Just east of Hartford, the Hop River State Park Trail offers a good opportunity for a long off-road run. The 20-mile dirt/gravel path follows an old rail line between Manchester (10 miles east of downtown Hartford) and Coventry, passing through Vernon, Bolton, Coventry, Andover, and Columbia. It’s a mainly wooded trail, seamless and well-marked with relatively few road crossings. Note that the first 7 miles at the western end are hilly, climbing 400 feet, and then gradual downhill toward the eastern end. There are numerous trail heads and parking areas. We’ve included a route map and links to a trail map.
Runners can also connect to the Airline State Park Trail for more rail-trail running.