LARKIN STATE PARK TRAIL
My quest to beat the heat has taken me to yet another bike trail, this one shaded in the thick canopy of trees lining the Larkin Trail.
The state park stretches across four towns from Naugatuck to Southbury and covers a little more than 10 miles one way. The trail offers a wide variety of activities for explorers including bikers, hikers, joggers and horseback riders. And, it serves as yet another example of how these one-time railroad passages that crisscross the state have successfully transformed into trails to be enjoyed by all.
I brought my oldest daughter and her friend on this particular ride starting from the Naugatuck trailhead.
Some years back, I hiked this portion of the trail and found the close proximity of nearby homes didn’t deter wildlife here. I discovered a couple of baby raccoons on one visit. And, this time around we glimpsed a falcon dive-bombing some prey on the side of the park.
Deeper into the woods, it’s only the soft crunch between our tires and the path that can be heard. And, as we began our little trek, the soft patter of a light rain.
The trail, which is essentially flat, does have the slightest of inclines – unnoticed except for our constant pedaling. It carves its way through a rocky ledge before diving into the heart of the forest and away from civilization. Sometimes the ride follows a path that sits a good 10 or 20 feet above the forest floor. And, other times it snakes along the bottom allowing for trail extensions hikers can use to explore the surrounding woods.
As more time passed, that light rain became more of a passing shower. The kids began to grumble, but on such a muggy morning, I found it refreshing. And so we continued our ride – at least for a little while until a downpour forced us to turn back.
Despite the kids’ own protests, it was hard not to enjoy the rest of the ride. And while, conditions weren’t the greatest, I still found myself ‘singing in the rain’.
Directions: Take I-84 to exit 17 for CT-64 toward CT-63/Middlebury/Watertown. Continue onto CT-64 W/Chase Pkwy. Turn left onto CT-63. Parking is on the left.
Trail Distance: 4 miles
Trail Difficulty: Easy