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Construction funded by all our donors and:

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Take a tour of the first section of the Squannacook River Rail Trail on a snowplow!

Think a little snow stops Shepherd's from working on the rail trail? Watch James Gates and his GoPro clear the trail (slightly faster than real time). Note that when the rail trail is complete, we will not be plowing in winter, so get your snowshoes and cross country skis ready!

Video of snowplowing the rail trail

Click on the image above to watch the video
Dec. 15, 2020: The railroad ties removed, Shepherd's begins preparing the surface for stone dust

Shepherd's has removed all the railroad ties between Depot Street and Old Meetinghouse. They have now begun the process of preparing the surface for the stone dust to be applied. This image shows the ballast layer after having been rolled.

The rail trail surface is now ready for the stone dust final surface.
In memory of Steve Meehan - Sep 14, 2019

We all at Squannacook Greenways were heartbroken at the loss of our long time president and close friend Steve Meehan. Without Steve's intelligence, charm, determination and humor, this rail trail would have faded long ago, instead of rapidly approaching construction. Every time we walk or ride this rail trail for years to come, Steve will be with us in our hearts. And check out our page of pictures of Steve that also lists those who donated to our cause in his memory.

Steve Meehan signing the MBTA lease

Steve Meehan signing the MBTA lease, the culmination of 12 years of work
What is the plan for completing construction of this rail trail?

After more than a decade of work by our board and dedicated volunteers, construction of the Squannacook River Rail Trail is now well underway. Here's a brief overview of what has happened so far, and what our plans are for completion:

Year (Nov-Mar) Location Description
2019 Entire 3.7 mile rail trail Bill King cleared the entire 20 foot corridor of trees; Max13 installed a fence behind Sterilite

Entire 3.7 mile rail trail

Depot St. to Old Meetinghouse (Townsend)

Keystone removed the steel rails from the entire rail trail.

Shepherd's is nearing completion of the first 1.1 miles of the stone dust rail trail

2021 Old Meetinghouse to Harbor Church (Townsend) We are applying for a MassTrails grant for construction of this 0.7 mile section - grant selection will be announced in June 2021. Funds for required 20% match have already been raised.
2022 Northern Crosswinds to Bertozzi (Groton) We are applying for Groton Community Perservation Act funding for the 20% matching funds for construction of this section. We will be applying for the other 80% of the cost through the MassTrails grant in Jan. 2022.
2023 South St (Townsend) to Northern Crosswinds (Groton) Definitive plans for funding construction of the final section of the Squannacook River Rail Trail will be finalized in 2022.

The first two phases of construction of the Squannacook River Rail Trail. Click the image for a higher resolution version.
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Who is building the Squannacook River Rail Trail?

In a word, you! The Squannacook River Rail Trail is being built by a local non-profit, Squannacook Greenways, with money from grants and donations only. The trail will be maintained by local volunteers.

Volunteers will maintain this rail trail.

During the pandemic, Board of Directors meetings of the non-profit Squannacook Greenways are being held on-line.