15 favorite Greenway segments

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Scene from the Timucuan Trail passing through Big Talbot Island in northern Florida.

It's hard to pick favorites, certainly. Below, we share highlights of our staff's 15 favorite scenic stretches of completed East Coast Greenway segments, moving north to south. Included are a few well-known stretches along with some lesser known segments.

(Note: mileage figures represent the East Coast Greenway segment, which may just be a portion of the entire trail.)

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Maine: Eastern Trail, 20 miles. Just south of Portland, this trail runs south from Scarborough to West Kennebunk, mostly on crushed stone and asphalt. The highlight is the stretch through the stunning Scarborough Marsh, the largest saltwater marsh in Maine, where you’ll join kayakers and avid birders viewing peregrine falcons, ibis, and many other impressive birds.
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Massachusetts: Charles River Bike Path, Boston-Waltham; 12.5 miles. Join runners, walkers, commuting cyclists and bike-share tourists on this busy east-west winding greenway with great views of the Boston skyline and the campuses of Harvard and MIT.
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Rhode Island: Washington Secondary Bike Path, Cranston-Coventry, 19 miles. Cross half the width of the Ocean State on this rail-trail with an urban feel at its eastern end to rural on the western end, with views of ponds and brick mills in town centers in between.
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Connecticut: Three great trails tie for our favorite in the Nutmeg State. The Hop River Trail and Charter Oak Greenway take you west-to-east, Hartford to Willimantic, 33 miles, then the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail travels north-south, Simsbury-New Haven, 43 miles to the campus of Yale University. Travel through woods, marshes, over bridges and through parks.
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New York: Hudson River Greenway, New York City, 12.4 mi.The Greenway is a great way to travel north and south on the island of Manhattan, with broad views of the Hudson River. This most populated stretch of East Coast Greenway begins at Battery Park and travels the length of the island to the George Washington Bridge. At rush hour, join the throngs: bicycle commuters and recreationalists, runners, and walkers.
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New Jersey: D&R Canal Trail, New Brunswick-Trenton, 36 mi. This dirt and gravel path following the canal makes for beautiful, flat riding. Watch turtles sun themselves on logs, then plop in the water. Be aware of occasional flooding, and you may want to walk your bikes over the large cobblestones of the spillways.
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Pennsylvania: John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge Trail, 8 miles. Family friendly dirt and crushed-stone trails through the nation’s first urban natural refuge, established in 1972, let you explore Tinicum Marsh, Darby Creek, meadows and woodlands. Find yourself mere steps away from 1-95 and the Philadelphia airport, and just a few miles from downtown Philly, but worlds away.
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Delaware: Jack Markell Trail, Wilmington-New Castle, 8 miles. Start in downtown Wilmington with the riverwalk, head out to the DuPont Environmental Education Center, with its riveting view of the Christina River and wildlife refuge. A boardwalk, newly opened in 2018 as part of the Jack Markell Trail, takes you south to the charming historic town of New Castle, with another beautiful stretch of Greenway along the Delaware River.
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Maryland: Torrey C. Brown Trail, Cockeysville, 7 miles. This charming dirt trail with a European feel follows the Big Gunpowder River with tall trees for shade and picturesque farms across the river. The trail continues north at Monkton while the East Coast Greenway heads east.
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Maryland: B&A Trail, Annapolis to Baltimore, 12 miles. A well-loved and wellused paved trail following a former rail line through communities, parks, and wooded areas. Amenities such as restaurants and bike shops are convenient to the trail in a number of spots.
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Maryland and Washington, DC: Anacostia River Trail, 13 miles. Pleasant, family friendly ride along the river through parks, with bike/pedestrian bridges. Heads northeast from the city towards Annapolis. You will be amazed by the natural scenery and animals you may spot so close to D.C. along this stretch of trail. In the capital, connect with the two miles of the Greenway along the National Mall, past the monuments and museums, and the Mount Vernon Trail across the Potomac, heading south into Virginia on a winding, well-loved trail.
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Virginia: Virginia Capital Trail, Richmond - Jamestown, 52 miles. History, natural beauty, and amenities -- what’s not to love? Begin in Richmond, a city full of heritage and great eats. Explore the greenway downtown, passing by vibrant murals and sculptures, and check out a unique bike/pedestrian suspension bridge to Belle Isle in the James River. Then hop on the Virginia Capital Trail and follow the James River and State Route 5 southeast to Jamestown Settlement, offering a look at early American living. In between, pass battlegrounds and wildlife refuges, historic homes and parks.
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North Carolina: Cross-Triangle Greenway, Durham-Cary-Raleigh, 45 miles. Leave downtown Durham at the trailhead of the American Tobacco Trail, across from the Durham Bulls baseball stadium, and enjoy traffic-free greenway to downtown Raleigh. The East Coast Greenway’s first complete metro area features city parks, the grounds of the state’s art museum, two universities, and scenic boardwalks through woods and marshes. Extend your trip east to Clayton on the Neuse River Trail for a 70-mile route, nearly all on spectacular greenways.
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South Carolina: Spanish Moss Trail, Beaufort - Port Royal, 12 miles. This flat, scenic trail is perfect for a family ride. Ride through beautiful wetlands and past historic buildings, including straight through the middle of the old Beaufort Depot.
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Florida: Amelia Island and Timucuan Trail, 6 miles and 5 miles. Begin in the scenic downtown of Fernandina Beach and follow alongside A1A on the shore. A short on-road section leads you to the Timucuan Trail, running through Big Talbot and Little Talbot State Parks and offering beautiful views of the coast with side trails to beaches. Interesting ecological area created from the multiple rivers flowing into the Atlantic ocean.
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