Isn’t this the perfect time of year to get outside and take a walk? The heat and humidity are gone. The air has that perfect little invigorating chill to it. And the turning leaves make every landscape scene look postcard-perfect. Sometimes, however, it can be challenging to find a great trail with all the appeal of a nature walk, but terrain that suits a stroller. Well, the newly paved Multi-Use Trail between Smith Middle School and Bell Street in Glastonbury fits the bill.
We recruited our adventurous friends and their equally adventurous 3-year-old to come check it out with us a few weekends ago.
Oh, and we also have a very special guest star for this post: our rambunctious Beagle, Romeo, whom I think was in a little bit of shock that he actually got to come along with us on one of these adventures!
Now, it’s important that you know where to look for this trail because otherwise it would be impossible to find. The trail starts (or ends, depending on which way you’re walking) on the Smith Middle School campus, and it connects to Bell Street on the other side. There is parking on both sides of the trail, but the parking on the Bell Street side is pretty limited. Here’s that lot:
The entrance to Smith Middle School is right where Eastern Boulevard meets Addison Road, with the entrance directly across from Eastern Boulevard.
It’s been a few weeks since I’ve been over that direction, but the Addison Road bridge has been out pretty much all summer, so there’s a chance Addison Road is still closed off right there by the school. (In this picture above, the entrance to Smith Middle School is straight ahead and the road would be closed to your right). There are detour signs everywhere so you shouldn’t have a problem finding your way around, but just keep that in mind if you are relying on GPS.
Drive into the school and look for these signs directing you to the various parking lots.
You want to follow the signs to Lot 4: Playfields. That is where you will park, and where the entrance to the Multi-Use Trail is.
You have to drive a bit to get there. You’ll pass the school building on your left:
Keep going. And watch for those signs to Lot 4. Eventually, you’ll arrive at the parking area, which is marked by a sign. You’ll know you’re there because the baseball field is to your left. See? Lots more parking on this end. The entrance to the trail is at the far end of the lot.
The trail is only 1 mile long from end to end, so it’s a great little walk for preschoolers. Our friends’ son actually walked the whole way, but I thought Boo might be happier in his stroller. Plus, Boo’s walking pace would make the proverbial tortoise seem more like the hare 🙂
The trail is completely paved, which means it’s great for walking, running, biking, and…strollers! Yay!
There are some small dirt trails that seem to run alongside or shoot off from the main paved trail. We didn’t go exploring, so I can’t say for sure what they are like or where they lead.
There are plenty of benches along the way if you or the kiddos need to sit for a spell.
Since it’s a nature trail, we were kind of hoping we’d see some little critters running through the woods to show the boys. No luck. But here’s what the scene may have looked like if we had spotted something furry scurrying around. Aren’t they good actors? 🙂
Further down, the trail goes over a bridge/boardwalk. I’m guessing that’s the bog underneath, since I’ve also heard it referred to as the “Addison Bog Trail.” No problem crossing with a stroller, and the multiple rails on the sides of the bridge offer an excellent deterrent to the walking wee ones accidentally going overboard 🙂
The kiddos were clearly enjoying themselves.
The trail has many shaded stretches, so it’s a really pleasant walk even when the temperatures are in the higher range.
When we reached the end, we turned around and walked back. We let Boo out of the stroller at that point, figuring he could use a little exercise before nap time.
The boys did get a “lift” for part of the return trip.
There is a little picnic area at the start of the trail (on the Smith Middle School side). It’s a nice place to have a snack after your walk.
The only restroom facilities we saw along the trail was a porta-potty near the Smith Middle School parking lot.
All in all, it was a nice, easy walk that was completely stroller-friendly and scenic to boot. And afterwards, we all headed over to the amazing Boundless Playground at nearby Addison Park to let the boys really tucker themselves out. Hello nap time! 🙂
Glastonbury Multi-Use Trail
Located between Smith Middle School (216 Addison Road) and Bell Street in Glastonbury, CT.
Click here for a map and additional information about the trail.
Get directions here (to Smith Middle School):
Tips & Things to Bring:
- The trail is approximately one mile.
- There is no fee to use the trail.
- The trail is open during daylight hours.
- There is parking at both ends of the trail, but the larger parking lot is located on the Smith Middle School campus.
- According to the person I spoke with in the Glastonbury Parks & Recreation Office, the public is welcome to use the trail (and park in Lot 4 at Smith Middle School) even when school is in session.
- The trail is 100% paved (with the small exception of the boardwalk/bridge), and you can easily navigate any kind of stroller.
- Dogs are welcome, but please pick up after them! (Waste bags are available from a dispenser at the Smith Middle School trail entrance; trash bins are located there as well.)
- Small picnic area near Smith Middle School trail entrance.
- Facilities: Porta-potty (no changing station)
- Check out nearby Addison Park for an amazing Boundless Playground.
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