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32. Biking the Quiet Corner

Some of Connecticut’s “foliage roads” can get pretty crowded during peak season, but that’s not the case in eastern Connecticut, also known as “The Quiet Corner.” This is the state’s most bucolic region, with plenty of natural beauty and the elbow room to take it all in. And if you can take it in by bike, so much the better!

Biking the Quiet Corner
Experiences Types: Active Adventures
Seasons: Fall
Driving Tip: Approximately 19 miles (not including bike routes)

CANTERBURY/SCOTLAND LOOP

Once you’ve been to this part of Connecticut, in the area defined by the Quinebaug and Shetucket Rivers, you’ll understand why it’s been designated as The Last Green Valley (even though the colors change magnificently in the fall). What’s even better is that a nonprofit stewardship organization called The Last Green Valley has come up with a terrific series of biking trips that will take you through the region, with many suggestions for things to see and places to eat and stay as well. One such trip, a 25-mile Canterbury/Scotland Loop, takes you past fields and streams, stone walls and grazing cows, with a stop for lunch at the Scotland General Store. Be sure to stop along the way at the Prudence Crandall Museum to learn the story of the woman who provided schooling for African-American girls in the 19th century despite strong local opposition.

COUNTRY BED AND BREAKFAST

You’ll want to stay overnight in the area so you’ll be ready to head out early on your second day of biking. Since you’ll be starting in Pomfret, you might give Feather Hill Bed and Breakfast a try.

POMFRET/WOODSTOCK LOOP

Begin the day with the 13.2-mile Pomfret/Woodstock Loop which will take you from Pomfret up into Woodstock and back again. Among the highlights here is Roseland Cottage in Woodstock, a spectacular 1846 summer house, now preserved as a museum, whose gardens and fascinating interiors give a good view into how high the high life was before the federal income tax came along. If, at the end of this loop, you’re ready for a little more, there’s a link to the Thompson Loop that will take you on a 10-mile circuit of that town.

 
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