This spring, I got into rail-trail biking for the first time, and my #1 favorite trail thus far in CT has got to be the Air Line. I've ridden the Portland section and from East Hampton to Willimantic. This week, I've been working on the "Northern Section" which starts in Willimantic and continues out towards Thompson.
There is a section of a few thousand feet which is keeping the Portland and the East Hampton-Willimantic sections from being connected. The section in question has a stream running through the middle of it and is owned by Eversource (local utility, ex-CL&P/NU). The plan is to construct a boardwalk to get through the stream, so its not as simple as just clearing the trail and ditching. Some power poles have to be moved as well. Meanwhile, Portland is working to connect its section west towards the Connecticut River. I've seen the plans online and due to private ownership, the new trail will divert away from the existing ROW in many sections.
As for the section from Willimantic, eastward, yesterday I biked out to Hampton and back, which turned out to be 26 miles +/-. Surface was pretty good except for a section beneath US 6 that turns into single track and a little bumpy. I hope to complete the trail out to Pomfret on Friday and see how far it goes past Pomfret. I've heard some of it is impassable. [UPDATE 10/9 - I completed the trail to Pomfret "station" today, but east of there is under construction. New bridges/culverts being built, new surface, etc, so further exploration will wait for me until '21].
Meanwhile, here's my FLICKR Rail-Trail page to see the Air Line and all the other trails I've done this year thus far. I've hit trails in CT, NY, MA, VT, and RI.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/shadyjay/ ... 727127157/