Tag Archives: SNETT Bellingham

Progress on the SNETT, Bellingham and Blackstone

Center Street to Rt. 126 section of the SNETT now complete in Bellingham, MA

We have spent the past several weeks exploring the SNETT (Southern New England Trunkline Trail) that runs quite near our home. Improvements have just been completed from Center Street in Bellingham, MA west to Rt. 126, near the Blackstone, MA line. What has up to now been one of the more challenging sections of the SNETT, this portion of the trail has limited views, but is key to opening up further sections of the SNETT west of here. Park at the Center Street parking area. Once parked, head west. An additional, Harpin Street entrance is next to DiPietro Elementary School, with parking across the street at the athletic fields. This area was until recently a barrier for those wanting to access other western sections of the trail.

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Franklin/Bellingham SNETT Tunnel!

Prospect Street Tunnel in Franklin, along the SNETT is open for visitors!

Prospect Street has been a huge barrier on the SNETT in Franklin for many years. When the trail was still a rail line, a bridge carried local traffic over the rail line. When the line fell into disuse, apparently it was easier (and short term was cheaper) to fill the rail line with dirt rather than repair the bridge. Since then, the SNETT has been getting developed as a rail trail, section by section,

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Storywalk® with grandkids on the SNETT Bellingham

Enjoying the storywalk® along the SNETT in Bellingham

Publicizing my latest book, Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are, has been taking up a lot of my energy, so it was wonderful to get out on the trail with local grands over the weekend to help them enjoy the temporary Storywalk®  posted along the trail at the SNETT in Bellingham near the Center Street entrance to the trail. New storywalks® will be posted each month

Renata, from the Franklin & Bellingham Rail trail committee, is responsible for getting new storywalks® up each month, and helped lead a group of folks along the trail

This handicapped accessible portion of the rail trail is busy these days, and got busier shortly after we’d finished reading the story when a group of folks hit the trail with the Franklin & Bellingham rail trail committee. Fortunately the trail is quite flat, wide, with extra space on each side of the stone dust trail where we could step off safely as groups of folks passed by. Most walkers wore masks, which we really appreciated.

New tree identification signs along the trail

The grands are both able to read these days, so it was fun to see them taking in the story page by page then rushing on to the next page of the story. They also took in the new signs posted by the rail trail committee, in cooperation with DCR, to identify various tree species along the trail. We got a little practice with our Latin as we walked.

Gorgeous foliage seen from the opening to the trail at Trolley Crossing Farm

Trolley Crossing Farm, which abuts the trail, has a produce stand next to the trail and local pumpkins were available.

They got pumpkins
After posing–one more shot with the pumpkins

The snag–you have to carry them back to the car with you.

Handy pumpkin carrier!

My grands used some ingenuity to figure out a handy way to carry their small pumpkins, or as one said, her “pumpkinette.”

Tyler ready to get some footage for our new cable TV show

I had been on this same trail just the other day to tape another episode of our new Cable TV show, “Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are.” We wanted to highlight the storywalk® and learned about more railroad history from the rail trail committee member who walked with us that day.

Grabbing some shots of the Trolley Crossing Farm vegetable stand

It’s fun to travel, but it’s also wonderful to slip in short walks right around the corner from where we live. We are so lucky to have this great trail, still under development, available to visit whenever we want. 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: Finding the Sacred in Everyday (and some very strange) Places.

She has been a freelance writer for numerous local, regional, and national publications for the past 20+ years, has helped numerous families to save their stories, and has recorded multiple veterans oral histories, now housed at the Library of Congress.

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Excitement on the trail Bellingham SNETT

Bittersweet vines cascade alongside the trail

The morning was overcast, and we started relatively early. Both are great strategies for finding fewer people on trails that have felt overcrowded in these days when we are still rather limited in our activities due to the ongoing pandemic. Sure enough, only one other car was in the parking lot when my friend and her children arrived to meet me for a physically distanced walk along the SNETT in Bellingham.

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Quick walk nearby, SNETT in Bellingham


Along the SNETT

As the rest of the world prepares to spend summer hours in the sun, weeks at the beach or the mountains, I prepare to hunker down in the shade, or get outside early in the morning or at dusk. Thankfully, New England summer mornings typically offer cool starts to the day. For those of us who lack the ability to sweat, summer is not much fun. And so we adapt. Rather than drive any distance to get a walk in, we took two minutes to reach the trailhead around the corner from where we live in Bellingham. We parked at the SNETT at Lake Street, and headed out on the trail towards Franklin. Continue reading


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Ice opening up-spring is coming


Beautiful view of Trolley Crossing Farm in Bellingham, from the SNETT

What a strange winter we have had in southern New England. Snow (expected) followed quickly by rain (not so nice) since the rain turned everything into heavy, ice-filled landscape. And then we received almost fourteen inches of snow overnight–a joy to see, but it was so deep (for me) and soon crusted over. Thoughts of outings in deep, crusty snow were not very appealing for me, and those of us who have balance issues. Continue reading

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Easy Walks, No Ice–Holliston Rail Trail and SNETT in Bellingham


Enjoying the story walk along the Holliston Upper Charles Trail

While we have had some snow already, the trails at the moment are ice-free. The past several days we have been able to get out on our local rail trails with no boots needed. The Holliston section of the Upper Charles Trail is packed stone dust, as is the Bellingham section of the SNETT,  from Center St. to Lake Street and over to Prospect Street, which some folks may think is not quite finished. What I  have learned is that the crushed stone dust surface is much easier on my feet than pavement. I can wear sneakers or street shoes and be quite comfortable. The trails are clearly marked, and while not crowded when we visited, both trails had plenty of other walkers also using the paths. Continue reading


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Preview of the Walking Tour


Goat Hill, Uxbridge, just one gorgeous spot along the trail


The stone bridge over the Blackstone River, inspiration for this year’s wonderful publicity poster

Have you ever worked on a project for a long time and finally see it all coming together? If so, you can imagine our excitement as the beginning of the Massachusetts Walking Tour nears. http://masswalkingtour.org/ I met with the founders, Mark and Raianne, last summer at Booklover’s Gourmet Café in Webster http://www.er3.com/book/ to talk about how this year’s tour might work, how they might use the Easy Walks in Massachusetts book series to help them plan out their route, and how best we could work together. Very soon, they will hit the road, and I’ll join them as often as I can manage. Continue reading

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Progress on the SNETT

[Reprint, courtesy of the Bellingham Bulletin, Dec. 2015 edition]


Parking, and entrance for SNETT at Center Street in Bellingham

You may have noticed a lot of construction activity happening on Center Street lately. Perhaps you’ve started to notice moms with children in strollers parking in the small parking lot next to Fox Run Road, then crossing the street. What’s going on? Continue reading

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