Several years ago, I got a book about New England bicycling trails and one of the most interesting to me was the Airline Trail. I've been wanting to go ever since I heard of it, but it's a couple of hours away by car. Today, I decided to devote my hack-holiday to getting to the trail and investigating it. I drove to the western trail-head in East Hampton, Connecticut, parked, and rode the first leg of the trail. It's an awesome trail.
The weather was suboptimal. Little bands of rain kept moving through. From that end, the trail goes steadily down for as far as I rode: I was a bit concerned that I might find it difficult to ride back up, so I only went out a few miles before I turned around. But the scenery is spectacular. The whole trail is nothing but cuts and fills. The cuts had little ephemeral waterfalls running constantly from the rain. And the fills are dramatic. There are two huge fills that were originally trestle bridges that were basically filled in with sand and rock: the Rapallo and Lyman viaducts. It's rather stressful to ride so high up from the valley floor on such a narrow track.
Now that I've confirmed that the surface is good (the limestone dust is awesome) and that the grade is good either way, I'm ready to go back for a full day at some point. I'll see if I can get Alisa to drop D and me off at one end and then meet us somewhere along the trail to pick us back up. But that will be for another day.