Tag Archives: SNETT Trail

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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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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Quiet Easy Walk on the SNETT, Blackstone, Near Farm Street


Portion of Harris Pond seen from the SNETT, Blackstone

The finished portion of the SNETT/Blackstone Greenway has received a lot of press, but a section east of there, still in Blackstone, offers some pretty views of Harris Pond that makes this section of the trail a real pleasure to visit. The trail between Farm Street and Rt. 122, as well as east of Farm Street, headed over to Bellingham, is not only high and dry, it offers water views along the trail, sometimes on both sides of the raised trail. Continue reading

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Group walk at the SNETT in Franklin

Gathering at the parking lot on Grove Street in preparation for a group walk

We arrived at the SNETT Trailhead at Grove Street in Franklin, and soon the parking area was filled with eager walkers. Some were Franklin/Bellingham Railtrail Committee members, others recently moved to the area, or recently retired and curious. One walker lives in Douglas and is active helping to develop the SNETT where it travels through her community. She was taking notes, hoping to learn from others about what they have done, what works and what hasn’t worked (yet).

Great meeting neighbor Rita on the trail

Volunteers are the heart of most trail organizations, which often take on the tasks of sponsoring cleanups, fundraising, updating information in trail kiosks, refill doggy poop bag holders, and so much more. They also, on occasion, sponsor group walks to help raise awareness of specific area trails.

At the new entryway, constructed with grant funds

I spotted one such group walk on a Facebook feed, and my calendar was open, so I pulled on my blaze orange clothing and headed over, having no real idea who would show up. These open invite walks are a hit or miss kind of thing–sometimes huge numbers show up, other times, no one. 

Water on the trail

I knew from walking the trail last week that with the recent rains there would be water on the trail. But this group of about 8 walkers and one dog were not discouraged. The sky was blue, we had no wind, and the temps were in the mid thirties. A great time to get out on the trail and meet some new folks.

Blue skies and bright sunshine at the Spring Street crossing

The SNETT in Franklin is mostly unfinished, with a small, finished  entryway making the trailhead more inviting, but otherwise, the former railbed still awaits attention from DCR to smooth out the trail, get the surface raised (above the water line) and clear out the drainage on either side. The humps and bumps created from dirt bike travel are still a challenge as well.

Ice along the trail

But these volunteers are nothing if not patient. Thanks for all the members who showed up to lead the way, for their patience in continuing to advocate for the trail, and for working with DCR to figure out how to extend the trail all the way into downtown Franklin (someday!) For those of us who could make the time on a sunny Friday morning, it was great fun. We’re looking forward to future group walks. For more information about the SNETT and the group of volunteers working to develop the trail, head over to https://www.franklinbellinghamrailtrail.org/


beech cliffs 2018

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.


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Progress on the SNETT Lake Street to Prospect Street, Bellingham-Franklin


Lake Street Entrance to the SNETT-older, town-made sign on the right, and newer, DR sign at trailhead on the left

The SNETT is within walking distance of where I live in Bellingham, and thus I’ve been able to keep a pretty close eye on any progress, or lack thereof, in making this section of trail more useable. Continue reading


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End of first leg of the Massachusetts Walking Tour

group photo blackstone 2017

Saying goodbye for now…

After nearly a year in the planning, the ten days of the Massachusetts Walking Tour’s visit to the Blackstone Valley and the Upper Charles River watershed is done. Now I’m hearing from those who missed the concerts in their towns, who had hoped to participate but were prevented for various reasons. Continue reading

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In search of the SNETT


View from one of the Bridges along the Blackstone River Bikeway/SNETT. This completed 4-mile portion of trail encompasses both the north-south railtrail, as well as the east-west SNETT.

With the recent completion of the Blackstone River Bikeway–at least the four mile section from Blackstone through Millville and into Uxbridge, there is renewed attention, and great interest, in seeing these kinds of projects move forward. The East-West SNETT (Southern New England Trunkline Trail) intersects with the north-south Blackstone River bikeway for these four miles of railtrail.

The SNETT has received a lot of press in the past several years as different community groups and public officials seek to assist in the development of this 6-town linking railtrail (from Franklin to Bellingham, Blackstone, Millville, and Uxbridge, out to Douglas)but it’s been a slow process. Continue reading

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