NORWALK RIVER VALLEY TRAIL:
-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-
Last Updated: April 09, 2019
Length: NRVT; Norwalk Section; 4.2 miles
Oyster Shell Loop Trail; 0.7 miles
NRVT; Wilton East Side Section; 2.3 miles
NRVT; Wilton West Side Section; 3.2 miles
Difficulty: NRVT; Norwalk Section: Easy. Flat paved trail.
NRVT; East Wilton Section: Moderate. Hard packed gravel trail. Hilly.
NRVT; West Wilton Section: Easy. Hard packed gravel trail. Some on-road sections.
To Start from Veterans Memorial Park & Marina or Calf Pasture Beach (Norwalk Section); From I-95 take exit 16 to East Ave south for 0.5 miles.
For Veterans Memorial Park & Marina; Continue on East Ave to Seaview Ave and turn left. Park entrance will be on your left just past the marina. Parking Fee.
For Calf Pasture Beach; Turn left on Cemetery St to Gregory Blvd. At the traffic circle follow Cafe Pasture Beach Rd south to the Park entrance after 1.8 miles. Parking Fee.
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 30 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). 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. The trail also travels past the MARITIME AQUARIUM .
The planned Norwalk River Esplanade is a paved trail running along the eastern side of the Norwalk River. The trail is currently disjointed and not complete.
Starting from Calf Pasture Beach; A sidewalk follows the beach from the pier north to Shady Beach Park. Sports fields, playground and refreshments. Heading out the entrance a Bike Lane on Calf Pasture Beach Rd takes you north. Pass by Ludlow Park and come to a traffic circle at 0.7 miles. Continue north on Gregory Blvd (wide shoulder) to 1st St (no shoulders) and head left. Turn right on Seaview Ave (narrow shoulder) and come to the entrance for Veterans Memorial Park & Marina after 1.4 miles. Enter the park and follow the park road south past multiple parking lots. When the road turns right, head left where you'll pick up a paved trail which follows the Norwalk Harbor's edge along the park. Whenever the trail splits you go either way. (Note; the riverís edge trail is in poor shape along here). The trail then rejoins the park road heading north past the boat launch and exiting the park onto Route 136. Head right (Bike Lane) to the intersection where you'll find a cross-light, then travel left back along Route 136 (Bike Lane). Cross the Washington Street Drawbridge over the Norwalk River and come to N Water St after 2.3 miles. On your right you'll pick up the paved Norwalk River Valley Trail which quickly becomes a boardwalk as you pass by the Sheffield Island Lighthouse Ferry dock; See: NORWALK SEAPORT ASSOC . Lots of informational signs. Return to N Water St and continue right on-road (sidewalk available) passing by the IMAX Theatre and traveling underneath the RR bridge. Pass by the MARITIME AQUARIUM and turn right. This brings you to a nice pergola and promenade overlooking the river at 2.6 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. You pick up the paved Norwalk River Valley Trail again as it follows the river north to the N Water Street parking lot where you'll find a playground and a wooden bridge.
Note; You may take a short detour across the wooden bridge through Oyster Shell Park along the 3/4 mile Oyster Shell Loop Trail. Come to the gravel trail and travel right alongside the river, past a fishing and wooden promenade overlooking the river before the trail loops back up a knoll to a wide paved trail. Continue straight through open fields and past many sculptures to another intersection. Right continues north out to the Norwalk River Valley Trail. Head left to a second intersection. Left leads to a brick lined oval overlooking the river. Then head right where the trail returns you to the wooden bridge and N Water Street parking lot.
Continue north along the paved trail where it travels underneath I-95 to Science Rd. Head left across the RR tracks to Crescent St. Across the street is Pine Island Historic Cemetery.
Note; Plans call for diverting the trail through this cemetery, however, as of April 2019 I'm not sure if it has been completed.
Head right on Crescent St where you'll pick up the paved trail on your left as it travels through Devon's Place playground in Mathews Park. Pass by the tennis courts on your left and the Mathews Park parking lot on your right before crossing a park road and passing by a wooden sculptured map board made by the Norwalk River Water Assoc. Travel past the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum on your right before coming to West Ave.
Note; Just past this trailhead a second trail will take you across the Norwalk River alongside I-95 to the intersection of Hendricks & East Ave. Heading left on East Ave, then left into Riverview East will bring you to the northern section of the Norwalk River Esplanade. Heading left on Hendricks Ave will bring you to the southern section of the Norwalk River Esplanade. The planned Norwalk River Esplanade is a paved trail running along the eastern side of the Norwalk River. The trail is currently disjointed and not complete.
Head right past the Visitor Center/restrooms and you'll come to the parks entrance after 3.7 miles.
Note; Its worth exploring Mathews Park, which is very impressive. If you have young kids, they will love it. It contains the STEPPING STONE MUSEUM and LOCKWOOD MATHEWS MANSION .
Cross-light gets you across West Ave where the paved trail continues north through a residential area on your right and Route 7 above on your left. After crossing Maple St and Union Park S you'll come to Union Park after 4.2 miles. A gap currently exists between Union Park and the next completed section at New Canaan Ave.
Note; The next section referred to as the "Missing Link" will run from Union Park north 1 mile to New Canaan Ave. It is scheduled to start construction Spring 2019.
From New Canaan Ave; The paved Norwalk River Valley Trail follows the eastern side of the Norwalk River north alongside an electrical sub-station and transmission line 0.4 miles to Broad St where it currently ends.
Note; "WilWalk" is the 4.8 mile section of the NRVT that will connect the Wilton and Norwalk segments of the trail. The next section of the Norwalk River Valley Trail will travel from Grist Mill Rd in Norwalk north 2 miles to Wolfpit Rd (Route 7 commuter lot) in Wilton. It is scheduled to start construction in 2019. CLICK HERE FOR WILWALK MAP
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. Cross Raymond Lane after 0.7 miles. The trail continues north (I haven't checked out this section) crossing Sharp Hill Rd at 1.2 miles and coming to an intersection at 1.8 miles. Left brings you out to Twin Oak Lane. Continuing straight the trail currently ends at Skunk Lane after 2.3 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.
Ridgefield is planning to build its first section of the NRVT from Route 7 north 2 miles to Fire Hill Rd in Redding in 2020.
The first section of the NRVT in Redding, referred to as the "Redding Mile", is located between Fire Hill Rd north to Pickett's Ridge Rd and is scheduled for construction in 2019.
Planning and design phase.
CLICK HERE FOR NRVT MAP
CLICK HERE FOR NORWALK SECTION
CLICK HERE FOR WILTON SECTION
BEFORE YOU SET OUT BE SURE TO READ THE
WAIVER OF RESPONSIBILITY AND DISCLAIMER
BIKE IT OR HIKE IT