STEAM LINE TRAIL:
WEST FITCHBURG, MASSACHUSETTS
-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-
Last Updated: May 22, 2010
Length: Steam Line Trail; 0.6 miles
Difficulty: Easy. Hard packed gravel trail. Some small hills for kids on bikes.
Take exit 28 off of Route 2 and travel north on Route 31 (Princeton Rd). Route 31 turns right onto Route 2A (Westminster St). Look along your right and you'll soon come to the West Fitchburg Steam Line Trail parking lot.
Fitchburg had a manufacturing based economy dating back to the 19th Century with the Cityís historic emphasis on mill industries situated along the Nashua River. Prominent mill owners harnessed the riverís hydropower by building a series of dams to retain water in mill ponds, which was then transported through wooden penstocks and turbines to power the mill equipment. As the need for water grew, the plant owners built the Central Steam Plant in 1928, to provide steam-generated power to the 13 paper mills located along the banks of the Nashua River. The Steam Line Trail explores this history.
Starting from the parking area; A map board is located here along with some picnic tables. The wide hard packed gravel base brings you down to a bridge over the Nashua River. From here you can see one of the power dams. The trail then heads up and around the old steam plant. Informational signs are located all along the trail. The trail travels alongside the old 20" main steam pipes that fed the paper mills and above the river. After 0.4 miles a promenade leads out to a nice view above the river and another dam. Finally, the trail ends after 0.6 miles next to the river and a stone arched tunnel underneath a Railroad line.
CLICK HERE FOR MAP
BEFORE YOU SET OUT BE SURE TO READ THE
WAIVER OF RESPONSIBILITY AND DISCLAIMER
BIKE IT OR HIKE IT