SHORELINE GREENWAY TRAIL:
NEW HAVEN-MADISON, CONNECTICUT
-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-
Last Updated: August 26, 2018
Length: East Haven Section; [Heading East] 1.6 miles
Branford Section; 3.2 miles
Madison Section; [Heading West] 1.3 miles
Hammonasset Beach SP Trail; 2.5 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] Easy. Paved flat trail.
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; [Heading West] Easy. Mostly flat, wide stone-dust trail with a short boardwalk.
Hammonasset Beach SP Trail]; Easy. Flat, paved trail.
For the East Haven Section [Western End]; 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 [Center Section];
For the Tabor Drive parking lot; From I-95 take exit 54 to Cedar St south. Turn left on Route 146 and follow for almost a mile. Turn left on Tabor Drive and travel 0.5 miles to the parking lot on your left.
For the Trolley Trail Section; From I-95 take exit 55 to Route 1 south. Turn left on Windmill Hill Rd, then left at Damascus Rd. Continue along Damascus Rd until the road splits. Bear right Totoket Rd and follow for 1.1 miles.
Turn left down Tilcon Rd to the Tilcon Road parking lot.
For the Madison Section [Eastern End]; From I-95 take exit 62 to Route 450 south to Route 1. Straight ahead is the entrance to Hammonasset Beach SP [Fee]. Head left along Route 1 and take your first right between two large yellow gates to the gravel Hammonasset Beach SP (Route 1) parking lot. No Fee. Start of both the Shoreline Greenway Trail and Hammonasset Beach SP Trail.
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. Also in Madison you can connect to the Hammonasset Beach SP Trail off the Shoreline Greenway Trail. 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; April 2023, a groundbreaking for the next section which is planned to 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 0.7 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.
2023: Branford Town Engineer John Hoefferle is working on plans for completing Branfordís SGT section from the East Haven line, with sidewalks and bike lanes or sharrows along Route 146, Maple Street, and Indian Neck Avenue. It is hoped that this might connect with the proposed boardwalk along the Branford River, with another boardwalk eventually added from South Montowese Street to Tabor Drive, near the parking lot at the Tabor property.
Starting from the Tabor Drive parking lot; Map Board. This section has changed some since I was last here.
Note; At the main entrance, a trail has been built to connect the Shoreline Greenway Trail to Ecology Park, with its 360-degree views of the surrounding area, including Long Island Sound. This trail will continue to the south of the Tabor property, where it will pick up the Branford Trail and continue back to the Shoreline Greenway Trail, creating a Loop Trail of approximately 11.25 miles.
A wide paved trail travels east through the Tabor property along an open corridor. Travel alongside Chet's Pond (Branford Labyrinth located here) before following the active rail line on your left out to Pine Orchard Rd where a crosswalk leads to a wooded section at 0.7 miles. Here the trail consists of hard packed gravel & stone-dust as it winds its way through the woods. Come to the Birch Road parking lot at 1.1 miles. Map Board here. Cross over Birch Rd and you'll come to an intersection in Young's Pond Park at 1.2 miles. 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 1.7 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 Young's Pond Park along your left. Turn right (south) down Totoket Rd. The next section of trail to be built will travel south alongside Totoket Rd to Tilcon Rd. You'll come to Tilcon Rd on your left after 2.4 miles where you'll pick up the Trolley Trail. Here the hard packed gravel trail follows the old rail bed through the woods to the Tilcon Road parking lot at 2.5 miles.
Starting from the Tilcon Road parking lot; [Continuing Mileage] Map Board located here. Cross the Tilcon RR tracks and continue along the hard packed gravel rail trail. Very scenic with Osprey nesting platforms as you travel along a causeway through the Pine Orchard Wildlife Marsh. A narrow cement walkway (Walk bikes if you encounter pedestrians) leads across a bridge to a wooded section. Travel through a rock cut and underneath Pleasant Point Rd before crossing an old iron Trolley Bridge over a tidal creek via a narrow wooden walkway (Walk bikes if you encounter pedestrians). Long Island Sound & Thimble Islands to your right. Come to the West Point Rd parking lot after 3.2 miles. Straight will take you out to Thimble Island Rd.
Starting from the Hammonasset Beach SP (Route 1) parking lot; Map Board located here.
Note; The trail will be extended from here southeast out to Salt Meadow Park in 2024.
Follow the wide paved trail out along the service road to the main Park entrance road. Here a cross-light gets you across this busy road at 0.2 miles. Left is the entrance to Hammonasset Beach SP .
Note; The Shoreline Greenway Trail heads right, while the Hammonasset Beach SP Trail continues straight. See Below.
Heading right along the Shoreline Greenway Trail; This stone-dust trail brings you to a boardwalk which takes you over a small tidal marsh and into the woods. You travel alongside the northern border of the park past campgrounds before pulling briefly alongside Route 1. The trail then travels alongside the Toms Creek Tidal Marsh before ending at Webster Pt Rd and Liberty St after 1.3 miles. Map Board.
Heading straight along the Hammonasset Beach SP Trail; The wide paved trail continues into the Park past the campgrounds. Restrooms, water fountains available all along the route. Pass a playground where you'll find a Map Board. After 0.7 miles the trail turns southeast following the shoreline and beaches (blocked by sand dunes). Picnic pavilions and bath houses along the route. Access to beach. Travel alongside the Hammonasset Natural Area Preserve before the paved trail ends after 2.1 miles across from MEIGS POINT NATURE CENTER . You may continue right along a narrow stone-dust trail that circles around a small pond before bringing you to a parking lot at Hammonasset Point. Nice natural views of Long Island Sound up a short path. Past the parking lot you'll come to another bath house at 2.5 miles. This is as far as you can travel by bike.
CLICK HERE FOR EAST HAVEN SECTION MAP
CLICK HERE FOR BRANFORD SECTION MAP
CLICK HERE FOR YOUNG'S POND PARK MAP
CLICK HERE FOR MADISON SECTION MAP
CLICK HERE FOR HAMMONASSET SECTION MAP
CLICK HERE FOR HAMMONASSET BEACH SP TRAIL MAP
BEFORE YOU SET OUT BE SURE TO READ THE
WAIVER OF RESPONSIBILITY AND DISCLAIMER
BIKE IT OR HIKE IT