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Best Spots for a Summer Bike Ride

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

 

Bike season is upon us, and if you’re looking for an excuse to pump up those tires and head out on the road, check out this list of some local trails, streets, and scenic spots that are perfect for your next ride.

Blackstone River Bikeway

Work is currently underway to create a bike path that runs from Worcester to Providence, along the winding Blackstone River. When finished, the path will stretch 48 miles and pass through over a dozen cities and towns.

Worcester contains a total of 5.5 miles as part of the Blackstone River Bikeway. Union Station and the Worcester Common will mark the northern terminus of the path.

Unless you’re only interested in the fully completely distance, the Blackstone River Bikeway is an enjoyable escape, despite its not being fully completed. Sections near Worcester and Millbury have been finalized already and are paved for your biking pleasure.

Sections of the bikeway are paved, making for leisurely sightseeing or good road bike training. Other areas are perfect for mountain biking, as trails wind through the area.

Approximately 2.5 miles of off-road bike path were completed in Millbury in 2006. An additional 2.5 miles (on-road) are under construction in Worcester, where the Greenway will terminate at Union Station.

Along the path, many bridges will need to be built, a task that has set back the project.

The bikeway has been developed thanks largely to federal transportation funding. The cooperative efforts of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, Massachusetts Highway Department, and the Rhode Island Department of Transportation with support from Valley communities, are making the bikeway a reality.

Indian Lake

For a scenic, leisurely spot, check out Worcester’s Indian Lake. The perimeter of the lake including Sears Island is about four miles if you follow the roads.

The lake is the largest body of water located in the city and offers beautiful views. If you need to take a rest during your ride, the city's beach Indian Lake is the perfect location.

Tatnuck Square

If you’re in the mood for something more urban, Worcester’ Tatnuck Square has a lot to offer for a perfect Sunday bike ride.

The area features many restaurants and cafes as well as some of the most scenic spots in the city, including Smith Pond and Patch Reservoir.

If you’re more in the mood for a picnic, Boynton/Cascades park is right in the area. Cruise over down Mower Street, then head left to visit Worcester’s hidden gem of a park. Waterfalls greet you on Cataract Street, which turns into a great off-road trail that curves around to the northern part of the park.

Follow Mill Street south and you’ll wind up at Coes Pond, another beautiful waterway in Worcester, perfect for biking.

Worcester's West Side neighborhood features tree-lined streets and beautiful Victorian houses.

Worcester’s West Side

If you like architecture, Worcester’s West Side neighborhood has some of the city’s most beautiful examples of Victorian houses. Well-manicured lawns and intricate embellishments adorn this section of town that is also close to Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s Institute Park as well as Newton Hill.

Enjoy the tree-lined streets and beautiful domiciles as you wind down the roads.

If you’re up for a challenge in this part of town, check out Bancroft Tower at the top of Bancroft Tower Road. The monument sits atop a steep hill, but the view is worth the work.

Mass Central Rail Trail

If you’re in the mood to get out of Worcester, try the state’s Mass Central Rail Trial. While the Blackstone River Bikeway flows toward the southeastern part of the state, the Rail Trail includes the space from Worcester to Northampton, with the same easy going, paved lines stretching through forests.

The main trail follows the and is the easier of the options, while more difficult routes pass through the wooded areas for more experienced, off-road bikers.

Whether you’re in the mood for a short burst or a day-long ride, the Rail Trail is a great option.

 

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