Ware River Rail-Trail


12 Reviews

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Ware River Rail-Trail Facts

States: Massachusetts
Counties: Worcester
Length: 12 miles
Trail end points: Coldbrook Springs and Baldwinville
Trail surfaces: Ballast, Dirt, Grass, Gravel
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6016025

Ware River Rail-Trail Description

This unpaved state-owned trail is open for public use from Coldbrook to Baldwinville. An on-road detour is necessary through the village of Baldwinville, but the right-of-way is open for public use on an informal basis from the outskirts of Baldwinville to the outskirts of Winchendon, except where it is blocked by the Route 2 embankment 0.9 miles north of Templeton. Two rights-of-way extend into New Hampshire from Winchendon, making this trail a key link in an extensive network of interstate trails.

Parking and Trail Access

Ware River Rail-Trail Reviews

Great if you like exploring, like I do.

Rode (7/22) from Winchendon to Baldwinville, and then (skipping the part bisected by Rt. 2) from from Rt. 101 in Templeton to Route 122 in Smithville on the Barre/Oakham line. Lots of wet and rutty sections north of Balwinville but still fun (some walking with 1.5" tires). Some sandy section in the southern piece but still fun. It's slow going of course. Didn't pass a single extra person. Good roadside fried food at Lee's in Baldwinville (it's been there for at least 70 years!)

Southern section very rough, significant ATV use (officially sanctioned). Washed out slopes can be unsafe with large cobbles, exposed bedrock, and washouts. If you manage to escape the ATVs it's quiet.

Southern section very rough, significant ATV use (officially sanctioned). Washed out slopes can be unsafe with large cobbles, exposed bedrock, and washouts. If you manage to escape the ATVs it's quiet.

Could be Better

Rode his trail on 10/2/17 from 122 up to 2A and back. I agree with the prior post in a sense that it is a tough trial to ride on anything but a mountain bike. There is a lot of sand, especially in the northern areas. I’m in pretty good shape but my muscles were screaming too.
On the other hand there is some nice scenery. I did it it’s out of my system. Glad I did but I’ll not ride it again. But it was a good workout.

OK, but not exceptional

We did the southern portion from Rt. 122 to Rt. 62 and found it fairly bland. At the beginning, the signage weas unclear as to whether bicycling was even allowed (another trail user said he'd seen cyclists often.) We found the surface conditions to be unpredictable for non-hard core bicycling, with some very soft stretches and other areas with embedded rocks and roots, as well as some wet spots and standing water (that could be skirted on the edges). The landforms, flora and fauna, and railroad evidence were unremarkable; the trail was unusually straight and level, even for a former railbed. There were a number of other ungated paths, trails and actual roads intersecting and/or crossing this trail, several of which provided vehicular access for vehicles potentially up to Jeep size. We didn't encounter ATV's or dirtbikes on our ride, but saw clear evidence of them, and we saw cars parked on the ends of the marked trail at several of these intersecting points so it is not clear who the intended users are supposed to be. The day we were there it was very quiet and peaceful, so if you are looking for miles and miles of nothing but miles and miles and you hit it as we evidently did, this trail's for you.


Quiet but challenging

Just did this on 7/30/17. The trail is flat but lots of loose golfball & tennisball sized rocks to keep you alert. There's also a fair amount of of loose surface due to gravel and too much ATV use. If you want peace & quiet this is the trail for you. Beautiful swamp areas & a small cemetery a few yards off the trail. Lots of very old headstones certainly makes for an interesting resting spot. It's intersected by several dirt roads so be careful when crossing. Bring plenty of water on hotter days, you'll need it!

its a trail- nothing more, nothing less

like a previous rider stated, it has a significant amount of soft ground, so even though in very good shape, my muscles were screaming towards the end of my 20 mile ride. i parked off rte 2a in templeton and rode south to the end point and came back. there's very little as far as scenery, but for a switch-up from a rugged trail ride or to take the place on a rainy day from a road ride, it was perfect. if you want scenery, travel to nh...but if you want a trail ride that is nothing more and nothing less, then this is just what the doctor ordered. have fun and be safe...

My First Rail Trail!

I've been lurking on TrailLink.com for a while now, and finally decided to dust off the old mountain bike and give a Rail Trail a shot!

The Ware River RT was a combination of both local and long enough to get a feel for Rail Trailing.

What a nice experience! I began my ride on the southern end of the trail, mainly because I knew there was ample off-street parking at that end (I drive by it every day to work). Peaceful and tame would be my first two words to describe my trip. The trail is fairly flat and easy to travel. Streams pass under the trail every so often, and small gurgling waterfalls greet you every so often.

A word of caution for anyone visiting this trail anytime soon: Although it seems like it is in general well-kept, the recent passing of Hurricane Katrina and the tropical rains a week later have caused several trees to fall across the trail. In addition, the trail was flooded out in a few spots, mostly an inch or two of standing water, but in one spot, the water was a good 6" deep, all the way across the trail, for a few hundred feet. (Note that the aforementioned tiny waterfalls may only be there after heavy rains!).

Overall, I would recommend this Rail Trail to anyone looking for a quiet, relaxing ride through the forest. Although I did not have time to take the trail to it's northern conclusion, the 3/4's of the trail that I did ride was worth the trip!

Corrections to fletch6's post

"from here to Worcester is is called the Wachusett Greenway but is very fragmented."


The sections of the Mass. Central Rail Trail in Oakham, Rutland, Holden and West Boylston were built and are managed by the non-profit Wachusett Greenways, but do not share the organization's name.

Also, the Central Mass. RR never went to Worcester.

Trail to the east of this trail

This is part of the Mass. Central or Central Mass RR that ran from Northampton to Boston 104 miles. It is still in pieces and being made into a Rail Trail. from here to Worcester is is called the Wachusett Greenway but is very fragmented.

Woodsy Ride

I had a nice ride on this trail - nothing spectacular, but very woodsy and quiet. Although all the gates say "no wheeled vehicles", I assume this warns motorized vehicles, or what's the point? This 13 mile trail is label as "Corridor 71". Is there a Mass trail naming scheme? Found the trail in good shape - mostly packed dirt and stone with occasional sand. There is a Rt 2 bypass on a private road at the northern end, but it is very rough with hills, loose stone, and sand. I gave up after a half mile or so.

There is another unmarked trail that crosses RT 122 a few miles to the east (with a new bridge near the road). Anyone have info on this one?

Ware River Rail Trail ride

We rode this 12 mile trail from RT122 to Rt 2 and back yesterday. This trail is tough. The dirt is very soft 80% of the ride. The ride is as the pictures show. Very featureless. A couple of nice vistas of the river but basically boring. The soft sand made the ride feel 10 miles longer. And I thought we were in shape! Very quiet, good parking, plenty of shade for the positive side!!

Ware River trail

I rode this trail from the south end up to Rt.2. The first few miles are very rough because of horse traffic not the best Mt. biking but it improved as you went north. Lots of interest to see along the way and
in all a ride to be done.

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