Related Posts with Thumbnails

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Mass Central Rail Trail...a New England Gem

I love this quote...taken at Walden Pond.

There is something so perfect about a walk in the woods. And when that walk happens in the fall in New England, its perfection is unmatched. 


In 1938, a 104 mile railroad line, stretching from Boston to Northampton, was destroyed by a hurricane. Today, the Mass Central Rail Trail is being dug out and opened through 24 communities. It is enjoyed by walkers, runners, cyclists, snowshoers, cross-country skiers, and outdoor enthusiasts. 



I am lucky to live close to a section of the 25 miles that is currently open. It is on the short list of happy places, for sure. 



Over a century ago, this area manufactured woolen cloth. The only remains of this once bustling community are the foundation ruins. 


There are two footbridges over a babbling brook that lines the trail. It is a delight for the senses. Sometimes you will see anglers enjoying their own piece of perfection and on some mornings you can see another piece of natural art...spiderwebs between the bridge rails, glittering in the sun, lined with dew drops.








From the parking lot to the first gate is just under three miles. You can continue on through two more sections, or turn around and enjoy an almost 10k stroll.


Where is your outdoor happy place?




46 comments:

  1. How peaceful! A nice serene Fall hiking spot!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a peaceful place, Rebecca. A perfectly serene hiking spot, in any season. Thank you for stopping by!

      Delete
  2. How beautiful. Your choice of Thoreau's quote is so appropriate!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Corinne. I am working on a post about Walden Pond too, but that quote worked perfectly here too. Thank you for stopping by!

      Delete
  3. What lovely scenery. I live in rural Normandy in Northern France and have fantastic countryside all around. I am VERY lucky that I can walk there any day I want ...and with 2 dogs I do :) #TravelTuesday

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It must be beautiful where you live. It would be fun to have a dog or two here, but with our traveling schedule, it's just not feasible at this time. Someday. Thank you for stopping by! :-)

      Delete
  4. Just beautiful! Your photos really bring it to life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Karen! And thank you for stopping by!

      Delete
  5. I love Walden, and I love old rail trails :)

    Farin
    http://farinvazquez.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do too, Farin. Thank you for stopping by!

      Delete
  6. Beautiful! I might have to check this place out! I think it's about a 2 hour drive from me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really is beautiful, Kimberly. You could do a weekend getaway and foliage drive as well. It's gorgeous up here now. Thank you for stopping by!

      Delete
  7. Beautiful, Kelly. I can just feel the cool air and smell the wonderful air from your walk. Cathy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Cathy. It's a happy place, for sure. Thank you for stopping by!

      Delete
  8. That looks amazing! We had a new trail open up in our neighborhood this year. It's been lovely getting to use it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like it using it mostly all year round. I'm not a skier, but I have thought about snowshoeing. It's the perfect place.

      Delete
  9. You just made me so homesick (in a good way). I grew up just west of Boston and graduated from UMass Amherst. These beautiful pictures are the scenes from my life that I truly miss.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice, Karen. It is a beautiful area. And Amherst is fabulous. Our niece is at UMass and we visit Northampton fairly frequently...such a fun energy. Thank you so much for stopping by!

      Delete
  10. That looks beautiful!! I haven't been but I need to check it out. I hear they are opening a section through Fram/Natick in the next year or so.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the plan is to connect them all. Some are paved; this one, no. There's a good one from Bedford to Boston and another from Ayer to Nashua. It's nice to see them put to such good use.

      Delete
  11. What a beautiful area! Great picture Kelly!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love it, Rachel. Thank you, and thank you for stopping by!

      Delete
  12. Gorgeous! I adore fall but we definitely do not get such pretty colors here on the southern coast!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fall is such a great season. The colors vary, but any color is such a treat. Thank you so much for stopping by!

      Delete
  13. Lovely pictures!!! I do love this time of year...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do too, Michelle. Thank you, and thank you for stopping by!

      Delete
  14. Beautiful, the foliage looks great and the trail just begs for calmness.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Haralee. It is beautiful and serene, especially the creek. Thank you for stopping by!

      Delete
  15. Fall in a nutshell! How great that you are close to that trail, it looks magic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is beautiful, Jessi. I am lucky, indeed. Thank you for stopping by!

      Delete
  16. Such beautiful pictures! There is a state park pretty close to our house and it is just gorgeous this time of year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Karen. We are both lucky. I love fall so this is magical for me...such a treat. Thank you for stopping by!

      Delete
  17. Even after 38 years in Southern California, I still miss fall very much. What beautiful pictures!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is beautiful, but Southern California must be magnificent in its own way. I have never seen the Pacific Ocean...will someday though. Thank you so much for stopping by, Sharon!

      Delete
  18. That is awesome. What a lovely place.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Vanessa, and thank you for stopping by!

      Delete
  19. I agree with Sharon, your photography really captures the light, scent and feel of this gorgeous swathe of land and evokes the magic of nature we sometimes forget to notice. Especially we bloggers with our noses ever to the grindstone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Shannon. There is no app for that. Winters are long here, so I am trying to savor every fall day. Thank you so much for stopping by!

      Delete
  20. Magnificent. How I would love to stroll along this path! What a beautiful place, and your photos match as such. Thanks so much for sharing such a lovely part of the world!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Peggy. It is so serene...a happy place, for sure.

      Delete
  21. Your photos are beautiful! I live outside of Boston and recently, have heard many great things about the rail trail - after reading this, I will definitely need to visit!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Kendra! I think you will love it. There are many rail trails in New England, but I think this might be the best. Enjoy! And thank you for stopping by!

      Delete
  22. It looks so pretty, lucky you to be living so close!

    diana | life in German.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is beautiful, Diana. I am lucky, indeed. Thank you for stopping by!

      Delete
  23. New England in the autumn really does look as amazing as everyone says it is :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Amy. I love fall so this is magical for me...New England "does" fall right....such a treat. Thank you for stopping by!

      Delete