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Explore the best rated trails in Brookline, MA. Whether you're looking for an easy walking trail or a bike trail like the Danvers Rail Trail and Spicket River Greenway . With more than 114 trails covering 655 miles you're bound to find a perfect trail for you. Click on any trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.
First: be aware that a recent storm has washed out a section of the trail about 2 miles from the Ayer parking lot in Sept 2023. People are portaging past it, but some set-ups might not work in this situation. That said, this is a great trail. Plenty of parking at many points along the way, some even have EV chargers!
This is a wonderful trail. But I must add that I am very fond of many of the rail trails in New Hampshire. My wife and I are old and use E bikes with fat tires for our rail trail trips. However, on this trip we passed several riders using road bikes with skinny tires, and they were doing just fine.
From the start of the trip at Lake Massabesic to the end at Ash Swamp Road, this trail proved to be a most enjoyable trail with very few spots that required a little caution. Leaving Massabesic the trail is wide, hard packed and easy going. Mostly wooded areas with many brooks, swamps and for the most part, great scenery.
There were very few muddy or wet areas but all of them were easily navigated. But keep in mind, this trail crosses a few very busy highways. Luckily the first three busy roads you will encounter have tunnels, so you don’t have to cross the roads. Out of caution we got off our bikes and walked them through the tunnels, but a good rider might not have to do that.
As you make your way east there are some very interesting sites like the Emerson Mill site and a couple others that might spark later trips. The trail goes past several lakes and large rivers with very interesting spots to stop for a break or a snack. As you move east you will approach the Star Speedway, (a small racetrack) but is not open during the morning or early afternoon time periods. Further on you will have to cross a very busy route 125. Buy don’t worry, there is a traffic light on either side of the road and all you must do is press the button and wait for the light to stop all the cars, very fast and simple.
There is a rail museum and ice cream spot if you need a break or sugar fix right on the trail, so it makes a stop easy and quick. Continuing east you finally make it to the eastern end at Ash Swamp Road. There is an old rail station that is under restoration there with plenty of parking and easy access. All in all, this is a great trip that shouldn’t be missed.
This is a very fun and very well maintained trail. It crosses throught the heart of several cities/towns, so there is a lot to see. The trail is pretty flat for the whole duration, so it is an easy ride or walk.
I'd thought maybe this trail wouldn't be suitable for my road bike w/ slightly wider tires, but it worked out fine. Surface was mostly hard packed dirt/gravel, at least the 9 miles I rode starting at the southern end in Newfields. There were some muddy spots and a few rocks and roots to avoid, but never had to get off the bike and walk. Ponds, swamps, brooks and lots of woods. A few easy road crossings, no road noise on this part. Well worth a ride.
I rode from Ayer to Nashua and back over 2 hours on Labor Day morning. It is a pleasant ride on a level grade and I was able to keep up a steady pace for the whole ride. The trail is asphalt and in sections there are uneven areas where possibly tree roots have displaced the pavement. It is a big improvement over the last time I rode in several years ago. At that time there were many small conical mounds projecting 2-4 inches above the pavement, again presumably due to tree roots. I hit one one that was in the shadows and was bounced clear off the bike. All those spots have been repaired as far as I could tell. 4 stars because of the pavement issues but a very nice and scenic ride (even accounting for the grouchy local man moving brush in a wheelbarrow along the trail who responded to my "good morning" with a "get screwed").
We biked the trail today from Franklin and although it was a beautiful ride through the forest, our trip ended at the 4 mile mark because the path turned into a single lane rocky/sandy pathway. We traveled it briefly but it was not doable. It’s frustrating after reading from several apps and websites that it did not mention this. They all state it’s a 22 mile ride. Still had fun. Love getting out on our bikes!
It was a wonderful first rail trail ride -all asphalt and no bumps. Plenty of places to pull over and rest and read signs along the way. We had a great time.
Southeast of Barrington bridge under construction. Detour signs
Went on the trail today and yes the bumps are back. Trail needs that every few years paving job. Also to address the previous issue with bathrooms. There are bathrooms at the Cumberland Farms in Pepperell center (coming from Nashua take a right onto the road that runs beside the trail, coming from Ayer take a left, Cumberlands will be on your left) which is only 2.5 miles from Nashua. Also at the Ayer end there is a Mobil station that also has bathrooms.
We began our bike ride at the Embassy Public Parking Lot in Waltham. Because it was a Sunday morning, there were plenty of spaces available and the parking was free. We pretty much followed the trail on TrailLink web page and proceeded east along the south side of the Charles River. We did use Google Maps on our phone to track where we were and to ensure we were on the bike path vs. a sidewalk or other road / trail. We stopped in at the Bier Garden on the Esplanade to hydrate (lots of fun 😊) We then continued down to the Science Center. We returned back by way of the north side of the river through Cambridge until Bridge Street bridge. From that point we crossed back and continued on the trail we started on.
It was a beautiful, sunny and warm day. The trail was busy with walkers and other bicyclists. We didn’t encounter any problems or issues with people moving over when we signaled by ringing our bike bells. The other bicyclists along the way were also very courteous and followed the standard riding rules. The entire area along the Charles was bustling with people, families and pets out to enjoy a pleasant summer day. We thoroughly enjoyed the biking experience and plan to do again next year.
The parking area on Depot Road in Raymond has plenty of room, even for a ride on a beautiful sunday. I rode east on my hybrid all the way to the starting point in Newfields with very little difficulty other than it turned into my longest rail trail ride to date, resulting in very tired legs over the last 5ish miles of the return trip. Only a couple of busy road crossings, one with a crossing signal, while all the rest of the crossings were just rural roads.
The Charles River Trail is NOT a bike path. While visually pretty, the trail is clearly a walking trail, a running trail and a trail for dog-walking. The trail is very poorly marked, has difficult-to-find parking and is narrow. We found the people using the trail, for the most part, had no trail etiquette; they would walk several abreast and not move when we announced ourselves riding VERY SLOWLY and approaching. In the Waltham section the trail is difficult to navigate ,resulting from lack of directional signs. It is also muddy and had at least one felled tree across the path, at head height. The trail was not nearly wide enough to I strongly suggest avoiding the area simply for parking issues alone. Instead, try the Bruce Freeman trail, the Northern Strand trail or the Minutemantrail. Hope this helps. accommodate both walkers and riders.
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