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9 miles: Albany County Rail Trail

Length

approximately 9 miles

Acreage

approximately 117 acres

Municipalities

City of Albany, Town of Bethlehem, Town of New Scotland, and Village of Voorheesville

East Terminus

just east of South Pearl Street in the City of Albany

West Terminus

Phase II of the Milford Upper Charles Trail now under construction

With Phase II of the Milford Upper Charles Trail now under construction, the trail's committee has come up with another option to complete a missing one-mile piece

 

Committee Chairman Reno DeLuzio presented a new interim trail link last week that would connect Veterans Memorial Drive to the trail head across from Sacred Heart Church.

Riding On Railroad Ties

On the first warm Friday afternoon of the season I decided to seize the opportunity and explore the BCRT by bike – mountain bike, that is. I had not seen the entire length of the future trail, only what can be seen from the various road crossings along the way. The vegetation is encroaching onto the tracks, and there are sections that can become difficult to navigate later in the season, so this is an activity that I did not want to postpone.

National Association of Reversionary Property Owners

Most railroad rights of way were acquired from property owners in the late 1800's. A variety of legal tools were used, such as outright purchase, temporary easements, or eminent domain. This would be unimaginable today at this scale, but back then there was the political will and the public support to make this happen, because railroads served a greater public good - mass transportation.

Many rail lines have since become obsolete, though, and the corridors have fallen in disrepair. The reasons for this vary, depending on each specific line, but include the rise of the automobile, changes in local demographics, and public transportation at large being considered a phenomenon of yesteryear, and falling out of favor in many communities.

Common sense should tell us that this can only be temporary, and that the availability of energy-efficient mass transportation will once again become an economic factor for many regions. In the meantime, the public benefit of multi-use shared paths, greenways, and linear parks in our communities cannot be underestimated. As a people, a country, a community, we cannot afford that existing rail corridors and the associated rights of way are lost. The Rails to Trails Conservancy and other advocacy groups have come to the rescue and have been fighting for legislative ammendments, heightened public awareness, and the factual re-establishment of at-risk rights of way through multi-use trails in place of unused rail corridors.

184 miles: Chesapeake & Ohio Canal (Washington, DC to Cumberland, MD)

The 184.5 mile long Chesapeake & Ohio Canal is located along the north bank of the Potomac River, starting in Washington, DC and ending in Cumberland, MD. The canal was built between 1828 and 1850, and it operated sporadically between floods until 1924. In 1954, US Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas organized an eight day hike up the canal's towpath in an effort to save it from being converted to a parkway. His efforts succeeded, and in 1971 the canal became a National Historic Park.

Web site HERE

 

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal trail Map

Bruce Freeman Trail receives $500,000 of design funding for phase 2A

The Patrick-Murray Administration has announced that the Executive Office of Transportation has awarded $500,000 in Transportation Enhancements funding for final design of phase 2A of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail.

The Executive Office of Transportation was able to allocate this design funding shortly after the Massachusetts Highway Department completed construction of the rail trail’s Phase 1, a 6.8-mile shared-use path that connects Lowell, Chelmsford and Westford.

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Dover Center looking South to Medfield

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Inauguration (6)

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Ashuwillticook Rail Trail Walkers

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