey. A steep drop off along both sides of the trail will take you into either the canal or the riverbank so watch the young ones closely. After 2 miles youíll come to the Stony Brook Aqueduct, where the Canal is diverted over Stony Brook. Continuing along the trail the Connecticut River splits at Kings Island which you'll follow for a bit. Finally you'll come to the lock and gates where the water enters the Canal from the Connecticut River. If you look out towards the river, you can see where it was dammed long ago to divert the water into the Canal. Cross over the bridge and pass through the steel gates and up to the Canal Road parking lot in Suffield at 4.5 miles. The paved Enfield Trail Extension continues past the parking lot, above the river and underneath the Route 190 Bridge where it turns left. This brings you to an intersection alongside Route 190 at 4.7 miles.
Note; Heading right up a slight hill brings you out to the intersection of Routes 190 & 159 in Suffield at 0.3 miles.
Heading left takes you over the Connecticut River, nice unobstructed views and then over some active RR tracks. You head away from Route 190 up a slight hill to Pearl St in Enfield and across from the Public Library at 5.2 miles. There is a nice memorial garden to your right with benches just across the entrance ramp where you can take a breather.
Note; You can connect to the Enfield Bike Path from here.
Head left on-road along Pearl St [Re-zeroing Mileage]. Future plans call for the creation of a Bike Lane. This takes you into the Thompsonville section of Enfield. Come to Main St after 0.5 miles where you'll pick up the paved current Enfield Bike Path.
Note; Future plans call for a Bike Path left along Main St leading to the Barns Boat Launch and Overlook of the Connecticut River. You can check it out by traveling on-road down Main St and underneath the RR tracks. Then turn left across a bridge closed to traffic to the Boat Launch. You may then Loop back by traveling underneath the Asnuntuck St RR Bridge back up to Pearl St for an 0.6 mile Loop.
The Enfield Bike Path travels alongside Freshwater Pond and N Main St starting next to a small dam. A pedestrian path follows alongside leading to an overlook and fishing pier. Pass a pedestrian bridge on your right that crosses Freshwater Brook to another paved path. Continue straight alongside the brook and N Main St, wooded. Come to Enfield St at 1 mile. To your left is the Town Green. Travel right on-road for only 0.1 miles (sidewalk available) across the brook to High St. Head right to pick up the paved trail again. The trail now Loops back along the opposite side of the brook bringing you back to the pedestrian bridge and Freshwater Pond. Continue straight along the opposite side of the pond out to Central St. Turn right to complete your Loop back to Pearl St at 1.6 miles. Left to return to Route 190 Bridge for a 2 mile Loop
CLICK HERE FOR WINDSOR LOCKS CANAL TOWPATH MAP
CLICK HERE FOR ENFIELD BIKE PATH MAP
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WAIVER OF RESPONSIBILITY AND DISCLAIMER
BIKE IT OR HIKE IT