Western New England Greenway Bikeway Connecting CT, MA, and VT Gains National Recognition by AASHTO
Bikeways along rural, scenic back country roads connecting CT, MA and VT have gained national prestige by being designated "U.S. Bicycle Route 7" by AASHTO and placed on a national Adventure Cycling Assoc. mapping system
The WNEG-Western New England Greenway connects western Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont along 380 miles of 'quiet' country back roads, and existing bike trails that connect, crisscross or parallel Route 7. Formed as a 'grassroots' ambition by volunteer cyclist enthusiasts, the WNEG is part of a multi-segment system that serves as an international link between two bicycle routes systems in two countries: The East Coast Greenway, which begins at the Merritt Parkway in Norwalk, and is a 3,000-mile route from Maine to Florida; and the 3,130-mile route, La Route Verte, at the Canadian border in Quebec. It also links the two iconic cities of New York City and Montreal via back-road bike routes.
The 85.2 miles of the USBR 7 in Connecticut begins in Norwalk and is routed along the Housatonic River along gently-rolling terrain marked by farmland and river views. Bucolic countryside vistas separate Norwalk and Danbury and the bike route includes a ride along the Saugatuck Reservoir in Weston. When entering New Milford, cyclists are encouraged to stop at Lover's Leap State Park, and travel toward Kent where they cross two covered bridges, the West Cornwall Bridge and Bull's Bridge.
The ambitions of the volunteer cyclists who formed the WNEG was to highlight the many scenic bike routes connecting Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont. The multi-segment, multi-state Greenway has been developed with supportive administration by the not-for-profit Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area (Housatonic Heritage), the Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership in Burlington, VT, and the National Park Service RTCA – Rivers, Trails and Conservation Program which provides technical assistance.
"AASHTO's USBR 7 designation,"
Since 2010, the "grassroots"
The WNEG is also supported by organizations that include the Norwalk River Valley Trail , the Town of Brookfield (CT), New Milford River Trail (www.nmbikewalk.org), Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area (www.HousatonicHeritage.org), Housatonic Valley Association (http://www.hvatoday.org/)
For more information about the Western New England Greenway programs download the flyer at http://wnegreenway.org/
Dan Bolognani, Executive Director