Great Progress on local railtrails, SNETT/ Blackstone River Bikeway

Triad Bridge, Millville, MA, still under construction

Triad Bridge, Millville, MA, still under construction

Our family regularly searches out railtrails in the New England area and we bring our tandem bike along so we can enjoy the sights for miles along these paths. Two bike trails are within 15 minutes of where we live, but we often make day trips to ride railtrails in neighboring states. I feel sure we are not the only people who are finding these trails to be a source of enjoyment and a great way to enjoy the outdoors and exercise at the same time.

There is so much happening on the SNETT, the proposed bikeway which runs from Franklin through Bellingham, on into Blackstone, Millville, Uxbridge and Douglas.  The Blackstone River Bikeway intersects with the SNETT through the Blackstone and Millville/Uxbridge sections, and thus the developing of one trail is actually developing both. Two for one–even better!

This past weekend we headed up Rt. 122 to Millville, MA, turned left onto Central Street, drove a few blocks, just past the stone church,

Stone church, Central Street, Millville

Stone church, Central Street, Millville

to the parking area for the Triad Bridge and Millville Lock. There we found a paved parking area, with construction ongoing. The first coat of pavement is down on the path headed south, back to the Triad bridge. The Triad bridge still lacks planking, is clearly still under construction and is fenced off.

We enjoyed the views looking down the river, returned to the parking area and headed on in the Uxbridge direction, across the street from the parking area on Central Street. This section of railtrail has finished pavement as well as landscaping, and is mostly complete all the way out to Rt. 146 in Uxbridge. There is a planned parking area right next to the Rt. 146 interchange. An access ramp will allow for easy access to the trail from the parking area.

Heading back home through Blackstone, we spied lots of construction ongoing, people in construction helmets were out on the trail on the weekend working. Portions of the SNETT/Blackstone River Bikeway in Blackstone are paved, bridges (a number of them) have been rebuilt and decking has been put into place, but we did not try to access this portion of the trail.

At Rt. 126 in south Bellingham, bridgework is coordinating with SNETT trail plans to provide a culvert and proper drainage for the trail. It’s a first step in making this section of the railtrail usable.

Bridgework, Rt. 126, south Bellingham. SNETT travels under the bridge

Bridgework, Rt. 126, south Bellingham. SNETT travels under the bridge

Near Silver Lake in Bellingham, a portion of the SNETT is within walking distance of where I live. The section between Lake and Center Street has been dug up for water lines, and is now in the final stages of resurfacing, being prepared for a crushed stone finish. We checked it out and found that others are already visiting the path, including dirt bikes, which are damaging the path, as well as turkeys, which are leaving their tracks alongside the path. 

turkey tracks, beside the nearly finished path

turkey tracks, beside the nearly finished path

Nearly finished portion of the SNETT, between Lake and Cross Street, Bellingham

Nearly finished portion of the SNETT, between Lake and Cross Street, Bellingham

All in all, it’s an exciting time, seeing so much progress taking shape. The “proposed’ railtrail is becoming simply “railtrail” right in our own backyards.  Hooray!

Marjorie Turner Hollman

Marjorie Turner Hollman is a personal historian who loves the outdoors, and has completed two guides to Easy Walking trails in Massachusetts, “Easy Walks in Massachusetts 2nd edition,” and “More Easy Walks in Massachusetts.” A native Floridian, she came north for college and snow! New England Regional Chair for the Association of Personal Historians, she is a Certified Legacy Planner with LegacyStories.org, and is the producer of numerous veterans interviews for the Bellingham/Mendon Veteran’s History Project. http://www.marjorieturner.com

https://www.amazon.com/Easy-Walks-Massachusetts-2nd-Northbridge/dp/0989204340

http://tinyurl.com/MTH-More-easy-walks

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5 Comments

Filed under Blog posts--Easy Walks

5 responses to “Great Progress on local railtrails, SNETT/ Blackstone River Bikeway

  1. You certainly live in a beautiful and scenic part of the world, Marjorie. Thanks for sharing it with the rest of the world.

  2. Joyce Hollman

    And we enjoyed some of it with you!

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