The idea of designating bicycle routes between New Canaan and Darien, first floated by Darien First Selectman Jayme Stevenson in May, has been picked up by the New Canaan Advertiser and Town Council Chairman John Engel. A couple of Darien residents are publicly supporting the idea, and it has provoked some thought in the New Canaan Public Works Department too.
As Stevenson told the Advertiser on June 21, “We want to formalize and market something that already exists;” that is, the openness of each other’s parks. The idea is to designate and suggest a variety of routes for people to ride on their own.
Darien’s two Town beaches are accessible for no charge to New Canaan residents and other visitors who ride a bicycle or walk in. Non-resident visitors in a vehicle can gain entry to the two beaches — Pear Tree Point Beach and Weed Beach — with a daily pass costing $45. Waveny Park has always been open to any and all visitors for no charge from dawn to dusk.
Engel is interested in using bike routes to bring attention to modern homes in New Canaan and destinations like The Glass House and Grace Farms. Stevenson said it is logical for one route to go along her Town’s new Highland Farm property adjacent to Ox Ridge Hunt Club. A resident of Brookside Road in Darien believes a designated bicycle lane will make it safer for all concerned.
The editor of the Advertiser has an estimated 24 years experience bicycling the roads of Darien and another 22 years bicycling the roads of New Canaan.
The first route the editor checked out for this possible intertown project was 15.7 miles and 73 minutes round-trip. It runs from White Oak Shade down Brookside Road to Pear Tree Beach. [Click here for story and route details.]
A second route was selected on July 4, and it runs from the Lapham Road entrance of Waveny Park to Weed Beach in Darien and back. The round trip is 13 miles; it took 62 minutes.
Waveny Park south on Lapham Road to Talmadge Hill Community Church and straight into Darien on Hollow Tree Ridge Road.
Alongside Wee Burn Country Club, staying on Hollow Tree Ridge into Noroton Heights, over the New Haven Line railroad and over I-95.
Left onto Linden Avenue and right onto Gardiner Street to the end at Post Road / U.S. 1.
A very short time on Post Road, then right onto Beach Drive, left onto Outlook Drive and right onto Woodland Drive to the end. Then right onto Nearwater Lane. Straight to Weed Beach.
The trip is mostly downgrade from New Canaan to the water, which makes for easy riding. The distance is 6.7 miles. It took 26 minutes at a leisurely pace.
The return trip of choice was a steady and slight upgrade, 6.3 miles in length, and took 36 minutes with little strain.
Leaving Weed Beach, up Nearwater Lane to the Post Road. Right, then a quick left turn onto Noroton Avenue. Straight up to Middlesex Road, then right onto Middlesex, along Ox Ridge Hunt Club / Highland Farm to Mansfield Avenue / Rt. 124. Left onto Mansfield, which becomes South Avenue at the New Canaan town line, to Waveny Park.