July 06, 2009

Air Line Rail Trail from East Hampton

Zippy, JDC, and I went biking yesterday - last minute kind of thing. JDC suggested a wonderful spot - the Air Line Rail Trail that runs from East Hampton over towards Colchester, Willimantic, etc.

A fairly typical rails-to-trails project, with a nice gravel path perfect for biking, this is a bit different from the Farmington Canal paths I normally because of the scenery. The old Air Line route was known for several tall viaducts (bridges) - specifically the Lyman Viaduct (1000 feet long / 137 feet high) and the Rapallo Viaduct (800 feet long / 60 feet high). Now filled with stone and cinder and encroached by vegetataion, these spots nonetheless are spectacular to bike across - elevated with a considerable drop and view on either side. Some pictures of the old structures here. And props to Martin M. Bartel for a very useful and interesting website about the trail.

In addition to the viaducts, there are plenty of cuts through the granite and brownstone, making for cool and interesting biking, and a few neat bridges - a stone arch over a small road, as well as an iron bridge over the Blackledge River.

We did about 6 miles each way - from the trail head at East Hampton to River Road in Colchester (the trail is nicely marked with mile markers). Then off to East Hampton for a bit of ice cream and window shopping - and bonus, we ran into Zippy's friends Bruce and Loucindy, who live nearby!

My crappy photos from the day here

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