Air Line State Park Trail

Quick Facts

Air Line State Park Trail


(860) 424-3200

Map Directions

Things To Do


Stretching from East Hampton all the way to the Massachusetts border in East Thompson, the Air Line State Park Trail is mecca for hiking, biking and horseback riding in Eastern Connecticut. The trail was built along the old Air Line Railroad route, which offered a direct path from Boston to New York beginning in the late 1800's. The route was heavily damaged in the mid 1950's from the floods that ransacked Connecticut and was no longer operational. The state took over the line, and the more than 50 miles of trails that were constructed along the old railroad route are generally flat and broad. Perhaps the greatest point of interest along the trail is the Lyman Viaduct, the tallest railroad bridge in Connecticut that spanned 1,100 feet across a deep gorge above Dickinson Creek. The best access to the viaduct is through Salmon River State Forest in Colchester.

Map of Air Line Trail (CT)

Latitude, Longitude: 41.642131, -72.301712



  • Bicycling

    Bicycling the more than 26mile trail is an awesome way to spend your day. Parts of the trail are underdeveloped and would be difficult on a road bike.

  • Hiking

    Intersecting several towns, hiking the Air Line State Park Trail is a great way to see the community and nature.

  • Historic Sites

    The Air Line Trail was originally built to connect Boston and New York City with the shortest route possible. Through the years, however, the increasing weight of freight trains led to the decline. In 1996, the Connecticut department of Environmental Protection proposed the failed rail-line be turned into a multi-purpose recreational trail. Thus, the Air Line Trail carries much history and culture.

  • Horseback Riding

    Horseback riding is encouraged on the trail and is a great way to feel the rustic winds of the past, while enjoying the crispness of the present.

  • Winter Sports

    Cross-country skiing is available in winter.



Starting in COLCHESTER, CT on NORWICH AVE go toward HAYWARD AVE - go 0.2 mi

Turn Right on MAIN ST(CT-85) - go 0.1 mi

Make a Sharp Left Turn on LINWOOD AVE(CT-16) - go 0.4 mi

Turn Right to take ramp onto CT-2 W toward HARTFORD - go 3.4 mi

Take exit #16/WESTCHESTER/MOODUS - go 0.2 mi

Turn Right on WESTCHESTER RD(CT-149) - go 0.9 mi

Turn Right on RIVER RD - go 1.5 mi

Arrive at Air Line State Park Trail, on the Right

The trail can be accessed from numerous points in Eastern Connecticut. Besides its various road crossings, the points within the park and forest system are:

Salmon River State Forest -- the trail travels two blocks within the forest on River Road (for the Lyman Viaduct, walk west about 1.5 miles).

James L. Goodwin State Forest -- the trail runs up the west side of the lake.

Beaver Brook State Park -- the trail abuts the north boundary of the park, north of the pond.

Natchaug State Forest -- the trail cuts across the southeastern corner of the forest, then passes southeast of Hampton Reservoir.

Mashamoquet Brook State Park -- the trail comes with 250 yards of the park (across Route 44).

Phone Numbers


(860) 424-3200