Sterling, Massachusetts 01564Sterling Section of the Mass Central Rail Trail
The Sterling section of the Mass Central Rail Trail is level and smooth (watch for bicycles and joggers) and is, for the most part, forested and offers a range of scenery, from woodland to wetland to vistas across West Waushacum Lake and The Quag. A half-mile loop foot trail, off the Sterling Section of the MCRT proper, takes you to the former location of the Waushacum Park Picnic Grounds.
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An intrepid adventure traveler can still find traces of it in the wilderness. A 104-mile railroad line was shattered by a hurricane in 1938. The line once stretched from downtown Boston at North Station to Union Station in Northampton, Mass. Calvin Coolidge used to ride this train to the State House each day when he was the Governor right after WWI.
Now, over 80 years later, dedicated volunteers, local property owners, state government agencies, and business partners in 25 communities are working to open it up as a linear park. Instead of trains, there will be tourists and locals, bed & breakfast inns, cross-country skiers, bicyclists, hikers, joggers, babies in baby carriages, and people in wheelchairs.
The Mass Central Rail Trail (MCRT) will provide an east-west counterpart to the existing Appalachian Trail, and connections between the existing north-south New England Scenic, Mid-state, and Bay Circuit Trails. Near Boston, the MCRT will provide connections to the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail, the Assabet River Rail Trail, and the Minuteman Rail Trail, and other projects close to Boston will connect directly with the MCRT. Sixteen hiking or multi-use trails will connect directly with the MCRT.