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The Cochituate Rail Trail (CRT) is a developing, multi-use trail that will run from the Village of Saxonville in Framingham to Natick Center, a distance of 4 miles. Currently, its northernmost mile in Framingham is complete.
Due to its close proximity to office buildings, shopping centers, schools, and residential areas, it provides residents with an attractive alternative to driving. A future connection to the MBTA commuter rail station at Natick Center will provide even greater transportation use.
Much of the trail is quite scenic. Passing near streams and wetlands in Framingham (and, in the future, along the shores of Lake Cochituate in Natick), the trail is a beautiful linear park providing valuable open space through heavily developed sections of both towns.
The trail follows the former Saxonville Branch rail line southeast from Saxonville and will meet the active Boston-to-Worcester commuter line in Natick Center. Built in 1846, the historical Saxonville Branch was used to construct the dam for Lake Cochituate, which supplied water to the City of Boston from 1848 to 1951. The line also serviced the textile mills of Saxonville until 1973.
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