WW II VETERANS MEMORIAL TRAIL:
NORTON RAIL TRAIL:
-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-
Last Updated: February 08, 2024
Length: WW II Veterans Memorial Trail; 1.9 miles
Norton Rail Trail; 0.4 miles
Difficulty: Easy. Flat, paved rail trail.
To start from downtown Mansfield [Northern End]: Take exit 30 off of I-495 and travel north on South Main St. When you enter downtown on North Main St, look for Old Colony Rd on your right. A public parking lot is located here.
To start from Fruit Street parking lot in Mansfield [Southern End]; Take exit 30 off of I-495 and travel north on South Main St. Take your first right onto Hall St (green airport sign) and follow until it merges and become Fruit St. Follow Fruit St past the Mansfield Airport and spot the parking lot on your left.The WW II Veterans Memorial Trail in Mansfield follows the former Old Colony Railroad bed. Hundreds of thousands of U.S. soldiers once rode the Old Colony RR from Camp Myles Standish in Taunton to Boston on their way to serve in WW II. They are extending the trail South to Norton where it will connect to the existing Norton Rail Trail. See; WW II VETERANS MEMORIAL TRAIL & NORTON RAIL TRAIL .
The Old Colony Railroad was a major railroad system, mainly covering southeastern Massachusetts, USA. Old Colony trains ran from Boston to points such as Provincetown, the tip of Cape Cod, and Providence, Rhode Island via its Boston and Providence Railroad. The first railroad known as the Old Colony Railroad was incorporated April 13, 1838 to run from the end of the Taunton Branch Railroad - which ran from the Boston and Providence to Taunton - to New Bedford. This however was renamed as the New Bedford and Taunton Railroad on March 26, 1839, before construction began, and only became part of the Old Colony system in 1879, when the Old Colony leased the Boston, Clinton, Fitchburg and New Bedford Railroad into which it had been merged. The Taunton Branch Railroad was incorporated in 1835 as a branch of the Boston and Providence Railroad from Mansfield to Taunton. It was built from 1835 to 1836, and operated at first by the B&P. The New Bedford and Taunton Railroad was incorporated in 1838 at the Old Colony Railroad, changing its name in 1839 to the New Bedford and Taunton. Construction ran from 1839 into 1840, extending the line to New Bedford, at which time the Taunton Branch split from the B&P and ran concurrently with the NB&T.
Starting from the Fruit Street parking lot in Mansfield [Southern End]; The paved WW II Veterans Memorial Trail heads North from the parking lot. A Map Board is located here.
Note; Currently, as of Nov 2023, the trail is being extended South to Norton, where it will connect to the short 0.4 mile Norton Rail Trail, which begins from Crane Street parking lot. Completion date is 2025. See Map Below.
A stone-dust path parallels the paved trail. This is a straight trail with no turns and although wooded on both sides is wide open. White Mileage Markers are painted on the pavement in both directions. Continuing along the trail, an open field is now along your left side followed by a residential corridor. Come to East St at 1.6 miles. Map Board. Here the trail follows a double-wide sidewalk through Mansfield. Several road crossings before you come to main St at 1.9 miles.
CLICK HERE FOR MAP
BEFORE YOU SET OUT BE SURE TO READ THE
WAIVER OF RESPONSIBILITY AND DISCLAIMER
BIKE IT OR HIKE IT