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Central Trail

Readers will recall that, last year, to celebrate my 40th birthday, I biked to Boston and back.  On the way out there, as well as on the way back, I rode on a small section of what will eventually be the Massachusetts Central Rail Trail, running the length of the state.  The section I was on runs from Holden to West Boylston, just north of the city of Worcester.  What I wasn’t aware of at the time, but realized earlier this year, is that there is another, longer section of trail that I had passed somewhat close to.  That section runs through the towns of Barre and Rutland (further to the west than the West Boylston section).  I decided earlier this month to ride out there and ride this section of trail.

I began the same way as my Boston trip had, heading east through Amherst and Belchertown, then into downtown Ware. I took a slight detour on the way, going through the southern end of the Quabbin Reservoir reservation, riding across Winsor Dam:


Here’s the view north of the water:


And looking south I could see rather a large number of geese below the dam:


Back on the main road (route 9), I passed a swampy area, and as often happens there, I saw a heron:


Once in Ware, I then headed north into Gilbertville, and went farther north than I had last year, in order to head east on a more direct route to the bike path.

The route I took was not very hilly for a while, but eventually did require a bunch of climbing of me, and then went downhill for a long stretch right to the beginning of the trail in Barre.

What I had not realized was that this section of trail (about 5 or 6 miles total) was not paved.  It’s mainly finely crushed stone/gravel, with a few sections that are almost dirt trail.  Here’s what the surface mostly looks like:


It is a very pretty area that the trail passes through.  Here are some of the water areas:




The trail even does a bit of climbing and falling.  There are a couple of tunnels under roads:



and a bit that heads between 2 rock walls:


I took longish rest when I got to the end in Rutland.  At this end (and only this end) of the section is a MCRT sign:


Here’s the path seen from that end, just before I started back:


Riding back was a bit quicker to get to the western end of the path, and I then went just north and picked up highway 122 so that I could have a more hill-free ride home.  I did make fairly good time getting back, completing the whole trip (85 miles) in less than 8 hours.


Posted by seaking on 09-28-2013 at 10:09 pm
Posted in Biking, Wildlife

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1 Comment »

  1. […] I came to the western end of the Wachusett Greenway.  I’d been at that end of the trail once before, in 2013, and the westernmost piece of that trail had still been under development.  Back then the surface […]

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