The Windsor Locks Canal State Park Trail is a 5.4 mile walking & biking trail that runs from Suffield to Windsor Locks, CT. The paved trail most notably runs alongside the Connecticut river providing stunning views of the water and providing welcome relief from the frantic pace of everyday life. If you are an avid birdwatcher, be prepared to see several species flitting about in the trees and bushes while many water birds such as ducks, mergansers and great blue herons can be seen from many locations along the trail.
A view of the trail looking South
At the northern part of the trail is the route 190 bridge that crosses over the Connecticut river. Route 190 is a major through way in this area enabling travelers to reach destinations on either side of the river. If you are rather adventurous, you can catch a pretty cool underside view of the bridge but you'll have to carefully navigate your way down a rather perilous decline of large boulders and slippery rocks. Be very careful! I don't recommend that everyone attempt it, only those who are confident in their physical ability and possess a really good sense of balance.
View from beneath the route 190 bridge
There is lots of wildlife along the trail, some very obvious while others, not so much. You will likely see flocks of water birds as they congregate on some protruding rocks far out in the middle of the river. Very common birds such as robins, blue jays and sparrows that you are used to seeing make their homes in and around the trail area. I was lucky enough to spot a mourning dove that perched on a wooden railing about 30 feet away from me. As I took its picture, I moved suuuper slooow so that I would not scare it away!
Mourning Dove perched on a wooden railing
Depending on who you are, insects can be an attraction or a distraction on the trail. For me personally, I do like to look out for insects such as butterflies, dragonflies and others because they are so fascinating and interesting. But on the other hand, there are plenty of "distraction" insects such as mosquitoes, gnats and bees that will quickly become a nuisance even for the most patient, insect loving person. I certainly got my fill of both kinds of creatures during my time visiting the trail. While under the bridge, a butterfly desperately clung to the cement wall of the bridge in an effort not to be carried off in the violent winds. Meanwhile, I could see a dragonfly quickly darting just above the water's surface happily scooping up those pesky nuisance insects we hate so much...thank you!
A dragonfly at the Windsor Locks Canal State Park Trail
A Red-Spotted Purple butterfly at the Windsor Locks Canal State Park Trail
If you are looking for a quiet diversion, consider paying a visit to this trail. Activities can include walking, biking, fishing, cross-country skiing in the winter and the trail is wheelchair accessible. New England is known for the beauty of its Fall colors. The autumn season is just around the corner and the trail is waiting to show you all that it has to offer.