Bay Circuit Trail Section 8

Posted By on June 15, 2017

Bay Circuit Trail Section 8

7.6 miles; Lowell, Chelmsford, and Westford, MA

Again with the Rails-to-Trails! So this section was pretty boring. It was a 7-mile-long paved bike trail built on the bed of old New Haven Railroad Framingham & Lowell line. I saw my first BCT blaze since Andover, one of only 2 total. And the BCT breaks at the end of the rail trail and picks up again a few miles south in Acton.

Start of the Trail

A bit about the trail. This is a trail that’s been many years in the planning and construction, having been first proposed by the late state legislator Bruce Freeman in 1985. Phase I, which is the part I walked today, is complete, but there are 2 more phases planned, which will eventually take the trail from Lowell through Chelmsford, Westford, Carlisle, Acton, Concord, Sudbury, and Framingham. I had to park at a local Stop & Shop and walk to the start of this trail, because the parking lot for it is on the property of a large corporation, and is clearly posted that it can only be used on weekends and holidays. So I passed through this tunnel which runs underneath Route 495 in Lowell twice. It also made for a funky little jog in the gps track.

Lots of Access Points

There were a lot of access points for this trail, as it goes through Chelmsford center and crosses a lot of roads. Some were more formal than others.


I just loved this cool sculpture of a train conductor.

More Art

Just past the wooden conductor there was a concrete wall with a whole series of murals depicting the history of the area and of the railroad. That one in the center depicts a train wreck.

Heart Pond

The trail also passes along the edge of this little beach at Heart Pond. It was a bit too cool for a dip, however.

End of the Trail

And here’s the trail’s end. You can just make out across the road where they’ve begun work on Phase II of this trail.

You can read more about the Bay Circuit Trail here. Here is the website for the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail which includes a detailed map of Phase I, and not for anything, but you gotta love a trail map that shows all the ice cream places en route. As always, click on the image, above, for details about this section and to download the GPS track.

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