Photos: Three New Trails To Look Forward To in 2021

Cochituate Trail waterfront
The new Cochituate Rail Trail, which is still under construction for the winter 2020-2021 season, winds along the waterfront of Lake Cochituate near the Natick Mall.
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Construction activities have slowed down considerably for the winter season, but three major new trail projects in Boston’s suburbs are poised to open for traffic in early 2021: the Cochituate Rail Trail in Natick, the Cambridge-Watertown Greenway, and the extension of the Northern Strand Trail in Revere, Saugus, and Lynn.

State officials stress that these three projects are still active construction sites, and that public access is officially prohibited for the sake of public safety and getting the job done. Though these trails have been paved, the Northern Strand and Cochituate Rail Trail projects each include several bridges and overpasses that aren’t yet passable.

Cochituate Rail Trail, Natick

Natick’s new trail extends an existing 1.2 mile trail in Framingham south into Natick’s town center by way of a scenic former railroad right-of-way that hugs the shore of Lake Cochituate (pictured at the top of this post).

The project will also install two bridges over two dangerous roadways that currently divide Natick’s neighborhoods. One bridge will span Route 9, a four-lane divided highway, and make it possible for people to walk or bike between Natick Center and the Natick Mall.

A second bridge will carry the trail over Commonwealth Road at the Framingham city line:

Cochituate Trail bridge under construction over Commonwealth Road in Natick, MA
An overpass, still under construction as of December, will carry the Cochituate Rail Trail over Commonwealth Road at the city line between Natick and Framingham. Beyond, the previously-constructed Framingham section of the trail continues another 1.3 miles to Framingham’s Saxonville neighborhood.

 

 

 

Watertown-Cambridge Greenway

This new trail will run from the eastern shore of Fresh Pond in Cambridge to the existing Watertown Greenway, giving Watertown residents and workers an easy off-street bike ride to the Red Line station at Alewife, and to the Minuteman and Mystic River bike path networks north of there.

The Watertown-Cambridge Greenway at Huron Ave. near Fresh Pond.
The Watertown-Cambridge Greenway passes below Huron Ave. just south of the Fresh Pond Reservation.

 

Watertown-Cambridge Greenway under construction near Mount Auburn Street
Heading south from Fresh Pond Reservation, the Cambridge-Watertown Greenway, which is still under construction, passes the Star Market in West Cambridge (visible on the left side of this photo) before going under Belmont and Mount Auburn Streets. From there, the trail enters Watertown and continues for one more kilometer before connecting to the existing Watertown Greenway at Arlington Street.

 

Northern Strand Trail, in Lynn, Saugus, and Revere

Bike to the Sea sent out these photos from the North Shore’s hotly anticipated Northern Strand Trail extension project, which will extend the existing paved pathway in Malden all the way to Lynn, in its most recent newsletter. Construction has been paused for the winter and three bridges over the marshes near the Saugus-Lynn border have yet to be installed, but much of the project’s paving is complete.

New footings await a future bridge on the Northern Strand Trail near Lincoln Ave. in Saugus. Photo courtesy of Bike to the Sea.
Newly-installed footings await the arrival of a new bridge on the Northern Strand Trail near Lincoln Ave. in Saugus. Photo courtesy of Bike to the Sea.
The new Northern Strand Trail skirts the edge of the Saugus River marshes as it approaches Lynn. Photo courtesy of Bike to the Sea.
The new Northern Strand Trail skirts the edge of the Saugus River marshes as it approaches Lynn. Photo courtesy of Bike to the Sea.

 

 

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