The railroad tunnel was constructed from 1871 to 1872 as part of the Shepaug Valley Railroad. A crew of coal miners from Pennsylvania built the 235-foot curved tunnel by hand using picks, dynamite and nitroglycerin to blast through Steep Rock Ridge. It took them only nine months to complete, a remarkably quick project in those days. The railroad ceased operation in 1948. Today, hikers enjoy the cool, damp air within the darkness of these chiseled bedrock walls as a refreshing respite on a warm summer day.
A forty-minute jaunt travels along a popular riding trail that is evocative of an English country lane. It’s wide and nearly flat all the way. The final 100-yard straightaway is lined with towering pines, oaks, ashes and maples leading to the railroad tunnel (1.78 miles one-way).
Directions: From the main parking lot (next to the horse riding ring), take the yellow circle trail along Tunnel Road to the blue square trail to the Railroad Tunnel.