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Farmington Canal Heritage Trail

The Farmington Canal Heritage Trail (FCHT) is a paved multi-use path going from New Haven to the Mass border where it connects to the New Haven & Northampton Canal Greenway, with a notable break in northern Southington and all of Plainville.
Trail Activity
Accessible Experience Walking Bicycling Cross-country skiing
Length
66.1 miles, One Way
Difficulty
Easy
Towns
New Haven, Hamden, Cheshire, Southington, Plainville, Farmington, Avon, Simsbury, East Granby, Granby, Suffield
Surface
Paved/Cement
Pets
Permitted on leash
Fees
No

Description

The Farmington Canal Heritage Trail (FCHT) runs from the coast in New Haven to the Massachusetts border where it continues north as part of the 80+ mile New Haven & Northampton Canal Greenway (NHNCG). This multi-use path runs primarily along former rail corridors and canal towpaths through urban, suburban, and rural areas. Along the way are historic buildings, restored canal locks, rail line structures, murals, and other landmarks that provide a rich cultural experience for the trail user.

When complete, the FCHT will be 56-60 miles; currently 47.5 miles are complete. Gaps exist in southern New Haven and from northern Southington through Plainville. Work to close these gaps ranges from the planning stage to active construction.  The accompanying map fills the gaps with on-road segments that are not part of the FCHT. The on-road segments are one of many on-road options for connecting the finished sections.

All completed parts are accessible for wheelchairs and strollers. Transition areas may not be accessible, such as road crossings, parking lot access, and some short sections that don't follow the original railroad path. All of the on-road connectors pose some hazard, please use caution.

As a convenience to trail users, the map includes 9.4 miles of the NHNCG trail in the Massachusetts towns of Southwick and Westfield.

Other Information

GUIDELINES FOR TRAIL USERS

Although each town through which the trail passes is responsible for regulating use of the trail within its borders, the following guidelines will help provide for the safe and enjoyable use of the trail without endangering others.

  • Ride, walk, and skate on the right of the trail and pass slowly on the left. Before passing, call out or ring a bell to announce your intent to pass. Please do not stop in the trail or ride, walk, or skate in such a way as to use the whole trail width.
  • Trail users are responsible for their own safety. Cyclists and inline skaters should always wear approved helmets and other protective equipment that could save your life. Keep your bicycle in good operating condition.
  • Please keep the trail as naturally clean as possible. Take your own trash home or place it in an approved container. Please help the town and volunteers who must clean up the trails.
  • Clean up after pets and dispose of waste in trash receptacles. Nobody likes animal litter on or near the trails. Please keep dogs closely leashed to avoid entanglement.
  • Motorized assistive devices and class 1 and 2 e-bikes are allowed. All other motorized vehicles and horses are prohibited from the trails. Special rules may apply to sections in specific towns. 
  • The trail is open year round from sunrise to sunset except where posted.

Trail Manager

Farmington Canal Heritage Trail maintenance concerns and reports should be directed to contacts within each of the Towns along the trail which can be found on the Trail Towns page. For additional information visit the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail and Farmington River Trail website or contact the organizations below: 

Farmington Valley Trails Council
Farmington Valley Trails Council
Post Office Box 576, Tariffville, CT 06081
860-202-3928
View website
Farmington Canal Rail to Trail Association
Farmington Canal Rail to Trail Association
PO Box 32
Cheshire, CT 06410
860-202-3928
View website

Trail Tips

Leave What You Find
Avoid the introduction or transport of non-native species. Use local firewood from within 50 miles and clean, drain, and dry water equipment when moving between water bodies.
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Trailhead Information

There are many parking areas are located along the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail. See the interactive Connecticut Trail Finder map or the Farmington Valley Trails Council website for additional information.

Click on a parking icon to get custom directions
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