In May, the League of American Bicyclists ranked Connecticut 22nd out of 50 on its list of bicycle friendly states. Connecticut scored 41 out of a possible 100 points, up one point from 2014. The scoring was a measure of five categories. According to <a href=”http://BikeLeague.org” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>BikeLeague.org</a>:
“Bicycle Friendly States ranking is based on a comprehensive survey completed by state departments of transportation and state bicycling advocates. It askes comprehensive questions across 5 categories: Legislation and Enforcement, Policies and Programs, Infrastructure and Funding, Education and Encouragement, Evaluation and Planning.”
While Connecticut has been ranked steadily in the middle of the pack in terms of biker-friendliness, if you know where to look, there are some excellent opportunities for bicycle enthusiasts to get their work-out while also enjoying the views along the Farmington River.
The Farmington Canal Heritage Trail is a partially paved 80.5 mile trail that connects New Haven to the Massachusetts border and beyond. The trail which has been categorized as “multi-use” was constructed on abandoned rail road corridors and takes its users though a mixture of rural, urban, and suburban areas of Southern Connecticut and the Farmington Valley.
On a slightly smaller scale the Farmington River Trail is a 18.2 mile loop that spans the towns of Farmington, Simsbury, Burlington, and Canton. The majority of the ride on the FRT will allow you beautiful views of the Farmington River. Maps of both trails are viewable <a href=”http://www.fvgreenway.org/pages/maps_north.asp” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>here</a> courtesy of fvgreenway.org and the Farmington Valley Trails Council.
In 2014, the Farmington Valleys commitment to creating bicycle safe communities was recognized by the League of American Bicyclists, when Simsbury became Connecticut’s first <a href=”http://www.simsbury-ct.gov/culture-parks-recreation/pages/simsbury-silver-bicycle-friendly-community” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Silver Bicycle Friendly Community</a>. Since New England’s <em>Rails to Trails</em> movement gained traction in the early 90s, the unused railroad running along the Farmington River has turned into one of Connecticut’s premier multi-use trails.