8 Arch bridge is open–Holliston Upper Charles Trail

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Newly renovated 8 arch bridge, and Bogastow Brook

It’s been a long time in the making, but the 8 arch bridge in Holliston, a key link in the Upper Charles Trail in Holliston, is (mostly) finished, and is safe for travelers to use. We took a ride on the trail recently and witnessed so many changes, the result of a whole lot of volunteer labor, as well as dedicated funds from Holliston’s town folk. Community Preservation Fund monies were dedicated to the restoration of the bridge, but a separate committee also spent time and effort to privately raise funds to facilitate the preservation of this magnificent piece of architecture. Additional monies from DCR and the Federal Department of Transportation have all contributed to making this a great place to spend time in the out of doors.

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On the trail, downtown Holliston

We started in downtown Holliston, and headed north on the trail, toward Sherborn. Much of this section of trail is quite shaded, a real gift on a warm summer morning.

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Railings and cement cap are all in place on the bridge (and friendship rocks–someone had a whole lot of rocks to drop along the trail…)

When we reached the bridge we found some trail work still needed–crushed stone is lacking on the approach to the bridge, and the transition over the bridge was a little bumpy. [ed. note-Since this was written, the last stone dust was delivered and put in place–expect a smooth ride from now on. Many thanks to all those who worked so hard to make this a reality. Yeah!]

The railings are all in place, the views are quite nice, and Bogastow Brook has plenty of water, so it flowed under the bridge and added to the beautiful views.

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A whole lot of poison ivy to wade through to get near the bridge

But one must actually get off the trail and down next to the bridge (careful of the poison ivy!!!!) to get the deepest sense of what a special thing this bridge is. Pictures help, but it’s still better to visit in person.

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Condition of bridge last fall

It is also impressive to compare what the bridge looked like just last year

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The completed trail stops here, at the Sherborn/Holliston town line

We headed on toward Sherborn, since I’d heard that the Holliston section of the trail was essentially complete. The farther out we went from town, the fewer folks we saw. The Sherborn section of this proposed railtrail is quite different and the town line is starkly apparent.

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A whole lot of mud along the trail, and on our bike!

Once into Sherborn, we were soon mired in mud–clearly a whole lot of trailwork remains to make this proposed railtrail a reality in all the towns included in the plans.

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Mud on the trail made for some tough going

The trail quickly became too rough for our bike, and after our chain fell off once, we turned back.

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Marshlands next to the trail, north of Rt. 16 near Sherborn

Much of this trail offers quiet–and several sections travel through marshland. We discovered that  the marsh near the Sherborn town line harbors a heron rookery. We spotted several great blue heron nests, all within sight of the railtrail.

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A very poor (cellphone camera) view of two adult herons standing guard over their nest in the midst of the marshlands. We spotted at least two other nests on this same section of trail

I was sorry my good camera had been left at home. My phone’s camera only poorly captured the sight of two large herons standing atop their nest in the full sunshine, in the midst of the swamp.

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The Phipps Tunnel, a cool spot to stop along the trail on a warm summer’s day

We kept going south and rode through the Phipps tunnel, another wonderfully cool spot along the trail on a summer morning.

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Yet another wonderful feature of the Upper Charles Trail in Holliston–the story walk®

Not far south of the tunnel, right near the trail access on Cross Street, is the section of trail that hosts a Storywalk®.

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Reading and walking–

It appears the story changes with the season. The last time we visited was at New Years, and it was dark, but I’m pretty sure the story was not about spring then. But it is now. And it feels like summer!

Marjorie

beech cliffs 2018Marjorie Turner Hollman is a personal historian who loves the outdoors, and has completed three guides to Easy Walking trails in Massachusetts, “Easy Walks in Massachusetts 2nd edition,”  “More Easy Walks in Massachusetts,”  and edited “Easy Walks and Paddles in the Ten Mile River Watershed.” A native Floridian, she came north for college and snow! Marjorie 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

https://www.amazon.com/Easy-Walks-Paddles-River-Watershed/dp/1985377012

 

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3 Comments

Filed under Blog posts--Easy Walks

3 responses to “8 Arch bridge is open–Holliston Upper Charles Trail

  1. Mary Chitty

    great story and good publicity for the new [accessible[trail. love mg

    Mary Chitty MSLS Library Director & Taxonomist cell 617 861 7410 work 781 972 5416 Cambridge Healthtech, Needham MA http://www.genomicglossaries.com http://www.healthtech.com

    On Tue, Jun 19, 2018 at 3:00 PM, Marjorie Turner Hollman wrote:

    > marjorie561 posted: ” It’s been a long time in the making, but the 8 arch > bridge in Holliston, a key link in the Upper Charles Trail in Holliston, is > (mostly) finished, and is safe for travelers to use. We took a ride on the > trail recently and witnessed so many changes, the ” >

  2. That bridge is beautiful!

  3. marjorie561

    It really is, Mary, for sure! So happy we were able to help save it so it will stand for many years to come for everyone to enjoy.

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