Connecting the Wachusett Community with Trails and Greenways
Frequently Asked Questions
Wachusett Greenways and the Mass Central Rail Trail
Connections! Wachusett Greenways helps connect people to the outdoors and to each other by building and helping to maintain trails including the Mass Central Rail Trail (MCRT) and by leading free trail events year round. Members, volunteers, the Wachusett communities and the Commonwealth, in particular the Department of Conservation and Recreation, are vital partners.
Wachusett Greenways is an all-volunteer non-profit group established at the end of 1994.
Members, volunteers and donors find us at www.wachusettgreenways.org or send their contributions to Wachusett Greenways at P. O. Box 121, Holden, MA 01520.
What is the Mass Central Rail Trail (MCRT)?
Once a 104-mile railroad traveling from Northampton to Boston, the right-of-way is now being restored as a multi-use trail. The section of the Mass Central Rail Trail which Wachusett Greenways and our partners are building is the central 30 miles through Sterling, West Boylston, Holden, Rutland, Oakham and Barre. We have completed more than 17 miles of our planned 30 mile central section. The first one-mile section was completed in 1997 in West Boylston. To date we have installed nine bridges and two tunnels or underpasses. The tenth bridge—98 feet long is to be located over the Ware River in Barre in 2013.
Who are the partners building the MCRT in central Mass.?
Wachusett Greenways, Wachusett Towns, state agencies, foundations, businesses and other groups are all integral partners in building and maintaining the MCRT. Together these groups have already contributed well over half the $3+ million required to build 30 miles of the Rail Trail. The Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Wachusett Towns play a vital role in developing the trail. Wachusett Greenways is the project coordinator Contributions from Greenways friends and members have ranged from $5 gifts to $160,000. Local foundations have stepped up to contribute to the rail trail construction with benefits for the greater Worcester community and all of Central Mass.
How is the Wachusett Greenways section of the trail constructed?
The trail is constructed with a stone dust-paved surface which is good for bicycling, walking, strollers, cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing and wheelchairs.
Who cares about this trail?
Where is the Mass Central Rail Trail complete now?
More than 17 miles are open:
· Sterling from Sterling center at the Cider Mill to Gates Road-- 1.7 miles
· West Boylston/Holden from Oakdale to River Street along the Quinapoxet River-- 3 miles
· Holden Connector from River Street to Manning Street to Mill Street-- 2.2 miles off the rail bed and over two hills
· Rutland from Wachusett Street south to the Holden line—1.2 miles
· Rutland from Glenwood Road to Miles Road-- 1.7 miles
· Rutland from Miles Road to the Muddy Pond outlet at Route 122—4.1 miles
· Oakham from Muddy Pond outlet to Route 122 crossing to Coldbrook Road to the Barre Line—2 miles.
· Barre from the Oakham line to the Ware River crossing and on to the Route 122 Mass Highway rest stop—1 mile.
Wachusett Greenways volunteers are needed to help maintain the rail trail from Sterling to Barre and the White Oak Trail which Wachusett Greenways built in Holden adjacent to Trout Brook Reservation. Volunteers are welcome to help in many other ways for trail construction, events, fundraising, communications, hospitality and more! Contact Colleen Abrams 508-479-2123 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Updated January 2013