On Wednesday, your StreetsblogMASS editor took the long way home from the MassTrails grant announcements in Billerica to check out the progress on the extension of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail from Concord into Sudbury, and, a few miles to the east, on the Waltham section of the Mass. Central Rail Trail.
The Bruce Freeman Trail currently runs from Lowell to Powder Mill Road in Concord, about half a mile from the Concord-Sudbury town line:
However, construction is now underway to extend the Bruce Freeman 5 miles further south through the town of Sudbury (marked with a 3 in the map below), where it will intersect with a new segment of the Mass. Central Rail Trail (2).
Sudbury: Bruce Freeman meets the Mass. Central
The Bruce Freeman project has only been underway for a few months, so most of the corridor through Sudbury still looks like this:
Further south, though, near the Boston Post Road and the intersection with the Mass. Central Rail Trail, the old ties are gone and the trail looks almost ready for paving.
Here's the future junction of the Mass. Central Rail Trail, running from the left edge of the photo to the lower right, with the Bruce Freeman trail, which runs from the bottom-left edge to the upper right:
Meanwhile, the Mass. Central Rail Trail corridor between Sudbury and Hudson is a much more active construction site. Crews are currently installing a new underground power line on either side of this junction with the Bruce Freeman Trail.
When that's done, the Department of Conservation and Recreation will pave a new trail on top of the freshly-cleared railbed.
In the meantime, there are still some nice back roads that provide decent alternative routes. To get from here to Waltham, I relied on advice from Streetsblog contributor Juliana Cherston's 2021 travel guide to this area: