It’s a worth-it destination run to head north of Hartford to enjoy the Windsor Locks Canal State Park Trail. This 4.5 mile paved multi-use trail follows the historic towpath of a 170 plus year old historic waterway. The path runs along a thin strip of land between the Connecticut River and the old canal, making for scenic vistas of both bodies of water. The southern end of the trail is in Windsor Locks (1 mile north of the Amtrak Station and Memorial Hall), and the north end is in Suffield. Runners can add another 0.6 miles at the northern end along Franklin St. Note that there aren’t a lot of access points along the trail…the main access points are at each end of the trail. Our thanks to John Moran for this route suggestion!
NOTE: The trail is closed from November 15-March 31, in order to avoid disturbing nesting bald eagles.
Interesting bit of history: this stretch of the Connecticut River is too shallow for boats, so before the Civil War, a canal was dug next to the river and locks were put in so the boats could continue further north. After trains came in, the canal was no longer used…but the towpath is still there for all to enjoy!
- 4.5 miles (7.2 km) one-way. Can add 0.6 miles at northern end along Franklin St.
- 180 feet south to north. It's a slight downgrade from north to south
- South End: Windsor Locks, at Bridge St.; North End: Canal Road, Suffield
- South end parking: 25 Canal Bank Rd., Windsor Locks. North end parking: Canal Rd., Suffield. An Amtrak station is nearby in Windsor Locks