Getting Out Early–Blackstone River Greenway

Early morning light along the Blackstone River

We arrived with our adaptive tandem bicycle at the Uxbridge trail head of the Blackstone Greenway, just off Rt 146A, before 7A.M, and found only one other car already there. Great. We wore masks, and pedaled along the trail, encountering mostly one, or sometimes two people on the trail, almost all walkers.

Taking a break along the trail

As the weather warms, we turn to our adaptive tandem bicycle to get out outside and enjoy the natural world in ways I can manage, since I am terribly sensitive to the heat. In other years we simply pick a local, or more far-flung rail trail, pack up our gear and head out. But this has been anything but a normal year so far.

A large part of what I have put my efforts into these part several months has been offering people strategies to avoid crowded trails. And the simplest tactic is to get out early, ahead of the crowds. A few days ago we finally put this into practice ourselves and got up around 5:30 in the morning, grabbed breakfast and had the bike packed up and set off by 6:30.

View of the Blackstone River from the Triad Bridge

The closer we got to the Blackstone parking area, the more people we encountered. But the numbers were still small, and everyone worked to offer space. The few dog walkers kept their dogs on 6 foot leashes, for the most part, a concern when bikes and walkers mix. Our bell alerted others that we were coming, and we only had to stop once or twice to allow others to get past each other.

Standing on the Triad Bridge we got a closer look at the bridge abutments in the river, what little that remains of the plans for the third rail line to cross the river, creating the Triad Bridge concept

As we headed back across the multiple bridges across the Blackstone River, I happened to look over to the railroad bridge that crosses the river at the same point as the bridge we were on. The coyote traipsing across the rail bridge glanced at us, finished his crossing and headed off into the woods.

We just caught the coyote heading off into the woods after crossing the railroad bridge

We still had plenty of energy left when we returned to the Uxbridge parking lot, so struck off down Adams Street for some road pedaling. We did another three-mile loop back to Millville. The remnants of stone walls along both sides of the road told us this was an historic road, used by past generations to get from one point to another. Much of the area looked like former farm land, and offered some great views of the surrounding countryside. We returned to the Uxbridge parking area to find the lot nearly full. Yes, heading out early was a good plan. It was cooler (our windbreakers were most welcome on this trip!) and the light was low, making for some nice pictures.

Bridges, bridges and more bridges along the Blackstone River

Summer is coming, we are still concerned about keeping our distance, so will continue to wear our masks when out in public. Enjoy your time outdoors, please be safe, and plan to avoid crowds by getting out early Happy trails!

Early summer flowers add more interest to the trail


Marjorie Turner Hollman is a writer who loves the outdoors, and is the author of Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd editionMore Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd editionEasy Walks and Paddles in the Ten Mile River Watershed, and Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are. Her memoir, the backstory of Easy Walks, is My Liturgy of Easy Walks: Reclaiming hope in a world turned upside down.


Filed under Blog posts--Easy Walks

4 responses to “Getting Out Early–Blackstone River Greenway

  1. Jim spear

    Those bridge abutments or piers you showed in your last post were part of the ” Titanic Railroad ” , where concrete was poured , rail right of ways were procured , but no steel spans or rails were ever laid .

    • marjorie561

      Indeed, I have written about about this elsewhere, and happy you drew attention to this fact again. Thank you!

  2. Love going here, it s clean, mostly level, paved, lots of places to stop and view the scenery. Some hills keeps the ride interesting. Highly recommended! I wasn t sure what to expect based on the other reviews. On one side of the trail is the Blackstone River, on the other side is 146. I parked in the Millbury lot and ran to the other end (about 3 miles). The trail stops behind Walmart so that is another place to park in addition to the MIllbury lot and the one in the middle. Overall, I am grateful for another place to run. I hope that someday the trail connects to the more southern branch.

    • marjorie561

      The Blackstone Heritage Corridor has a committee hard at work to make connecting the trail from Uxbridge to Worcester a reality. The section from Millbury to Worcester is short, kinda noisy since it is so close to the highway, but offers some great views of the river. So much to be done. The Heritage corridor is always looking for volunteers.

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