More than 2,000 former railroad routes across the country have been transformed into biking and running trails for public use. They’re called rail trails, and New England has some of the best in the country, according to the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. There's even a converted path right here in Malden where we live! Today, we're bringing your three rail trails in New England we recommend trying this weekend. Now that the weather is warmer, it's time to get out and explore all nature has to offer!
Minuteman Bikeway in Massachusetts
The Minuteman Bikeway, billed as “America’s Revolutionary Rail Trail” and called one of New England’s most popular trails by the conservancy, is a nearly 10-mile trail that stretches from Alewife Station in Cambridge to the South Road intersection beside Bedford Depot Park in Bedford. We've always admired this trail going to school in Arlington and making many trips up-and-down Mass Ave. parallel to the bikeway. The route takes visitors through where the Revolutionary War began in April 1775 on the Lexington Battle Green and past Spy Pond and the 250-acre Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. The historical aspects make it a desirable 10-mile walk!
Island Line Rail Trail in Vermont
This 14-mile Vermont trail, the former Island Line Railway route, runs from Oakledge Park in Burlington to South Hero. It winds through Burlington, as well as green spaces like Leddy Park, which has restrooms, playgrounds, and picnic areas. Visitors can walk, run, or bike more than three miles out onto Lake Champlain and enjoy sweeping views of the lake and New York’s Adirondack Mountains in the distance: #views. There’s a 200-foot gap in the causeway called “the Cut” that bicyclists and pedestrians can cross to South Hero using a ferry service. So much more than just a rail trail, this 14-mile expedition is a true adventure!
East Bay Bicycle Path in Rhode Island
The 14-mile East Bay Bike Path runs from Thames Street in Bristol to India Point Park in Providence, and connects eight Rhode Island parks, including Independence Park in Bristol, Veterans Memorial Park in Barrington, and Burr’s Hill Park in Warren. Much of the scenic path, the former rail bed of the Providence and Bristol Railroad, passes along or near the shore of Narragansett Bay. All of that means there are plenty of opportunities for side excursions when you need a little break. Visitors can also stop at the Rhode Island Audubon Society’s Environmental Education Center, located off the trail in Bristol, to visit a natural history museum and aquarium. Sounds like a jam-packed way to spend a day!
Hit the trails this weekend and devour the details of all nature has to offer this summer! Don't forget to bring you camera or make sure your phone is charged-up for all of the beautiful photo opps along the way!