“Not just a parkway” has been a long-time tag line for the Saw Mill River. Even though thousands of drivers pass along the river every day, many of them are not aware of the river with all its vibrant ecosystems. Proper access to the Saw Mill River for recreational purposes is mostly limited to the South County trail, which lacks river signage, seating or well-maintained paths to the river banks. Furthermore, many of the riverside communities do not have proper access routes for pedestrians or cyclists. The river runs through vacant “no-man-lands” which hold great potential to be developed as new river parks. The variety of access issues contributes to the Saw Mill River’s reputation as a forgotten river.
The Saw Mill River Coalition believes that the river can serve as a great attraction for recreational activity such as hiking, walking, cycling, snowshoeing and kayaking. In addition, we believe that the river should also serve as an educational tool to teach residents of the efforts taken to restore the well-being of an urbanized stream. Developing new access and recreation opportunities is a critical element in raising awareness, engagement and political will for supporting restoration efforts throughout the watershed.