Since 1991, thousands of local residents and visitors have discovered the joy and beauty of the Air Line Rail Trail, a scenic and peaceful 50 mile stretch across eastern Connecticut, through the towns of East Hampton, Colchester, Hebron, Lebanon, Columbia, Windham, Chaplin, Hampton, Pomfret, Putnam, and Thompson.
This trail is part of a network of more than 1,000 rail trails winding some 10,000 miles across the United States. Because they offer unique opportunities for recreation, relaxation and solitude, these former railroad lines are enjoying popularity among walkers, hikers, bicyclists and other outdoor enthusiasts.

One hundred years ago, the New York and New England Air Line Railroad signified machines, speed, noise, and smoke; today, the Air Line Rail Trail suggests escape from the modern world. While the railroad once symbolized power over nature, the rail trail now stands for identification with nature. And while the railroad once facilitated travel to distant places, the rail trail suggests a future in which we can enjoy what is in our own back yards.



Page Last Updated: February 12, 2010
    • Designed and written by Martin M. Bartel (

    • This web site is not affiliated with the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) or Department of Transportation (DOT), or any other municipal, federal or state agency.