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Larkin State Bridle Trail

Connecticut Rail Trails and Greenways
Western Region, CT

Trail Description
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Location: Southbury to Naugatuck. New Haven County.

Trail Length: 10.7 miles

Trail Surface: Gravel, ballast, cinder

Trail Difficulty: Easy/moderate

Multi-Use Trail: bicycling, mountain biking, hiking, cross country skiing and horse trail riding

Caution: Can be muddy and sandy in spots. Bring insect repellent. Caution at road crossings. Horses have the right of way. Slow down and stop till they pass, or follow the riders cue.

 

 

 

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Bike Wheel Image

Note: The free trail maps on this website have been simplified to provide an overview with approximate locations of trails and special features. Read Full Disclaimer.

Directions: Major Access Points with parking.

Eastern end: Exit 17 off I-84, south on Rt. 63 for .5 mile. Go about 2 miles turn right into parking area. Trail marked by small sign.

From Rt.18: Exit 16 off I-84, south on Rt.188 (Strongtown Rd.). Go @1.5 miles. Rt.188 crosses trail before intersecting Rt.67. Trail marked by small sign. Limited parking along Rt.188.

Western end: Exit 15 off I-84, south on Rt.67 for .5 mile. Turn left just past the tennis courts (part of Southbury’s Community House Park). Park here, cross Rt.67 and go .4 miles down Jeremy Swamp Rd. to the trai

The Trail:

The Larkin Bridle Trail in western Connecticut runs east/west for 9 miles between Kettletown Road in Southbury to Bristol Street in Waterbury. It follows the abandoned railbed of the New Haven Railroad which provided abandoned N,England to New York railbed (New Haven Railroad) between Southbury and Rt. 63 in Naugatuck, Connecticut. The rail trail is largely unimproved, except for the first couple of miles and is best suited for mountain bikes. Expect to encounter some muddy and sandy sections as well as rocky, uphill approaches to many of the street crossings.

The Larkin State Park Bridle Trail is perfect for a mountain biking adventure through a quiet stretch of scenic wilderness. The landscape is mostly wooded with some rolling hills, open fields, wetlands, ponds and brooks. Heading west towards Towantic Hill, the trail climbs gently for awhile. Southford Falls State Park is just south of the trail off Rt.188, where you can find outhouses, picnic areas, a cascading waterfall, covered bridge and hiking trails.

Note: Beautiful during all seasons, this is a lovely trail for a winter mountain bike ride with views of frozen ice waterfalls hanging from the rock walls.

Avoid riding after wet weather because sections of the trail tend to remain muddy and wet. Call ahead for trail conditions: Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, Southford Falls State Park at (203) 264-5169 or the DEP State Parks Division (main office) at (860) 424-3200.

 

Southbury : (3 miles) from Kettletown Road, Southbury to line to Oxford town line
Natural dirt surface. The trail surface where it travels along Southford Road may be washed out during wet conditions.

Oxford : (3.75 miles) from Southbury town line to Middlebury town line
Natural dirt surface.

Note: The section of the trail from Towantic Hill Road east to Long Meadow Pond Road (Griswold Road) is closed due to private ownership. Trail users must detour along Towantic Hill Road to Long Meadow Road and then onto the trail again. ear the trail midpoint at Long Meadow Road, you'll briefly leave state-owned property for a half-mile, on-road detour along a privately held stretch.

Middlebury : (2 miles) from Long Meadow Road, Oxford to Shattuck Road, Naugatuck
Natural dirt surface.

Naugatuck : (0.9 miles) from Middlebury town line to Route 63, Whittemore Glen State Park
Improved Stone dust surface. Whittemore Glen State Park is an undeveloped wilderness area opposite Hop Brook Dam on Route 63, and the Naugatuck State Forest.

 

 

 

Historical Note:

The railroad provided passenger and freight service between Waterbury, in western Connecticut and Brewster, New York. When abandoned in 1943, Dr. Charles Larkin purchased the corridor and donated it to the state of Connecticut for recreational purposes. Today, it is a designated state bridle path.

 

 

For more information:

The Department of Environmental Protection
Southford Falls State Park
174 Quaker Farms Road
Southbury, CT 06488

Phone: (860) 264-5169
TTY: 711 (AT&T National Relay Services)

 

 

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