Meet the Willimantic River Greenway
The Connecticut Greenways Council designated the Willimantic River as an official Connecticut Greenway in 2003. Unlike greenways with continuous paved paths, the Willimantic River Greenway is a long-term project to link existing open spaces and to extend walking trails and bike routes along the 25-mile length of the river. Other goals include improving the existing canoe/kayak route from Stafford to Windham and also protecting natural resources, such as the Cole W. Wilde Trout Management Area, which offers three miles of prime trout fishing between Tolland and Willington.
History of the Greenway
The Willimantic River Alliance proposed the greenway nomination to the nine towns adjacent to the river and submitted the nomination to the Greenways Council. The nine towns are Columbia, Coventry, Ellington, Lebanon, Mansfield, Stafford, Tolland, Willington, Windham. These towns have committed to including the greenway in each town's Plan of Conservation and Development and to pursuing projects to enhance natural resources and recreation along the river.
The Alliance will maintain a regional greenway vision for the towns and offer information about potential projects and about resources for town and regional projects. Although the greenway projects will be planned and completed over many years, they will in time offer residents and visitors better opportunities to access the river and enjoy its natural beauty and historic features. Several riverside towns are working together on multi-town trails along the Greenway.
The Connecticut Greenways Council has designated many greenways throughout the state. Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection maintains a list of Connecticut greenways.