Midriver Trail System
The new Riverview Trail in Coventry is part of an expanding Willimantic River Greenway midriver trail system. Mansfield has expanded its trails to Plains Road in the south, so it now possible to take a 3-mile hike along the river from Riverview Drive to Plains Road.
The trail link to Plains Road was completed in May, 2005. The town of Mansfield acquired a 10-acre parcel along the river at the Plains Road Bridge in 2004 and has received a DEP Recreational Trails grant to develop a riverside park there, including a canoe launch and green space. This spring a group of the Alliance's Willimantic River Rovers cleared a trail connecting Depot Road (at the former Reynolds School) to this future park area. The Quinn family generously granted a trail license across Lynch Landing to the town to make this trail connection possible.
Funding Success in Windham
After a flurry of grant rounds, the Windham section of the river is going to benefit from funding for improved public access to the river and for greenway links. The Willimantic Whitewater Partnership has received several grants to research the feasibility of removing parts of former mill dams in Willimantic to create a whitewater park for kayaks and to provide access to the upper river for migratory fish.
Other grants will aid Windham's efforts to create a waterfront park in Willimantic. The town received a grant to complete the Willimantic section of the East Coast Greenway, a rails-to-trails project extending from Florida to Maine. The grant for work on the East Coast Greenway includes converting two former railroad trestles into footbridges across the river and extending the East Coast Greenway trail across Willimantic to link up with the North Windham section of the trail. These are long-term projects, which in combination with the existing Willimantic River Trail between Bridge Street and Route 66, will create a wealth of public recreation opportunities in this part of the Willimantic River Greenway. For more details, visit Willimantic Whitewater Partnership .