QUABBIN RESERVOIR NORTH;
NEW SALEM, MASSACHUSETTS
-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-
Last Updated: August 07, 2023
Length: Millington Road Spur: 2.6 miles
Regulating Dam Road-Hager Road-Blackington Road-Old N Dana Road Spurs; 3.6 miles
Rabbit Run Rail Bed; 2.5 miles
Round trip along all Spurs; 17.4 miles
Difficulty: Millington Road Spur: Easy. Flat, old paved road.
Regulating Dam Road & Hager Road Spurs; Moderate. Mostly flat with a few slight hills along a hard packed dirt & gravel road.
Blackington Road Spur; Easy. Flat hard packed dirt & gravel road with some old paved sections.
Rabbit Run Rail Bed; Easy. Flat, old paved road, hard packed dirt & gravel sections.
Take exit 63 off of I-90 (Mass Pike) to Route 32 north and continue for about 13 miles to the intersection of Route 32A. Bear left on Route 32A and follow to Route 122. Turn left and follow Route 122.
To start from Gate 35 [Eastern Center Section]; Travel about 4 miles along Route 122 and turn left on Old Petersham Rd. Take your next left along Old N Dana Rd and follow to Gate 35.
To start from Gate 30 [Northern End]; Travel about 7 miles along Route 122 and turn left for the Gate 30 parking area. This is directly opposite Orange Rd and just shy of Route 202.
Quabbin Reservoir is one of the largest man-made public water supplies in the United States. Created in the 1930s by the construction of two huge earthen dams, the reservoir is fed by the three branches of the Swift River, and seasonally by the Ware River. Quabbin Reservoir was built between 1926 and 1939 and flooded 39 square miles of land. Four towns were abandoned from the area, including the town of Dana, which is where another biking area is located south of here. See; Quabbin Reservoir East. A 60 mile pipeline and aqueduct delivers water to the Boston area. Because this is MDC land, dogs are not allowed. Portable toilets are located along the roads because this is part of the watershed. The Loop Trail follows park roads and travels over two dams (closed to traffic). It includes a long steep accent and descent, along with an on-road section along Route 9 in order to complete a loop. If you don't feel comfortable traveling along this high speed road you may simply double back through the park. I've included a Map of the area below, along with other biking and hiking trails at the reservoir. A third biking area is located at the southern end of the Reservoir, See; Quabbin Reservoir Park . For more information visit; QUABBIN RESERVOIR .
I list the Mileages along each Individual Segment along with the [Total Miles] I've ridden from and back too Gate 30:
Millington Road Spur:
Starting from Gate 30 [Northern End]; The trail follows Millington Road Spur South and consists of old blacktop but is fairly smooth. The terrain is wooded and generally flat. After 0.6 miles you'll come to an Intersection with a Map Board and Porto-potty (you'll find Porto-potty's scattered all through the reservoir).
Note; Right takes you North out to Gate 29 and Route 202.
Continue left along a more open road. Come to the *Intersection for Regulating Dam Road Spur at 1 mile. See Below for this spur.
Continue straight, passing underneath a transmission line before a slight hill brings you up to another intersection at 1.7 miles (Marker 29-3). Bear right along the road past a couple more spurs (Markers 29-4 & 29-5) as the road takes you around Rattlesnake Hill and down to the Reservoir at 2.6 miles. Peaceful & isolated spot looking out over the reservoir. Return North back to the *Intersection.
Regulating Dam Road-Hager Road-Blackington Road-Old N Dana Road Spurs:
Continuing from the *Intersection of Millington Road & Regulating Dam Road Spur; [Re-zeroing Mileage] Travel East down the hard packed dirt and gravel Regulating Dam Road Spur and across a causeway with a small marsh to your left as the road turns South. Some slight hills along this road which brings you down alongside the reservoir and across a couple of causeways. Cross a bridge over a small dam and pass through the Wetmore Fishing Area & Boat Launch parking area at 1.2 miles [5.4 miles]. Restrooms are located here.
Note; Left takes you North out the entrance road past Loughlin Pond and Gate 31 to Route 122 after a 0.5 miles.
Continuing along Regulating Dam Road Spur, head out the entrance road to an Intersection and turn right past Marker 31-3 along the hard packed dirt Hager Road Spur. Travel through the woods around Fairview Hill and up and over a slight hill to the Intersection with the Blackington Road Spur (Marker 33-1) at 2 miles [6.2 miles].
Note; The Hager Road Spur continues straight (East) along a hard packed dirt road out to Gate 34 and Old N Dana Rd at 0.9 miles. Left takes you North along Blackington Road Spur out Gate 33 to Route 122 after 0.6 miles.
Turn right along the scenic Blackington Road Spur which travels South alongside Basset Pond, then through the woods and underneath the transmission lines before you come to an **Intersection at 2.8 miles with Old N Dana Road. Continue straight (South) along the old road for fantastic views of the Reservoir at 3 miles [7.2 miles]. A small sandy beach located here along with a Porto-Potty. Return North back to the **Intersection.
Head East along Old N Dana Road and you'll travel underneath some transmission lines before coming to an Intersection at the Gate 35 parking lot after 3.6 miles [7.8 miles]. Right is the start of the Rabbit Run Rail Bed.
Note; Old N Dana Road continues North out to Route 122 after a mile.
Rabbit Run Rail Bed:
In 1869, the Athol-Enfield
Railroad was created through the Swift River Valley. This section of track,
known as the Swift River Branch, was built from Athol through the Valley
to Belchertown. The railroad was sold to the Metropolitan District Water
Supply Commission in 1935 before the Quabbin Reservoir was created
and was immediately dismantled. See; RABBIT
RUN RR HISTORY .
From Gate 35 the Rabbit Run Rail Bed travels South past a Map Board. [Re-zeroing Mileage] The old road alternates between asphalt and hard packed dirt and gravel. After passing underneath the transmission lines the road travels alongside the Reservoir. You'll travel past an old fire tower? at 1.7 miles and come to the end of he road as it disappears into the Reservoir at 2.5 miles [10.3 miles].
Looping back to Gate 30:
Note; [Re-zeroing Mileage] After returning North back to Gate 35 [12.8 miles] you have the option of traveling North on-road along Old N Dana Road (residential). When you reach the intersection with Old Petersham Rd on your right after 0.7 miles, look left to spot a dirt & grass path (next to an old green sign reading Hager Road). Travel down this narrow overgrown two-tracked path. When the path turns right you continue straight (don't worry the trail improves). You cross a causeway and pass by Gate 34. Here the Hager Road Spur widens and improves. Continue straight past a spur down to South Spectacle Pond. Travel across a culvert and you'll return to the Blackington Road Spur after 1.6 miles [14.4 miles]. Continue straight along the Hager Road Spur back to Wetmore Fishing Area & Boat Launch parking lot, then back along Regulating Dam Road Spur to the Old Millington Road Spur. Finally, right back to Gate 30 for a [17.4 miles] round trip.
CLICK HERE FOR EAST QUABBIN MAP
CLICK HERE FOR NORTH QUABBIN MAP
CLICK HERE FOR QUABBIN PARK MAP
BEFORE YOU SET OUT BE SURE TO READ THE
WAIVER OF RESPONSIBILITY AND DISCLAIMER
BIKE IT OR HIKE IT