On our second day in Connecticut, we biked more of the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail, heading from Cornwall Avenue and Willow Street in Cheshire 16 miles south to New Haven and then back. It’s all part of the East Coast Greenway.
Here’s some of what struck me:
The parking lot we used was full before 10 a.m., and the overflow lot (really a local business’s lot) was pretty full too. (And when we came back late in the afternoon, the main lot was still pretty full, just with different cars)
The trail was heavily used by young and old, thin and fat, people on bikes and people on foot. The entire stretch was paved and while not as wide as the widest sections of the Farmington River Trail, still plenty wide. We did see a dirt section on the side for those who wanted to skip asphalt.
Because it was hot and sunny, the heavy shade along much of the trail was greatly appreciated. The downside of biking through the woods is that you don’t see as many businesses, so the economic impact isn’t quite as obvious as in Collinsville, for example.
And Connecticut drivers are generally polite. Although we had stop signs at intersections, so many of them stopped for us.
Once in New Haven, we rode to the coast, past the Puerto Rican food trucks parked along a fairly busy road and through a small nature preserve before deciding to head back to the New Haven Green. Of course we found some East Coast Greenway signs — thank you, Rob Dexter. (We also found Rob in between two bike rides he was doing that day, so I got to see another person from the Week-a-Year rides.)
At this stage, you’re probably thinking “You’re in New Haven. What about the pizza? How could you of all people pass up trying New Haven pizza?”
Of course I didn’t. One of our first stops in New Haven was Frank Pepe’s, one of the oldest New Haven Neopolitan-style pizzerias. It has a super-thin crust and comes on a sheet pan lined with wax paper. Personally, I thought it was pretty similar to a Trenton tomato pie (I guess the difference is sauce first, then cheese, instead of cheese, then sauce like in Trenton). Fwiw, the typical New York pizza has a slightly thicker, chewier crust.
Here’s something we found that we haven’t seen elsewhere. Clive said it really did have a birch taste: