"In the field" railroad history adventures...

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Hop River Rail Trail - Part 2

It was perfect weather today - especially welcome after a long oppressive hot and humid spell last week.

I rode south from Hop River State Park to where the actual rail trail ended and you had to ride on the road which was almost in Willimantic.

It was a bit of a long slow climb going back - no wonder it felt so easy at first going south!

It was a very scenic ride with rock cuts, riverside views, meadows, swamps, deep forests and even a covered bridge!

At the start
Loved the rock cuts!
And lots of stretches of raised embankments...
There were old telegraph poles along the way.
It's a bit hard to tell, but there was a beautiful gorge and small waterfall 
A Covered Bridge (Andover)
Under the highway  - the echo was nice inside it!
A beautiful stretch where the river runs parallel...
Crossing the River.
Loved the green along the edges here!
Another short "tunnel" under a highway
Blowdown! At least it was easy to ride around it!...
Short video (I reduced the audio volume as there was lots of wind noise from riding)

Details on my previous Hop River Trail ride and info on the railroad history can be found here:

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Rockville Spur

This morning I rode the Rockville Spur Rail Trail. It's an easy ride...

A bit of history

This spur opened in 1863 - Rockville was a booming textile center and needed a railroad connection. The last freight train from Vernon was in 1970 and in 1975 the rails were torn up for scrap.

The Ride

The kiosk at Vernon Junction was very informative!
Riding under I-84
This building looks like it might have been an old freight depot...
A mysterious foundation here
This 1915 Valuation map proved my hunch that there was a siding here
The embankment into Rockville
Remnants of a stone lined waterway on the left
At the end of the line at Vernon Street

The Town

I continued up the streets on my bike and discovered there are quite a few beautiful old buildings!
An old mill converted into apartments
The stream that powered the mills...
Don't be confused by the sign title - this is Rockville!

A super short one-handed video 

I next ventured over to Hockanum River Trail and later rode the Charter Oak Greenway...