Boards & Commissions
Suffield residents, as well as visitors to the community, can take advantage of several recreational trails which are continuously being evaluated and enhanced. The following major trails projects are underway:
The Windsor Locks Canal Trail
The trail was built by hand between 1827 and 1829 by Irish immigrants. It is 5.5 miles long, 80 feet wide, but only 4 ½ feet deep. Three locks were built to accommodate the 30 foot elevation drop along it’s route, as well as an aqueduct to carry the Canal over Stony Brook. The Toe Path, which is the 4.5 mile hiking/biking path today, was used by horses to pull the boat traffic through the Canal. The Canal was built to enable boating traffic to avoid Enfield Falls, a series of rapids along this section of the Connecticut River. After the railroads came along, it functioned as a power source for nearby mills. The Canal Trail is part of a master plan known as the Windsor Locks Canal State Heritage Park. A civic organization, Friends of the Canal with members from Suffield, Windsor Locks, Enfield, East Windsor and Longmeadow, MA, are commited to improving the canal area.The Canal Trail is open April to October and appeals to nature enthusiasts. Anybody interested in becoming a member of the Friends of the Canal or participating in volunteer work days can visit the Friends of the Windsor Locks Canal on Facebook.
Blue-Blazed Metacomet-Mattabesett Trail System
The trail system consists of two footpaths running in a general north-south direction from the Massachusetts border south to Long Island Sound. The trails were established in the early 1930s by Connecticut Forest & Park Association (CFPA). At times the trails are discontinuous or travel over paved roads, but for most of their 108-mile length they traverse the dramatic traprock ridges that form the spine of Connecticut’s central landscape. Located on both private and public land, the trails offer some of the finest ridge walking and cliff views in the state. The National Park Service has designated the New England Trail which includes a portion running through Suffield. The Suffield Land Conservancy has shown leadership in the preservation of Suffield's ridgeline along West Suffield Mountain which the Metacomet traverses.
Farmington Valley Greenway Trail
This trail runs from Farmington to the Suffield/Southwick border along the now defunct Canal Line Railroad. While some sections have been completed, the trial is still undergoing work in many of the towns along the corridor. In Suffield, the trail project was split into two phases. The first phase, completed in 2000, is the southern section of the trail including the Phelps Road bridge. A .3 mile section, including bridges over Palmer Brook and Mountain Brook, is expected to be completed in the near future. The trail is expected to continue into Southwick and may someday run to Northampton, MA. South of Farmington, the route is called the Farmington Canal Greeway and ultimately a trail is expected to link all the way to New Haven. For more information contact the Farmington Valley Trails Council.