Are you training for a 5K or looking for a place to push a stroller? If you are tired of running on the neighborhood sidewalks and are seeking a more scenic route, here are the top paved trails in the West Hartford area. All are free to park and enter!
1. West Hartford Reservoirs, 1420 Farmington Ave, West Hartford, CT. The West Hartford Reservoirs, in southern West Hartford, offer two trail options. The red loop is 3.4 miles, and the yellow loop is 2 miles. These paved trails are smooth, with relatively little incline. They are perfect for small children, strollers, or a beginning runner.
2. Reservoir 6, Route 44, West Hartford, CT. (It is located approximately 1.1 miles west of the Mountain Rd intersection.) Reservoir 6 is located in northern West Hartford. It boasts a 1.4 mile paved road, which connects the lower and upper parking lots. This road receives low traffic, and is a popular spot to run or walk in the winter, since it is kept clear from snow. The (mostly unpaved) 3.6 mile red loop trail completely circles Reservoir 6. The red loop is great for a picturesque jog when the weather is nice. The terrain here is hillier than at the West Hartford Reservoirs, making this a better choice for a more strenuous run.
3. Farmington Canal Heritage Trail, Simsbury Rd, Avon, CT. Though technically not in West Hartford, the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail is easily accessed by going over Talcott Mountain. One of the closest parking locations is just outside of Sperry Park on Simsbury Rd in Avon. This trail, running from New Haven north to the Massachusetts border, has 56.5 miles of paved sections in Connecticut. Much of this trail was created by paving abandoned rail corridors, providing a flat and smooth pathway. This is another great choice for those planning their first 5K, but the length of this trail makes it appropriate for those training for marathons as well.
4. Bonus Hike! Talcott Mountain State Park, Route 185, Simsbury, CT. Though this is more of a hiking trail than a running trail, no visit to this area is complete without a trek in Talcott Mountain State Park. Take the very popular, and unpaved, 1.25 mile Tower Trail to the top of the mountain. At the top, you can climb the Heublein Tower for some spectacular views of the surrounding area. One of the early sections of this trail is fairly steep, making it inappropriate for strollers.
Do you know of another great place to run in the West Hartford area? Please leave it in the comments section below.