Bicyclists hit the trails on Saturday morning, hoping to raise awareness about the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail.
The ride covered fifty-six miles of trail and was organized by DEEP Commissioner Dan Esty.
"Biking is one of the most popular sports in the state," Esty said. "And we've really done a lot to build up the trails and the greenways and this is a chance to highlight what's there and also to highlight the fact that we have a couple of gaps we need to close."
The canal is part of the East Coast Greenway, which runs from Canada down to Key West. Hundreds of thousands of people take to the canal each year.
"I use these trails almost every day," said rider Steve Mitchell. "East Coast Greenway goes right through Simsbury. I run most of the time."
There are about eighty miles of trail in the state but not all of it is user friendly.
Bikers and runners can make it all the way from New Haven to Cheshire on pavement, but this is the spot in Cheshire where that pavement runs out. And town officials say it'll be another three years before the trails here are complete.
2.6 miles of trail in Cheshire are set to be completed within a year. Another 2.4 miles should be done by 2016. Sections in Plainville are still awaiting zoning approvals and funding.
"The railroad still owns the railroad right of ways in northern Southington and northern Plainville," said Farmington Valley Trails Council member Bruce Donald.
Funding for the trail comes mainly from the feds. Advocates hope the powers that be can see the long term value in investing
"This trail needs to be completed and you need to tell your people in power that this trail needs to be funded," Mitchell said.
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