The importance of maintenance-Upper Charles Trail Holliston

Our newly poweder coated adaptive tandem, ready to ride at the Upper charles Trail Holliston

Maintenance is a fact of life. As much as we’d like to simply have things work, there are times we have to spend time (and money) and effort to maintain things we depend on. We had put off getting our adaptive tandem repainted, but rust is a serious concern on a steel bike, so off it went last month to Pike Powdercoating of Allston, in an effort to protect the bike from rust. It was wonderful to get it back and take it for its first test ride, out on the Upper Charles Trail in Holliston.

This adaptive tandem, constructed by Roulez Cycles of Lynn is one of a kind, and required a lot of care to make sure we would be able to put everything back together when we got it back from painting. We were blown away with the care Pike Powdercoating took in carefully removing rust and paint that was there and baking on the coats of paint that we hope will keep the bike safe for years to come. It looks beautiful!

Some air in the tires and we were good to go. Thanks Milford Bicycle!

We were grateful for the bike repair station set up along the trail, and added some air to our tires before heading out on a ten mile jaunt.

Serious structural damage to the embankment next to the Phipps tunnel is a real concern

We wanted to see the new finished section of trail into Sherborn, but started west of the Phipps tunnel and headed towards Holliston Center from there. We were dismayed at the damage recent storms have inflicted on the infrastructure of the trail itself. The east side retaining wall of the tunnel has been seriously undermined, and granite blocks have been dislodged and are in danger of collapsing.

One of the many memorial benches placed along the trail. Places to both rest and remember…

Trails are not simply places to get daily exercise. We saw numerous memorial benches along the way, reminders that these are special places of remembrance. The flowers, kindness rocks, and other additions to these memorials make these a place to keep memories alive.

Bunny hanging out in the clearing for a picnic table next to the trail, near the Sherborn town line

Some new picnic tables have been added north of where Rt. 16 crosses the bike path (near the Sherborn line). In one clearing next to the wetlands area, we spotted a small bunny.

Another stretch of quiet water next to the trail offered a Great Blue Heron a great fishing spot.

The historic railbed continues straight, while the finished trail shifts over closer to the new housing development

The finished surface as we crossed into Sherborn is a welcome contrast to the mud that used to wait for us at the town line. It is difficult to know if this is a final plan for the continuation of the trail, where the finished surface veers off sharply to the left. The historical path of the rail road remains quite muddy, nearly under water.

The end of the Sherborn section (for now)

We wondered if the developers of the nearby condo housing created this finished trail as part of an agreement with the town. If so, it is really designed for walking. The width is narrow for standard rail trail development (just about six feet). Regardless, whatever has gotten done is welcome. Happy trails!


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 “The importance of maintenance-Upper Charles Trail Holliston

  1. Very well written post, the pictures made it more interesting. I’m glad I came here.

  2. Rick Shansky

    Hi Marjorie — I had read that the Open Space Plan for Sherborn included the extension of the rail trail in Sherborn behind the Barber Reservation, to the Framingham town line. A Sherborn friend says it’s still a wish, but may be a long time before it’s completed

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