Bradford Rail Trail

Massachusetts

Bradford Rail Trail Facts

States: Massachusetts
Counties: Essex
Length: 1.3 miles
Trail end points: Middlesex St. behind Roma Restaurant and S. Elm St.
Trail surfaces:
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6297416
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Wheelchair Accessible, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

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Bradford Rail Trail Description

The newly open Bradford Rail Trail occupies the former Pan Am rail lines, beautifying an area that once lay strewn with garbage and weeds. The city and numerous dedicated volunteers created the mile-long path for pedestrians, cyclists, joggers and other non-motorized users.

The path extends between Middlesex Street and South Elm Street in Bradford. As yet, it has no benches or other amenities, and the trail is surfaced with a thin layer of recycled asphalt chips. The Bradford Rail Trail has no lights and will be closed at dark for now.

Many hands pitched in to create the trail, including volunteers from numerous organizations. Friends of the Bradford Rail Trail invite volunteers to continue with additional work that remains to be done, including helping to keep the area trash-free.

Iron Horse Preservation, a nonprofit organization based in California, donated their services to remove the old rails and ties. For $400,000 the city purchased the abandoned right-of-way from Pan Am Railways in 2008, compliments of a state grant.

Parking and Trail Access

For information on access to the Bradford Rail Trail, visit www.bradfordrailtrail.com or contact contactbradfordrailtrail@gmail.com.

Bradford Rail Trail Reviews

Although open and available to the public, the Bradford Rail Trail is still in the same condition it was after being acquired several years back. The rail tracks have been replaced with a hard pack trail and there has been some cleanup efforts as well. However, behind the scenes much work, planning and design has been happening in conjunction with Mass DOT, National Grid, Groundwork Lawrence, BRT Committee members, the City of Haverhill and many others. Over $2MM in federal funds has been secured for the trail development. (http://www.eagletribune.com/news/article_867ceab2-28a6-11e4-b216-001a4bcf887a.html) Work will be starting soon with an initial focus on the 2/3 mile stretch between the Basiliere and railroad bridges. This will create a south side corridor to complete a 1.5 mile loop along both sides of the river. There are future plans to extend east along south side of the Merrimack River to connect into the Groveland and Georgetown rail trails, also in process.

The trail is not very scenic in the summer. You get glimpses of the river but it's mostly covered with foliage. It ends at a restaurant in a part of town that doesn't seem very safe. We won't be doing this trail again.

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