Rail Trail Links
The links listed here are just a sampling of the rail trail
groups and resources available today.
MassDOT Biking and Walking Resource Statewide
Information is found at http://mass.gov/massdot/bike.
Of particular interest is the statewide Bicycle Facilities Interactive map found at http://services.massdot.state.ma.us/MapTemplate/BikeNetwork. It includes the ability to search, redline / comment, and share.
An introduction to how to use the map can be downloaded here (PPT, 9mb) or (PDF, 8.3MB)
Assabet River Rail Trail
was organized to promote the creation of a multi-use recreational
trail through Marlborough, Hudson, Stow, Maynard and Action.
The path goes along the abandoned rail bed of the former
Marlborough Branch Rail Road. The AART sponsors clean-ups
as well as bicycling, hiking and skiing activities along
the proposed route. 5.8 miles of the trail are completed in Hudson and Marlborough of the planned 12 mile trail that will continue north through Stow, Maynard, with a northern terminus at the South Acton MBTA station. Note, while the ARRT and BFRT both go through Acton, there is no plan to connect the two trails here (a dream connection would be a rail-with-trail along the MBTA line between South Acton and West Concord ). The proposed Mass Central Rail Trail will connect the ARRT and the BFRT from Hudson ( Wilkins Street ) via Stow to Sudbury ( Union Street and Rte 20).
The Cochituate Rail Trail
The trail will extend 4 miles from the Village of Saxonville in Framingham to the commuter rail station in Natick Center. A connection with the Bruce Freeman Trail may be possible using the old Weston or Hultman aqueducts just north of Saxonville.
The Concord River Greenway
The Concord River Greenway will ultimately link to the northern terminus of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail at the Lowell / Chelmsford border and continue north through Lowell to and along the Concord River to the confluence of the Merrimack River. Construction of the northern portion of the Concord River Greenway has begun. See details at:
Minuteman Commuter Bikeway
11-mile bikeway between Bedford MA and Cambridge (Alewife).
This is the country’s 500th, and second most traveled rail
Nashua River Rail
The Nashua River Rail
Trial is a former right-of-way that travels
11 miles through the towns of Ayer, Groton,
Pepperell, and Dunstable. The trail offers
a 10-foot wide paved surface for the entire
length, and a five-foot wide gravel equestrian
path for seven miles of the trail from Groton
Center to the New Hampshire border in Dunstable.
The entire trail is open to pedestrians, bicyclists,
inline skaters, wheelchairs, and cross-country
Mass Central Rail Trail
An intrepid adventure traveler can still find traces
of it in the wilderness. A 104 mile railroad line was shattered
by hurricane in 1938. The line once stretched from downtown
Boston to Northampton, MA. Now, over 60 years later, dedicated
volunteers and property owners in 33 communities are working
dig it out and open it up. Instead of trains there will be
tourists and locals, Bed & Breakfast inns, cross-country
skiers, bicyclists, hikers, joggers and babies in baby carriages.
The Squannacook River Rail Trail
Formed in the fall of 2002, the SRRT Committee has investigated the feasibility of establishing a 3.3 mile rail trail that will follow the Squannacook River, beginning at the Bertozzi Wildlife Management Area on Townsend Road in Groton, and ending at Depot Street in the center of Townsend. As envisioned, the SRRT will eventually connect to the 11-mile Nashua River Rail Trail and Ayer MBTA Commuter Rail Station.
Upper Charles River Trail
Connecting Milford, Hopkinton, Ashland, Sherborn, and Holliston, Massachusetts
The Coastal Trails Coalition
The Coastal Trails Coalition (CTC) is a non-profit organization advocating for the Coastal Trails Network, a 30-mile public system of bicycle and pedestrian trails linking the communities of Amesbury, Newbury, Newburyport and Salisbury.
Derry Rail Trail Alliance
The Derry Rail Trail Alliance was formed to see the Derry section of NH's proposed Salem to Concord Bikeway Project (following the old Manchester and Lawrence Branch of the Boston and Maine Railroad) turned into a recreational trail for cyclists and pedestrians. As of summer 2009, the DRTA and Town of Derry have completed the construction and paving of approximately 3 miles of this trail and hope to have an additional 1.5 mile section completed in Spring 2010 linking the Derry trail to the 4+ Mile Windham Rail Trail (also a section of the Salem-Concord) providing a continuous 8+ mile paved recreational trail.
A non-profit organization creating a nationwide network of
trails from former rail lines and connecting corridors to
build healthier places for healthier people.
Friends of the Community Path
all the trails, existing and proposed, inside Route 128.
Friends of Bedford Depot Park
This group is restoring the Bedford Depot Park at the
end of the Minuteman Bikeway, including restoring a vintage
Boston & Main
Railroad Car #6211 for a display and museum. The group
also researches and preserves history of the narrow gauge
railroad lines in Billerica, Bedford and Lexington.
Bay Circuit Trail
This is an effort to make a permanent recreation
trail and greenway corridor extending through 21 towns in Eastern Massachusetts
and linking the park and open spaces surrounding
The purpose of MassBike
is to promote bicycles as a safe, healthy, enjoyable,
efficient and environmentally sound means of transportation.
Metropolitan Area Planning Commission (MAPC)
Alternative transportation modes include bicycle and pedestrian transportation, ride sharing and other TDM services, and transit in under-served areas. MAPC provides technical support and research in conjunction with Central Transportation Planning Staff (CTPS) efforts. http://www.mapc.org/transportation/transportation_alternatives.html
includes Draft Bike Plan http://www.mapc.org/transportation/trans_alternatives/Bike_plan_PDFs/Bike%20Plan_Draft%2010-5-06.pdf for which the MAPC is seeking comments and regional current and proposed trail map http://www.mapc.org/transportation/trans_alternatives/Bike_plan_PDFs/trailmapforweb11-05.pdf
Share The Trail Brochure (International Bicycle Fund)