The Assabet River Rail Trail is a multi-use path under construction in Marlborough, Hudson, Stow, Maynard, and Acton in Massachusetts. As a conversion of the abandoned Marlborough Branch of the Fitchburg Railroad, it is a rail trail. When completed, the end-to-end length will be 12.5 miles (20.1 km). The right-of-way parallels the Assabet River in the midsection; at the north end it veers north to the South Acton train station, and the south end veers south to Marlborough.
This railroad branch was progressively lengthened, so that it reached from the Acton station to Maynard by 1849, was extended through Stow to Hudson in 1850, and reached its Marlborough terminus in 1855. Decades later, passenger service was discontinued in the reverse fashion, so that Marlborough's service ended in 1930, Hudson and Stow in 1939, and finally Maynard in 1958. The branch continued to provide freight service into the 1960s. The last remaining rails, in Acton and Maynard, were removed in 2014.
In 2005 the south end of the Trail, length 5.1 miles, was completed, from Marlborough to a Route 62 parking lot in north Hudson. The north end (Acton train station to Sudbury Road, in Stow is a rough trail, walkable and bikeable. From a bit west of Sudbury Road in Stow to Route 62 in Hudson, a four mile section cannot be traveled by any means. There are no bridges over the two crossings of the Assabet River and much of this section is private property. See maps and updates at the ARRT website.
Construction of 3.4 miles of the north end (from the Acton train station south and west to White Pond Road, which is at the Maynard:Stow border) will begin in 2016. Design plans are on the ARRT website. When completed, most will be twelve feet wide paved with cleared shoulders two feet wide, as was done for the south end.
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