River Highlands State Park, Cromwell
River Highlands State Park is located in the central CT town of Cromwell. As its name suggests it features high bluffs on the banks of the Connecticut River. Although small, it’s a great place for mountain biking because the topography is totally unique, unlike anything else in CT. The soil was deposited by a glacier and shaped by a cataclysmic flood event. Trails run along the edge of long, crooked drainage crevasses that radiate out like bony fingers on an arthritic hand. The trails lead to high overlooks with great views up and down the river. The trails are rock- free but can be rooty in places, and the soil dries very quickly making the park rideable soon after rain. There are a lot of logs of various sizes to ride over.
There is currently about five miles of trail and dirt road in the park, although CC NEMBA is hard at work building more singletrack. The best trails would be the green, which runs along the edge of the crevasses (people afraid of heights might be put off by this) and leads to the high overlooks. Be sure to ride the “sidewinder” on the northern end of the park. Also ride the yellow trail, which runs down one of the crevasses, over several narrow bridges, into the “blow hole”, the only place with river access (and a privy). Also don’t miss the red trail in the southern end of the park, and the white, which goes high up on a ridge in the northern end.
River Highlands is a great place for a quick ride in a unique environment.