A Network of Rail-Trails Comes Together In Boston’s Suburbs
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1:38 PM EDT on October 1, 2019
This fall, trail advocates and officials are celebrating ribbon cuttings on two significant new trail connections in the suburbs west of Boston: a 2.5 mile segment of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail through West Concord, and a 4.5 mile segment of the Wayside Trail (part of the longer Massachusetts Central Rail Trail, which extends from Somerville to Northampton) in Weston and Wayland.
For now, these two segments don't connect to much, but that will change over the course of the next few years. Additional trail segments currently under design will knit together 30 miles of the Wayside Trail from Cambridge to Hudson, plus a connected 20-mile section of the Bruce Freeman rail trail between Sudbury and Lowell.
This network of rail trails will connect car-dependent suburban communities to MBTA rail stations and commercial districts, opening up car-free transportation options to thousands of households and workplaces.
While the existing Minuteman trail is one of the most heavily-used trails in the country, the Wayside/Massachusetts Central Trail cuts through even more densely populated neighborhoods through Belmont and Waltham, and could potentially attract even more daily users.
Here's a rundown of some of the many projects being planned (numbers refer to the annotations in the map above):