Connecticut is known for its beautiful landscapes and is full of rural getaways, and Windsor Locks holds true to this pattern. One quaint pastoral escape is the Windsor Locks Canal Trail which offers an idyllic pathway that meanders along the Connecticut River and Windsor Locks Canal. Once a historic canal tow path, the Windsor Locks Canal Trail now is a multi use trail that follows the Connecticut River and Windsor Locks Canal from Windsor Locks to Suffield. Once walked by beasts of burden pulling boats upstream, the area is now traveled by dogs, their owners, cyclists, and many other wild life enthusiasts in search of an escape to nature. In season it's also used by fishermen.
The Windsor Locks Canal was originally built between 1827 and 1829 so that barges could get around the Enfield rapids which were occasionally tumultuous and interrupted their passage. Their mission was to transport produce from the farms of origin upriver to Hartford. Along the way hikers are able to see nineteenth century stonework in the aqueducts and bridges along the way.
Known for its wildlife, the area is occasionally closed for such exciting occurrences as the hatching of bald eagles. This event generally requires at least 35 days for the birds to learn how to fly. In the past there has been problems with people feeding the bald eagles as this makes them dangerously domesticated and susceptible to cruel or ignorant human behavior. As of now there are 4 pairs of bald eagles being surveyed in the Windsor Locks area.
With such historic and environmental relevance, it's no surprise that Windsor Locks Canal Trail has its own official group of friends, known quite predictably as "Friends of WIndsor Locks Canal Trail." This group of locals meet every Tuesday to clean up and maintain the area doing such works as picking up trash, clearing branches, and generally maintaining the trail.
If you begin in Windsor Locks you'll find the trail head located on Canal Road just off East Street North. Starting in Suffield is just about as easy being located off the 140 West of the Connecticut River by the mill complex, but the locals recommend starting at the North end of the trail. So if you're ever in Windsor Locks, treat yourself to a scenic escape along the Canal Trail where such notables as Charles Dickens have been known to stop in for the scenery.