The North Central Pathway will one day stretch 16 miles between the cities of Winchendon and Gardner in northern Massachusetts, primarily along a former railroad right-of-way. Three open sections currently offer nearly 5 miles of paved, off-road trail. In Gardner, a 2.5-mile on-road route is also available along Green, Kelton, Wheeler and Stone Streets.
The northernmost section travels just shy of a mile across Winchendon from Summer Street to Glenallen Street, connecting residents to Whitney Pond and the Clark Memorial Community Center.
Just south of Winchendon, the trail picks up again and travels through dense woodlands about 3 miles to the northern outskirts of Gardner.
Further south, the trail continues through a picturesque part of Gardner. This section begins between Mount Wachusett Community College and Heywood Hospital and runs nearly a mile to the Veterans Memorial Skating Rink along the eastern shore of Crystal Lake.
In Winchendon, parking can be found at the Clark Memorial Community Center (155 Central Street) on the trail's western end, as well as at the intersection of Glenallen Street and Route 12 on the eastern side.
In Gardner, a parking lot is available off Green Street at the north end of the trail and at Veterans Memorial Skating Rink (45 Veterans Drive) at the south end of the trail.
From the north (the Clark Memorial/YMCA) in Winchendon, there is plenty of parking and a paved path the winds beside Whitney Pond. Once you get to Route 202 there is another parking lot. When you cross 202 this section is unfinished and unmaintained. ...