Saturday, August 14, 2010

Sikorsky Bridge Bike Path, Stratford

Now for something really different: This bike path goes right along the Merritt Parkway on the Sikorsky Bridge over the Housatonic River. It's neither peaceful nor quiet, and you're quite exposed to the elements, including sun and wind. But the views are totally unique.

Park at Ryder's Landing in Stratford, at the corner of Route 110 and Ryder's Lane, immediately south of the Merritt Parkway Exit 53. If you see a big fake lighthouse, you're in the right spot. Crossing over Ryder's Lane (a quiet road), you'll immediately see the asphalt bike path, and very shortly a new interpretive sign installed by HVA with a grant from Sikorsky's.

The path curves under the Sikorsky Bridge, and the racket of the cars above contrasts with the peaceful river below.

After passing under the bridge, the path curves around, and a left takes you up on top of the bridge with a view of the river.

The Sikorsky factory where they make aircraft like the Black Hawk helicopter is right down below. Not too much activity down on the tarmac today, but at other times you can see them testing out the big helicopters.

The river is beautiful. I saw an Osprey flying above the bridge today, and about a year ago I saw a Bald Eagle perched in a tree right over the bike path at the river's edge.

The path continues gradually uphill to Wheelers Farm Road in Milford, where it simply ends after a total length of maybe a mile or mile and a half. If you're biking, you get to coast all the way back. The path was put in when the bridge was redone a couple years ago, but most people are just finding out about it now.

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