The National Park Service's America's Great Outdoor Program Presents:
The Naugatuck River Greenway 

Naugatuck River Greenway Derby (Photo courtesy HVA) 

A view of the Naugatuck River from the Derby Greenway. ( Photo Courtesy of the City of Derby.)
Ansonia Riverwalk Park_CourtesyCityofAnsonia.JPG
Ansonia River Walk
Waterbury Riverside Park rendering RBA Group's artist rendering of 16 Acre Riverside Park in Waterbury 

The Naugatuck River has been designated by the CT Department of Environmental Protection (DEEP) as a Trophy Trout Stream, and the DEEP, land trusts, or municipalities own over one third of the study corridor’s river frontage. These properties offer significant potential for additional open space enhancements such as riverwalks, pocket parks, and landscaping improvements. The development of a greenway system has therefore been proposed along the Naugatuck River corridor. 

The development of a Naugatuck River Greenway is expected to have many community, economic and environmental benefits. According to DEEP, greenways make communities better places to live through the preservation and creation of open spaces, and through the creation of opportunities for outdoor recreation and non-motorized transportation (which in turn encourage physical fitness and a healthy lifestyle). Greenways strengthen local economies, encourage and support the preservation of culturally and historically valuable areas, and achieve meaningful environmental protection. Most importantly, creation of a greenway area offers an important opportunity to maintain and improve the ecological integrity of the river corridor and to reconnect the communities with the river (and each other). 

The lowest segment of the Naugatuck River Greenway (NRG) is complete with the construction of the Derby Greenway and the Ansonia Riverwalk. Environmental assessments and routing studies have been completed for the greenway from Torrington south to Beacon Falls. An assessment is still needed for the Town of Seymour. The following is a summary of the proposed Naugatuck River Greenway route. 

On December 4, 2012, the Obama Administration released the 2012 America's Great Outdoors (AGO) Progress Report, detailing key successes of President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors Initiative, including advancing local conservation priorities, expanding access to lands and waters for recreation, restoring critical landscapes, and creating great urban parks and water trails in American communities. The Naugatuck River Greenway on this exclusive list. 

Torrington to Harwinton/Litchfield
The northern most section of the NRG system is a proposed 5-mile stretch of the River, which would extend from Stillwater Pond in Torrington, through the town of Harwinton, before concluding at the Route 118 road crossing in Litchfield.  While a route has not been officially designed, seventeen specific recommendations were outlined in an environmental review of the project led by the Litchfield Hills Council of Elected Officials, King's Mark Environmental Review Team, and the Northwest Conservation District.  Recommendations included creating a walking trail along the eastern border of Stillwater Pond, constructing a “pocket park” on municipal riverfront property just south of the Route 4 crossing, improving the trail network in the vicinity of Brass Mill Pond, creating a landscaped riverwalk in downtown Torrington with downtown revitalization efforts, enhancing the existing trail network in the vicinity of the John Toro Recreational Area, and constructing historic markers at key locations along the river to enhance appreciation of the river’s history. 2004 Litchfield Hills Council of Elected Officials Naugatuck River Greenway Assessment 2004

Harwinton/Litchfield to Thomaston 
Kings Mark: Harwinton/Litchfield/Thomaston Phase II Study
A second environmental review was conducted by Litchfield Hills Council of Elected Officials in collaboration with the King's Mark Environmental Review Team and the Northwest Conservation District (among other partners) to design the route the greenway would take along the 6.5-mile stretch of Naugatuck River between the Route 118 road crossing in Litchfield and the Thomaston Dam in Thomaston.  (For roughly the first 5.5 miles, the river serves as the town demarcation line between Litchfield and Harwinton; the final mile lies entirely within Thomaston.)  The section lies almost totally within the project boundaries of the U.S. Army COE Thomaston Dam Flood Control Area.  As a result, all former development within the flood storage basin has been removed and the river corridor is reverting to a more natural, scenic character.  Three contiguous segments have been proposed for this section of the greenway.  The first includes the 1.5-mile stretch between the State Route 118 bridge and the State Route 8 Bridge in Litchfield.  The second segment includes the 2-mile segment between the State Route 8 Bridge (Litchfield) and the former Valley Road Bridge (Harwinton).  Finally, the third segment is approximately 2.5 miles long extending from the (closed) Valley Road Bridge to the US ACOE Dam in Thomaston.   

Thomaston Opera House
The NRG within Thomaston will provide a diverse experience for walkers, runners and cyclists. The 4.5 mile trail includes portions set adjacent to existing roadways, soft-surface pathways close to the river, a short “railwith-trail” portion, and streets shared with low-speed vehicle traffic. The route will provide connections to many attractions in town: Thomaston Dam, Railroad Museum of New England, Clock Walk, Thomaston Opera House and Blue-Blazed Mattatuck Trail at the Watertown line. Trail-side amenities will be provided along the route, including: small parking lots, picnic areas, small boat launches (for canoes and kayaks), rest stops, seating, water fountains, public art, and interpretive signage and kiosks.

Watertowns Phase 1 of their 3 Phase Greenway project opened for business Oct. 9thRibbon Cutting for Phase 1 of 3SteeleBrookGreenwayLogo.jpg
In Watertown, the 3.4 mile long NRG will consist primarily of a multi-use path that runs in between Route 8 and the rail line adjacent to the west bank of the Naugatuck River. In some locations, the trail alignment is relatively close to the tracks—separated by a buffer of 25’— whereas in others locations, it is separated from the rail line by a wider vegetated buffer. The stretch of greenway between the Thomaston Town Line at Branch Brook and Frost Bridge Road is a two-mile stretch of pathway unbroken by cross streets or roads. It runs through a very scenic section of the Naugatuck River valley. From Frost Bridge Road to the Waterbury line, the trail will run alongside the rail line with occasional sections affording closer access and views to the river. A new pedestrian/bike bridge connects the trail on the west bank to the northern terminus of Waterbury’s portion of the Naugatuck River Greenway just south of the intersection of Thomaston Avenue and Spruce Brook Road.

Riverside_Park_Rendering_IMG_7080.jpgRiverside_Park_Waterbury_IMG_7079.jpg Plans for a small section of Waterbury's Greenway 
In February 2010, the Waterbury Naugatuck River Greenway Routing and Feasibility Study was completed with recommendations for the city’s seven-mile section of greenway trail. The proposed trail would have included ten trailheads, six small parking areas, four new paddlecraft put-ins, four new river bridges and the rehabilitation of three existing rail trestle bridges. It also included recommendations for trail spurs and on-street connections to link the Waterbury NRG  to the Steele Brook path, downtown Waterbury and the train station. Though completed in a separate planning process, the proposed alignment was intended to incorporate the trail’s extension to the north and south as part of the regional Naugatuck River Greenway. Since this study was completed a dramatic change has taken place with the consulting firm RBA having completed design of the south end of Waterbury's 7.1 miles of river corridor Greenway. Please explore this site for the wealth of information and updates as they occur. As of January 2014 the City of Waterbury is spending over $1 million dollars to have RBA apply for a $32 million dollar federal TIGER Grant.

NRG ribbon cutting union city 12-20-13.jpgNaugatuck River Greenway2013IMAGE_1344.jpgLinden Park Greenway completed Fall 2013 Ribbon Cutting for Phase 1
The NRG in Naugatuck will take various forms including portions set adjacent to existing roadways, soft-surface pathways adjacent to the river (in the short term), “railwith-trail” portions adjacent to Metro-North and a multiuse path running through Borough parks adjacent to the river. The 3.3 mile route will incorporate the already planned greenway trail through Linden Park to the Maple Street Bridge and provide connections to many destinations and attractions such as the Green, the railroad station, the Historical Society Museum and a number of open spaces including Linden Park, Breen Field, the Naugatuck State Forest and a future recreation area on the former Uniroyal site. Trail-side amenities will include small parking lots, picnic areas, boat launches, rest stops, water fountains,  public art, seating, interpretive signage and kiosks. As of January 2014 there have been dramatic advances in Naugatuck's portion of the Naugatuck River Greenway and is only 1.1 miles from their partner to the north, Waterbury. Please explore this site to read about and see photo's of the Naugatuck Greenway.

Beacon Falls 
High Rock State Forest Ribbon Cutting Nov. 13, 2013NEWS_StreetscapeH.jpg
Volunteer Park in Beacon Falls.  Photo courtesy COGCNV.
In Beacon Falls, the Naugatuck River Greenway ultimately will be a 4.3 mile trail that includes a nearly two-mile stretch through the Naugatuck State Forest, in the short term as an improved system of existing trails. In the long term, the greenway will include catwalks, structured portions and potentially a new bridge over the river to connect the downtown area to the existing trails behind the Murtha Industrial Park. From North Main Street, the trail will connect to the section of greenway currently planned and funded along South Main Street from the Depot Street Bridge to the intersection with Route 42. The route will provide important connections to numerous  public open spaces, including the State Forest, Veterans Park, Volunteer Park and to Toby’s Pond and Recreational Park. Like other municipalities, trail-side amenities will be provided along the route as well.

Autumn view of Naugatuck River in Beacon Falls. Courtesy: Icraska
In 1999, the Town of Beacon Falls, with the help of King’s Mark Resource Conservation and Development Program, completed Volunteer Park, a small park along the banks of the Naugatuck.  The park, which is located behind the town's Senior Citizen Center, was considered the first step toward completing the town's 4.3 mile greenway vision. Since then, the town has also successfully worked with Trout Unlimited and the CT Department of Energy & Environmental Protection to establish a second small park along the river.  Riverbend Park, completed in early 2009, provides additional public fishing and canoeing access to the river. 

First phase completed: The Naugatuck River Greenway segment in Beacon Falls offers a short, but scenic route along the river that is paved and well-lighted. Just north of the trail's end at the Depot Street Bridge, lies Volunteer Park, a pleasant place to stop and take in the views. The trail will one day continue 4.3 miles through the town. The entire greenway is proposed to span more than 40 miles from Torrington to Derby in western Connecticut. 

The greenway, which was officially opened in September with a ribbon cutting, was the culmination of a 13-year local, regional, and national effort to reclaim a lane of old Route 8 in Beacon Falls as a multi-use path along the Naugatuck River.  

Parking and Trail Access
Parking is available near the north end of the trail at Volunteer Park (57 N. Main Street) and at the Beacon Falls train station on the western side of the Depot Street Bridge.

 $5.2 million Tingue Dam Bypass Park building in high gear! 

Tingue Dam Bypass rendering.jpgSeymour_Greenway2013-08-26-ST-PREFERRED-ROUTE.jpg
Artist rendering and photo of the park on the river at the beautiful and historic Tingue Dam.

Ansonia Riverwalk 
GreenwayOpening 131.JPG GreenwayOpening 116.JPGAnsonia Greenway ribbon cutting June 25, 2006
(Courtesy: Electronic Valley)
Ansonia Riverwalk Park_CourtesyCityofAnsonia.JPG
Ansonia Riverwalk Park marks the southern terminus
of the Naugatuck River Greenway system in Ansonia.

Photo courtesy City of Ansonia.
After years of planning and design, people are now able to enjoy the Ansonia Riverwalk. The entrance of the greenway, located at the intersection of Division Street and North Division Street (across from the Derby Greenway, near BJs and Taco Bell), includes a gazebo, brick walkways, numerous parking spots, and is handicap accessible. From there the path follows the flood wall north along the Naugatuck River to the railroad tracks. The next planned segment will cross the tracks with a pedestrian bridge, continuing to Pershing Drive.

Similar in design to the Derby Greenway, the Ansonia Riverwalk is characterized by a paved asphalt path over the river’s floodwall. The path is lined with a split rail fence and wonderful views of the river. Ground was broken for the project in September 2010 with a dedication ceremony held in September 2011. The total project, which will cost an estimated $2.4 million, has been funded primarily through Federal and State grant monies.

Derby Greenway 
 Etiquette.jpg(Courtesy: Derby Greenway Website)
Derby_Greenway_dedicationAR-306179818.jpg&maxh=400&maxw=667.jpegDavid Ahern, of Derby (L) applauds Rep. Rosa DeLauro, 6/15, during the dedication of the bronze plaque donated by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. The dedication took place at the Division Street entrance to the Greenway. (Photo: Melanie Stengel , New Haven Register)
The Derby Greenway (left) along the Naugatuck River
Floodwall in Derby. (Courtesy: Housatonic Valley Association)

The Derby Greenway was officially opened with a dedication on Derby Day in 2006. The approximately 1.8-mile trail extends from the intersection of Main and Bridge Streets in Derby, southwest along the floodwall of the Housatonic River and under the Route 8 overpass, before wrapping around O’Sullivan’s Island to head north along the Naugatuck River floodwall. The Derby Greenway officially concludes at Division Street, opposite the entrance to the Ansonia Riverwalk.

The City recently received additional federal grant monies to implement a third phase of the project. This phase expanded the existing greenway to include two new loops – one along the northern half of O’Sullivan’s Island, and a second to the south of the existing greenway trail. Additional features, including an inlet bridge, pavilion, gateway features, and a four-foot wide soft shoulder adjacent to the existing and proposed trails for jogging are also being considered. Ultimately, the City will seek to extend the greenway north from the Derby-Shelton Bridge. This expansion would connect the City's key historic and recreational resources, including the Kellogg Environmental Center, the Osborne Homestead Museum National Historic Site, and Osbornedale State Park, greatly benefiting the community.

Click here to read about the bronze plague from Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar.

For more information about the Derby Greenway contact Sheila O’Malley, Derby Economic & Community Development Director.

Sources of Information (Environmental Review Studies and Routing Studies):

Special thanks to our sponsors:
Naugatuck Savings Bank, Connecticut Community Foundation
Union Savings Bank, Wesson Energy, Inc., The United Illumination Company, Friends of Naugatuck River
The Platt Brothers & Company, Thomaston Savings Bank, Valley Community Foundation