CTfastrak Multi-Use Trail

Connecticut

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CTfastrak Multi-Use Trail Facts

States: Connecticut
Counties: Hartford
Length: 4.4 miles
Trail end points: Columbus Blvd. (New Britain) and West Hill Rd. (Newington)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Concrete
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 8326344
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Wheelchair Accessible, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

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CTfastrak Multi-Use Trail Description

A part of Connecticut's first bus rapid transit line, the CTfastrak Trail serves as recreational and multi-use path for walking and bicycling between Downtown New Britain and Newington Junction. The paved trail is 10 feet wide and separated from the roadway by a fence. The central feature of this project is a guideway exclusively for buses as well as the trail providing access to the bus stations and surrounding neighborhoods. Due to an underpass being too narrow to accomodate both the roadway and trail, a small portion travels along East Street in New Britain, rejoining at East Street Station. Plan are in place to extend the existing path from Newington Junction to Hartford along alternate routes. The trail is open from dawn to dusk with no motorized vehicales allowed. All CTtransit and CTfastrak buses are equipped to carry single seat, two-wheeled bikes. 

Parking and Trail Access

Designated parking for trail users is available near the midpoint of the trail, in New Britain at the corner of East and Allen streets. Take CT Route 9 northbound to exit 29, left at end of ramp, follow Rt. 175 (East St.) 0.8 mile to the corner of Allen St.; or Route 9 southbound to exit 29, left at end of ramp, next right on Fenn Rd., follow 0.4 mile then right on Rt. 175 (East St.) 0.8 mile to the corner of Allen St. Limited parking is available at some stations; consult the CTfastrak website.

CTfastrak Multi-Use Trail Reviews

My husband and I checked out this trail for the first time on 7/29/2018. It was a Sunday afternoon around 4:30 p.m. and the weather was gorgeous, bright and sunny. The trail has some really beautiful sections and some very secluded sections running through urban neighborhoods. At some points, it was so secluded that it felt like it could be opportunistic for crime. There was literally nobody around, it was kind of eerie. My husband commented that he would not feel comfortable with me riding this trail alone.

This trail is very short and somewhat straight and Boring. I feel like not many people use it and thus it feels very isolated from the rest of the world. Kind of smells like rubber and bus exhaust too.....

I wish this trail was longer and ran all along the Fast Track. Instead, it starts in Newington, and only goes to New Britain. Also, although one side of the trail has greenery and some Industrial Buildings, the other side is the Bus Route. Also not that many people use this trail yet so it can be a bit scatchy at times where you feel completely alone...

Accordion

This is an unusual trail, perhaps unique in the US, in that it runs next to a highway exclusively for express buses. The buses are clean diesel-electric hybrids, operating fairy quietly at a top speed of 45 mph. Since the right-of-way is along a former railroad, there are many industrial buildings nearby, with fences on both sides. The most scenic stretch is through a cemetery. The trail then has to divert from alongside the busway to run right next to a road for half a mile, due to an underpass being too narrow.

If you live in the area, the trail could be useful for commuting, with the possibility of putting your bike on the bus (the larger buses have roll-on access). Otherwise, unless you're particularly interested in the unusual setting of the trail, it's probably not worth a special trip.

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