Six Great Hiking Trails in Central Mass
Monday, May 28, 2012
Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary
414 Massasoit Road, Worcester
Mass. Audubon’s 400 acre wildlife sanctuary in the heart of the city is a great place to take a stroll. Four miles of hiking trails traverse fields, wetlands, brooks and oak forest land. Trails begin at the visitor center; the 1.64 mile Sagatabscot Ridge trail goes from the visitor center to Granite Street. Trails are open from dawn until dusk.
If you’d rather get out of the city, Mass. Audubon has 10 Central Mass. Sanctuaries, all of which have walking trails. Check out their website for more information.
Cascades Trail System
Boynton Park, Mower Street, Worcester
Maintained by the Greater Worcester Land Trust, the Cascades Trail System is a series of seven trails that traverse Holden, Paxton and Worcester while abutting the city’s drinking water supply. Parking and entry to the trails is available at Boynton Park or on Olean Street in Worcester.
East Side Trail
East Park, Shrewsbury Street, Worcester
Starting from the stone lions gate on Shrewsbury Street; the 3 ½ mile city owned East Side Trail takes hikers through East Park, past Bell Pond, into Green Hill Park before ending at the Boat Ramp on Lake Quinsigamond.
Taylor Road, Berlin, MA
Unlike most waterfront property in Massachusetts, Gates Pond has no homes on the shoreline, and is instead managed as a reservoir by the town of Hudson. A walking path circles the pond and takes about an hour to cover. Because the pond is used for drinking water, the only permitted activities are hiking and cross country skiing, which means that you are truly able to connect with the natural beauty while hiking.
Various Entry Points, from Douglas to Mount Watatic in Ashburnham.
The 95 mile Midstate Trail travels through 12 towns as it makes its way from the Rhode Island state line to New Hampshire border. Interesting landmarks along the way include Crowhill Ledges in Leominster, Redemption Rock in Princeton, Spencer State Forest, Hodges Village Dam in Oxford and Douglas State Park.
A new bridge has been installed over the Ware River in Princeton, and a ribbon cutting ceremony will take place on June 2, National Trails Day.
Starting July 14, the Midstate Trail Committee is leading a series of 18 day hikes that cover all 95 miles of the trail end-to-end. Hikers who hike the entire trail earn an “end-to-end” patch.
Wachusett Mountain State Reservation
345 Mountain Road, Princeton, MA
Wachusett Mountain State Reservation, is home to the highest peak in Massachusetts, east of the Berkshires.
Operated by the Department of Conservation and Recreation, Wachusett Mountain State Reservation boasts 17 miles of trails that wind through the mountain, passing through mature hardwood forests and hemlock groves, and at the summit, the Boston skyline can be seen in the east, Lake Quinsigamond and Worcester to the south, Mount Tom and Greylock to the west, and Mount Monadnock to the north. Before you get going, stop by the reception center and pick up a map of all of the trails
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