"In the field" railroad history adventures...

Friday, August 19, 2016

Trestle Trail - Summit, Rhode Island

This bike path runs along an abandoned rail corridor of the former Providence, Hartford, & Fishkill Railroad. It is a designated section of the East Coast Greenway. The section east out of Summit is paved all the way to Cranston. West out of Summit it is not paved and eventually connects to the Moosup Valley State Park Trail at the Connecticut state line.

A lovely trestle is one of the highlights of the non paved section.

Maps of the Railbed

About the Trail

After mountain biking in Burlingame in the morning, I decided to head up to Coventry/Summit to ride the unpaved section of the Rail Trail. The dirt section west out of Summit definitely required a mountain bike. Much of the route is peppered with moguls: every five feet of so there is a 3 to 4ft depression and then a hump. Annoying but not difficult to ride. The trail surface is compacted dirt, gravel some sandy areas and--where too wet to ride--there are ATV reroutes off to the side that are strewn with roots. Needless to say, that made it fun to ride on a mountain bike!

I stopped at the Summit General Store for lunch. PS - the pickled eggs were delicious!
Summit General Store
 The trail head has a nice sign detailing the history of the railroad.
End of the paved section
Looking back eastward
Trestle Trail Sign

The Ride

A lovely rail cut - ooo yeah!
The moguls were all over the place -- A mini roller coaster!
Where the rail bed was too wet (bad drainage), there were ATV trails to the side.
Alternate route where wet
There is a new road you cross over that goes to the huge windmill

First Bridge

I walked it!
View from below

Greene - Railroad Memorial

There is a wonderful tribute to the railroad in the small town of Greene

The tread turns to gravel.

Bridge #2 - This is a tall trestle!

View from the trestle
This steep eroded gully was the way down
View from below
Short video

I rode west on for a while longer and decided to turn around here.

On the return, I stopped to snap this photo of the retaining wall - what a lovely view!
There were a series of these poles off to the side
Crossing Bridge #1 (gingerly!)
Lovely pine tree lined embankment through the marsh

Further Info

The Providence, Hartford, & Fishkill Railroad was also known as the Hartford, Providence & Fishkill. There were stations both at Summit and Greene. Timeline of this section of the railroad:
  • 1854 - Hartford, Providence & Fishkill (HP&F) built this rail line connecting Providence RI with Willamantic, CT
  • 1881 - The HP&F was leased to the New York and New England Railroad
  • 1898 - Absorbed by the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad
  • 1968 - The tracks were removed


  1. Here's the WAshington Secondary Trail on OpenStreetMap:

  2. Both bridges in this article have been completely refurbished and look amazing trail from Trestle to Ct have been under major construction!