Welcome to the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail

Winter Trail Safety

By Amy Watkins and Ron Goralski

If a little snow and cold won’t stop you from enjoying the beautiful trails all season long, here are a few reminders to help you stay safe when using the trails in the winter.

Choose the right clothing. Wear layers so you can more easily regulate your body temperature by adding or removing garments as needed. Pack gloves, a hat, and scarf or neck gaiter.

Consider your footwear. Choose something with good grip to minimize slipping. If walking, wear warm socks under well-fitting winter boots.

Protect yourself from the sun. Even though it’s cool out, the sun is still shining brightly – even more so if it reflects off of the snow. Wear sunscreen and bring sunglasses to protect your eyes.

Stay hydrated. You may feel less sweaty or thirsty in the cold, but dehydration can still happen. Be sure to pack water and drink often.

Remember that it gets dark earlier, so if you’ll still be out at dusk, have lights and reflectors to make sure you are seen. Have a headlight or flashlight to help guide your way in the dark.

Check the weather before you go, and let someone know where you plan to go and what time you should be expected to return.

Remember good trail etiquette all year round. Walk/ride to the right and pass left, alert when passing, mind your pets and children, and stay extra alert for others using the trail.


Snow machines (snowmobiles, etc.) are not allowed on the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail and Farmington River Trail.

The Farmington Valley Trails Council wishes you warm, safe fun on the trails all winter long!


Please allow 3-4 weeks for delivery.

$2.50 + Tax



Are You Wearing a Helmet?
Did you know? Helmets are required by law for children on skates and scooters too!

“Conor’s Law” was passed in 2018, requiring children under 16 to wear a helmet when skateboarding, scootering, roller skating and in-line skating. The new statute adds on to the existing law requiring that children under age 16 wear protective headgear when riding a bicycle on a public road or in a park.

This law was championed by Ledyard mother Holly Irwin in memory of her son Conor, an accomplished student-athlete who died at the age of 14 following an accidental fall from his skateboard in 2016.

This law is important because it reminds us all that a crash can be just as devastating from skates as it is from a bicycle. Everyone should wear a helmet, but especially our most vulnerable, our children. Make sure your child has a helmet, and be a good example by wearing one yourself. The smart thing to do is always protect your head with a helmet, no matter your age or which wheels you’re rockin’!

Please Be Parking Lot Smart and Secure
Cars have been broken into in Trail parking lots. Please leave nothing visible in your car to tempt thieves.

Have you ever wondered if your bike helmet fits properly? Click here and be sure.

Be a Safe Trail User
Trail users have reported encounters with coyotes, bears and other wildlife on the trail. Following the rules of the trail, including keeping your pet leashed and close to your person, will help you avoid unwelcome attention from wild animals, whose presence in our midst we respect, at a distance.

Click on each animal’s name for information specifically relating to coyotes and black bears.


Our mission is to build, maintain, beautify and connect off-road multi-use trails throughout central Connecticut communities.
The trail is a linear park or greenway that begins in New Haven and wends its way 54 miles north to the Massachusetts border and beyond. It is championed by two groups: the Farmington Valley Trails Council, based in the Farmington Valley, and the Farmington Canal Rail-to-Trail Association, based in Hamden. This website represents both groups. Generally, the FVTC advocates for the northern half, and FCRTTA for the southern section in the state. The gaps in the trail have shrunk to the point that the trail is truly a single entity and so it seems fitting to merge our websites as our groups increasingly work together.

If you are not a member, please consider becoming one.
The Farmington Canal Rail-to-Trail Association and the Farmington Valley Trails Council. Inc. are CT 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporations advocating for multi-use “rails-to-trails” in central Connecticut. We work tirelessly to “close the gaps” in the 81-mile Farmington Canal Heritage Trail, the 18-mile Farmington River Trail, and the designated CT East Coast Greenway system. We help area towns fund trail construction, enhancements and ongoing maintenance. We also provide educational materials, 20,000 folding maps a year, and events that promote safety and proper etiquette on the trail system. We are only as strong as our members and volunteers…please get in touch and join us out on the trails!


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