BEDFORD NARROW GAUGE SPUR:

BEDFORD, MASSACHUSETTS

-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-

Last Updated:       May 8, 2002

Length:                  Bedford Narrow Gauge Spur; 3 miles

Difficulty:             Easy. Flat, hard packed stone dust surface.

Directions:

From I-95, take exit 31B to Routes 4 & 225 northwest for 1.9 miles and you’ll come to Loomis St.

To start from the Bedford Depot; Turn left down Loomis St. Just before the intersection of South Rd, you will see where the trailhead begins on your right, at a metal gate. To your left is the Bedford Depot. The Minuteman Bikeway begins here as well.

To start from the Fawn Lake Conservation Area; Continue past Loomis St and you’ll come to the Route 62 intersection. Route 4 turns right (also called North Rd). Take Route 4 for 1 ½ miles and turn right onto Sweetwater Rd. Travel a ½ mile and you’ll come to the parking lot along the right side, next to where the trail crosses.

Three rail trails converge at BEDFORD DEPOT PARK in Bedford. The Minuteman Bikeway heads southeast and follows the former route of the Lexington & West Cambridge Railroad which traveled between North Cambridge and Bedford. Built in 1846 and extended in 1874, the rail line was finally discontinued in 1981. The Bedford Narrow Gauge Spur Trail heads north along the former rail bed of the country's first two-foot-gauge common-carrier railway, the Billerica & Bedford Railroad. Finally, the Reformatory Branch Rail Trail heads west to Concord along the former B & O RR bed. This trail is currently undeveloped. 

Starting from the Bedford Depot; Head back to Loomis St and cross over to the metal gate. The trail starts out paved and has a small section of Narrow Gauge Track to highlight just how much narrower this railroad track was compared to regular gauge track. The paved section is only a ¼ mile long and ends at Routes 4 & 225. You cross over here to where the trail then turns to stone dust. You cross over two more roads, one at 0.6 miles and another after 0.9 miles and pass by two water towers. A large stone retaining wall will then parallel the trail to your right. At this point keep an eye out to your left for a post with a trail map and a sign posted to a tree. This is the York Conservation Area. It includes a hiking trail that comes out back on the Spur Trail further ahead. Continue along the Spur Trail and pass by where the hiking trail reenters the Spur Trail. After 2 miles you come to a parking lot for the Fawn Lake Conservation Area . A famous resort once stood near here, the Hotel Sweetwater. Its springs were thought to have medicinal benefits, and people traveled to the resort by train to bath in them. A marked walking path circles the pond. The trail then ends at a Springs Rd after 3 miles.

Note; The Town of Billerica hopes to build a trail over its five miles of the abandoned railroad right-of-way. It is to be called the Yankee Doodle Bikeway.

HH

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