RIDGEFIELD/WILTON, Conn. — A bike that that set out a week ago from Weir Farm National Historic Site in Ridgefield/Wilton ended Sunday in Montreal after nine days on the road and nearly 350 miles.
On Saturday, July 23, Weir Farm hosted the kickoff of the “Heritage Ride 2016” Bikeway Tour.
The took dozens of volunteer cyclists through towns and rural back roads across western Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont. The awareness-building tour highlighted the scenic and historic attractions along the Western New England Greenway – a nationally recognized “U.S. Bicycle Route” by AASHTO-American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.
The “grassroots” Western New England Greenway was created by a group of volunteer cyclists who wanted to highlight the many beautiful bike routes available western portions of Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont.
The Greenway is a multi-segment, multi-state bike route that links New York City and Montreal and has been developed with supportive administration by the not-for-profit Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area, the Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership in Burlington, Vt., and the National Park Service RTCA – Rivers, Trails and Conservation — Program which provides technical assistance.
After setting out from Weir Farm, the group also made informational stops in New Milford and Kent to provide area residents with opportunities to learn about the Greenway’s highly scenic and history-rich Heritage Bikeway.
Weir Farm National Historic Site at 235 Nod Hill Road in Wilton commemorates the life and work of American impressionist painter J. Alden Weir and other artists who stayed at his home to paint or lived there.
It was chosen as the “Heritage Ridge 2016” “Kick Off” location in celebration of the 100-year anniversary of the National Park Service.
The Western New England Greenway and Heritage Bikeway corridor follows mostly low-volume roadways through the very western portions of Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont. The southern entry point connects the East Coast Greenway at the Merritt Parkway near Norwalk with Quebec’s Route Verte at the Canadian border.
The Bikeway includes over 300 miles of mapped routes that include nearby lodging, dining, cycling shops and heritage sites.