Trails in Town

trail image

Rails to Trails: As part of the East Coast Greenway, the Rails to Trails is an old railroad converted to a mostly flat walking/biking trail, located along the Hop River. Access points/parking are located throughout town including on Lake Road and behind the Museum of Andover History on Monument Lane off of Route 6 (next to the covered bridge). 

Percy Cook Trail: Entrances are located behind the Town Hall at 17 School Road and on the Rails to Trails as you walk east. This trail system has a steep incline going up from the Rails to Trails to the Town Hall, and are more flat closest to the Town Hall. All trails are marked with yellow and orange tree markers. 

Bishop Swamp: Located on Boston Hill Road (Route 603). A CT Wildlife Management Area, it is available for hiking and mountain biking. 

Nathan Hale State Forest: It is a CT state forest encompassing 1,455 acres in the towns of Coventry and Andover. The forest is managed to sustain a reliable source of forest products and renewable habitat for wildlife.

TRAIL USAGE IN ANDOVER:

Folks,
We are very fortunate to have the East Coast Greenway Alliance go directly through our town. It is awesome to see so many people out using the trails in Andover. It also offers much needed relief during this troubled time. The Hop River Rail Trail is a multi-use trail designed to accommodate many types of trail users, walkers, runners, dog walkers, bicyclists, horseback riders. Young and Old. A little guidance will help everyone enjoy it more. Please be safe, use social distancing and be considerate of others.

MAINTENANCE:
The town will be mowing the trail this summer as part of routine maintenance. We use what is called a boom flail mower. Absolutely DO NOT approach or pass the mower until the person mowing sees you and moves the mower head out of the way!!

GENERAL GUIDELINES:
Technically, the rail trail is closed after dusk. If you are using the trail at night, please have a light. We have had several collisions occur in the dark.
Please do not park in front of the gates. This blocks emergency access.
Parking is available at the Andover Town Hall Museum, roadside at Lake Road, Burnap Road. You can also park at the Public Library and use the crosswalk to access the trail.

WALKERS:
Walk on the right side.It is okay to walk side by side, but when someone is coming up behind you, or coming from the other direction, go single file so they can pass safely and stay 6 ft away.

DOG WALKERS:
Although the town has no leash law, the rail trail is a state park. CT state parks do require all dogs be on leashes. Please use common sense and make sure your dog is not bothering others. Clean up after your pet.

BICYCLISTS:
Pass on the left wherever possible. Signal walkers and other cyclists that are facing away from you that you are approaching. A bell works great or you can also hail them verbally. Make it simple and clear. “Passing on your Left” or “On Your Left” Saying “Thank you” when they move keeps everyone happy.
If you are in a group of 2 or more cyclists, go single file when you are passing someone from either direction and also when someone is passing you. Slow down when passing and be prepared for groups of walkers to all go in different directions when they are called.
Watch out for children on bicycles, giving them more distance when passing.
Please be mindful of biking on the trail when ground is soft after hard rain, as it is very easy to leave ruts that take a long time to fill in.
Please be aware of wheelchair users as well.

HORSEBACK RIDING:
For walkers… Announce verbally that you are approaching WELL in advance, and give the rider a few seconds to prepare, but do not use the bell as it can startle the horse.
For horseback riders… Please ride on the sides of the trail, do not ride when the trail is muddy, and do not gallop. Clean up after your horse.

Thanks for your consideration,
Eric Anderson
Town Administrator