MASS CENTRAL RAIL TRAIL:
-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-
Last Updated: May 12, 2019
Length: Mass Central Rail Trail; 4.9 miles
Difficulty: Easy. Relatively flat, paved rail trail.
To start from the Wayland Depot parking lot (Western End); From I-190, take exit 13 to Route 30 E for 1.4 miles. Turn left (north) on Route 27 for 3.4 miles. Just after crossing Route 20 the Wayland Depot parking lot will be located on your left.
To start from the Weston Depot parking lot (Eastern End); From I-195, take exit 26 to Route 20 W for 1.7 miles. Turn right on School St which turns into Church St. After 0.4 miles bear right on a side road that leads to the old Weston Depot parking lot, just before Church St travels over the trail below.
The Mass Central Rail Trail is a planned 104 mile trail from Northampton Massachusetts to Boston. It will follow the old Central Mass Branch of the Boston & Maine RR that ran between the two cities. The railroad split into two after the1938 hurricane shattered the line. The trail today exists in many unconnected sections and with differing surfaces. Starting from Northampton heading east the sections that are complete include the Mass Central Rail Trail; Norwottuck Branch, Mass Central Rail Trail: Belchertown , Mass Central Rail Trail; Ware-Hardwick-New Braintree , Mass Central Rail Trail; Barre-Sterling , Mass Central Rail Trail; Wayland-Weston & Mass Central Rail Trail; Boston-Cambridge . Locally, some sections of the trail are known by another name. For example along the Mass Central Rail Trail; Boston-Cambridge section in Cambridge the trail is referred to as the Fitchburg Cutoff, while in Somerville it is referred to as the Somerville Community Path. For more information check out; MASS CENTRAL RAIL TRAIL & EAST COAST GREENWAY .
The Mass Central Rail Trail also connects to other trails. In Northampton 3 trails converge at the "Spoke". The Mass Central Rail Trail; Norwottuck Branch , Mass Central Rail Trail; Williamsburg Branch which travels northwest towards Williamsburg and the Manhan/New Haven & Northampton Canal Rail Trail North travels south to New Haven, CT. In Cambridge another "Spoke" of trails all radiate out from Alewife T Station; The Minuteman Bikeway which travels northwest to Bedford, Alewife Brook Greenway which travels east to the Mystic River and Fresh Pond Loop Trail which travels south to Fresh Pond.
In the towns of Weston-Wayland-Sudbury-Hudson and Berlin the trail is referred to as the Wayside Rail Trail .
Starting from the Waltham/Weston town Line (Eastern End);
Note; Waltham and Belmont's sections of the Mass Central Rail Trail are currently in the design phase as of 2019. Check out; BELMONT COMMUNITY PATH to see the planned route through Belmont and MCRT WALTHAM to see the planned route through Waltham.
The paved Mass Central Rail Trail travels west from the old RR Trestle that crosses over Stony Brook and the active RR tracks. It follows an isolated, open power line corridor. Look right to spot a solar farm and left through a gap in the trees to spot Weston Station Pond. Pass an old RR Mileage Marker on your right at 0.6 miles (located every mile along the old rail bed) then cross a high berm over Cherry Brook. You then pass by the old Weston Depot parking lot before traveling underneath Church St at 0.9 miles. The trail diverts briefly off the old rail bed to avoid flooding issues before coming to Conant Rd.
Note; The tunnel underneath this road is currently under construction as of June 2019. You can divert around it when no construction is taking place.
Continuing you pass by another old RR Mileage Marker on your right at 1.6 miles before traveling underneath Concord Rd. Pass by the Jericho Town Forest parking area on your left at 2.2 miles. At 2.8 miles look right to spot an old RR rail holder. Cross Plain Rd at 3.2 miles, then look left to spot an old granite RR Whistle marker. Pass another old RR Mileage Marker on your right at 3.6 miles (N88/B16; Northampton 88 miles/Boston 16 miles) followed by an old cement RR Whistle marker on your right. Cross two more roads before passing by an old RR Freight House (old RR tracks) on your left and coming to Route 27 where a cross-light takes you over to the Wayland Depot parking lot at 4.5 miles. The old RR Depot is open. Old RR tracks still in place here. The trail continues west as stone-dust. Here you'll find an old RR switcher and just after crossing the old RR tracks on your left is the remains of an old RR Turntable. Pass another old RR Mileage Marker on your right at 4.6 miles (N87/B17). To your left is an old RR R Marker? followed by another old RR Switch. Pick up a wide cement trail as you pass by a shopping plaza before coming to Route 20 after 4.9 miles and the current end of the trail.
Note; The survey work for construction of the final mile in Wayland from Route 20 to the Sudbury town line has been completed but construction is not yet funded. Wayland has remaining funds to rehabilitate the bridge over the Sudbury River. The timing for construction of the 9-mile long Sudbury/Hudson section of the MCRT- Wayside will be heavily influenced by the Energy Facilities Sitting Board decision to approve the building of an underground powerline in the railroad right of way from Wayland/Sudbury line to Hudson. Once the powerlines are installed, DCR will pave. We are waiting on the decision - expected summer 2019. If approved, construction could start as soon as 2020. Hudson center is about an 11 mile bike ride from Wayland center.
CLICK HERE FOR MASS CENTRAL RAIL TRAIL MAP
CLICK HERE FOR OLD MASS CENTRAL RR MAP
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BIKE IT OR HIKE IT