This section of the rail trail begins West Boylston and travels gently uphill into Holden on a mostly stone dust base averaging the width of a single lane road.
You can either make it a round trip (4 miles) or one way if you spot a car at the other end ( about 2 miles). Average speed < 10 mph. A lot of folks walk/ride this trail daily and you may also find families with strollers and children on bikes. The surface is occasionally rough in spots depending on recent weather. It's also good for easy cross country skiing or snowshoeing.
One of the best features of this trail is the scenery and the historic site, which is now complete. There is rushing water visible along much of the trail as it winds through mostly woods. About halfway there is a historic mill site with a self guided signs.
West Boylston parking: Located just off Rt 140. From Rt 190 take the Sterling/140 exit (#5) and head towards West Boylston. As you reach the bottom of the hill rt 140 will turn left, towards the 'old stone church'. Keep going straight, the new parking lot is located on the right. It is unpaved. If you get to the bridge, you have gone too far. The beginning of the trail is just beyond the parking lot - look for signs. There may be a porta potty here.
Holden parking: Located on River St off Wachusett St. Head North on rt 31 from Holden center, as you approach bottom of hill road curves left, take right turn onto Wachusett, then your next left onto River St (there are signs here for rail trail) Parking lot is near the end of the road on the left.
Note that a loop is made by River Rd, reached by going past the parking lots on either end to the next road (a right in W. Boylston, a left in Holden) runs parallel to the trail and connects the parking lots -a portion of this is a fairly aggressive hill and unfortunately in very bad repair on
the lower section. Probably not a problem on a mtn bike, but murder on a road bike.
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