"In the field" railroad history adventures...

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Ridgefield Rail Trail

After my earlier event-filled ride at Norwalk River Valley trail,  I was up for something a little calmer. Unfortunately this hike was a little too calm! - BORING? yep but still interesting being a former rail line….

The weather turned cold and gray and certainly didn’t help my perception of the trail at all. The best thing going for it is there are a lot of locals who use the trail to jog so it’s put to good use.
At the start in Ridgefield
This is it!
(about 85% of the trail is like this)
There are a few road crossings to liven things  up a bit :-)
A rock cut
The highlight of the hike was when I pulled out my camera to record how boring it was and as I turned around to film - a bunch of deer scampered across the trail further uphill - that was kinda cool!

End of the Line
Finally back up top where I entered
The trail(ROW) just go a bit further up hill but at this trailhead there is no parking

Why didn't I bike it?

Good question! Bikes are not allowed although I did see lots of tire tracks and a teenager riding with her mother. I guess the powers that be thought that being all downhill,  bikers might get careless with their speed and clip a few joggers.

Here a bit about the railroad history:

In the 1860s, the Ridgefield and New York Railroad (R&N) was proposed to offer a more direct connection to NY. The Danbury and Norwalk did not connect to Ridgefield but came close at a lower elevation further east. The Ridgefield and New York Railroad company purchased and graded many miles of its route to East Port Chester (in Greenwich), but none of the R&N line ever opened.

The Danbury and Norwalk hurriedly constructed a branch to Ridgefield in 1870, in a bid to stop the town from offering financial assistance to the R&N. The branch began down the hill at the former Ridgefield Station, known ever since by the obvious name Branchville. Passenger service ran only until 1925 and the whole branch was abandoned in 1964.


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