Sunday, June 3, 2012

Housatonic Rail-Trail

A friend of mine, Oguz, recommended the Housatonic Rail Trail (part of the Pequonnock Valley Greenway) as a nice place to take the family to ride.  So I folded up the trail-a-bike and the trailer and put them in the back of the wagon, put the bike rack and the two adult bikes on the car, and away we went.  (O.k.  It took a bit longer than I made it sound, but let's not dwell on how slowly I pack cars...)

The link above shows parking around here, so that's where we went.  When we got there, we found something like a parking lot that was full.  We found a spot and only realized later when we came back and was the only car parked where we were that we saw the sign saying we had parked in a tow away zone (our car was still there with no problems).

The area was beautiful with great tree coverage for almost the the entire ride.  The downside of great tree coverage is that it messes with the GPS ability to get a signal, so the route it traced out is somewhat deficient.  But that's a trade-off I'll gladly make.

Where we parked was basically in the middle of the trail, so we randomly decided to start by going south.  The trail is mostly paved although it's almost gravel in some places (but I had no problems with traction or pulling the big monkey on the trail-a-bike) and it was pretty much a soft decent until the end of the trail.  If we do it again, we'll give serious thoughts to driving to the end of the trail and parking on the street (I saw cars parked here).  I personally like to start at the bottom so I can end at the bottom of a big hill.

We turns around heading north, rode back to our car, got some food and kept going north.  About a mile north of our car, we saw picnic tables (and restrooms), so we stopped and had lunch.  (Or, well, we didn't really pack lunch, so we had chips and pears).  They also have parking here (more so than where we had parked), so this is another viable choice for starting the ride as well.

The view of the river from our picnic table.

Kate and the monkeys looking at (but mostly not falling into) the river.

The river and the trail on which we had ridden.\

The monkeys posing in front of the bikes.

The monkeys and me.

After lunch, we kept going north for a bit longer.   Somewhere around 6.5 total miles into the ride, we had a choice on the trail to take what I thought was a fork right or keep on the main trail left.  We stayed left, but then we soon ended up right next to an apartment complex.  I'm not sure if the path kept on going at that point or not because we turned around and went back to the car.

The trail was pretty busy today.  Lots of people walking pushing strollers and walking their dogs.  Many others out on bikes.  But there were no problems either safely passing people or safely being past by other bicyclists.  It was narrow in places and there were certain segments that I wouldn't have been as happy riding if it had been raining, but today there were no issues.

When we got to the car, the big monkey was quite tired as she really had pedaled most (or at least a lot) of the way.  The little monkey was a lot more energetic as he just sits and watches his mom pedal him up the hills.  When we were almost ready to leave, we heard that somebody on the trail was having trouble and that an ambulance was on the way.  We watched as they very slowly removed the car blocks on the path.  I certainly hope whomever was waiting for them was stable, because that was not the demonstration of speed or hurriedness that I would have hoped for in a true emergency.

It took us a little bit longer to pack the car than we would have liked, didn't quite have the right food for lunch, etc.  But none of that mattered today.  Oguz was right.  This is a lovely place to take the family for a ride and we all had a wonderful time.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like you had a great ride! My Monkeys are a wee bit older than yours, but not a lot. Great shots of your Monkeys too--especially about to fall into the stream! I know mine would've been all in the water given half a chance...