All posts by Renata Gilarova

2021 – Year in review

Another year with Covid-19 behind us. Benefits of outdoor recreation during these unprecedented times are bringing many people to the SNETT rail trail. We have seen many different uses of the trail throughout the year, such as walking, running, hiking, biking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, dog walking, strolling with strollers, younger kids riding their scooters or tricycles, nature watching and nature photography. We love to see everyone enjoying the trail!

Please click this LINK to read our annual report.

We are looking forward to 2022 and to your continued support, whether you volunteer with us or support us financially by becoming a member or renewing your current membership.

See you on the trail or at one of our events!

The Franklin & Bellingham Rail Trail Committee



The Franklin Bellingham Rail Trail Committee (FBRTC) is now accepting nominations to serve in leadership positions. Your help is critical at this time to maintain this great community resource.

What is the Mission?
The Franklin & Bellingham Rail Trail Committee (FBRTC) is a volunteer advocacy group dedicated to the development, maintenance, and financial support of the Southern New England Rail Trail as a multi-use, universally accessible recreational path.

Here is what some of our volunteers say about being involved!

“I first got involved with the FBRTC to help develop the local rail trail and offer outdoor recreation opportunities for myself and my kids. What I received back was much more! Serving on the committee has connected me to neighbors and leaders in my community and has led to friendships both professionally and personally. I feel good giving back, and at the same time helping to create opportunities for people to improve their health and connect with nature.”
Marc (pictured front left helping to clear the Fox Run Rd section)
“I appreciate the work being done on the trail. While walking the Rail Trail: I especially treasure the serenity and fresh air, Walking with my grandchildren and dog, To feel like I’m in the woods but only a few yards away from civilization, The maps on the kiosks, The cleanness, safety, and surface and width of the trail.”
Tony (pictured left with Darren cleaning the drainage ditches on Lake St to Prospect St section)
“Not everybody can say that they are helping to build something permanent that will be utilized by Franklin, Bellingham and neighboring towns for the good health and happiness of all of our residents; but we can! When we achieve our goals, we can also say that we are leaving something really good for our children and grandchildren! Help us achieve our goals!
David (pictured left as a long time director of our road race, Dave has started the FBRTC and has worn many hats during his very productive tenure)

Being part of the committee helps ensure the benefits of the trail are there for you and others!

How You Can Help
The committee is charged with assembling a slate of nominees for President, Vice-President, Treasurer, and Secretary. Other positions and areas to serve are also available and determined by need on an annual basis. 

Any interested member is eligible to serve. Please complete the online form now to be contacted. Nominations must be received before January 10, 2022. You can also reach out to the committee directly to discuss getting involved at

While we hope that we are overwhelmed with nominations, we recognize that not everyone has the time to serve. FBRTC has always been a volunteer-based organization with multiple opportunities at a variety of levels. To that end, we would encourage you to fill out the interest form.

#snettphoto2021 – and the winners are…

Thank you to everyone who participated in our #snettphoto2021 contest.

The winner is Eileen Ridgway and her photo Spring in full bloom. Eileen wins $50 Think Franklin First gift card and free FBRTC membership for one year.

Eileen Ridgway: Spring in full bloom

Second place: Valerie Turk and her photo of Triad Bridge in Millville, MA.

Valerie Turk: Triad Bridge in Millville, MA

Third place: Michelle Delmonico and her photo of Chase on the trail walk.

Michelle Delmonico: Chase on the trail walk

Both second and third place also win a free one year FBRTC membership.

Congratulations to the winners and thank you all for participating.

All submission can be viewed here:

Thank you! – 10th Annual 5K Run/Walk

We would like to thank all 103 runners/walkers who participated in our 10th annual (this year virtual) 5K road race.

You can find the results here:

Congratulations to the winners: Nicholas Bailey (Men’s Open), Elizabeth Hannon (Women’s Open), Stephen Sullivan (Men’s Senior), Donna Antkowiak (Women’s Senior).

We would also like to thank our race sponsors for their generous donations:

67 Degrees Brewing

Nerds to Go Computer Service

Staples Connect

Anthony Martone, CPA, Walpole

Bellezza Day Spa and Simply Skin by Angela

R.E. Erickson Co.

Ameriprise Financial

Orangetheory Fitness, Walpole

Joseph M. Sardonini Jr, CPA

Castro, Thresher & Oliveira, Certified Public Accountants

Pet Supplies Plus, Franklin

Franklin Agway

PR Running, Westborough

And last, but not least – this race would not be possible without the hard work of our Race Committee and the Tri-Valley Front Runners. Thank you! Please visit the TVFR website for upcoming running events or to become a member.

#snettphoto2021 Contest

2021 photo contest featuring the SNETT Rail Trail is here!


Who should enter: Anyone, any age. Exceptions: FBRTC Executive Board Members and members of the FBRTC Judging Panel.

What to enter: Any photos taken during June 2021 on any section of the 22-mile long SNETT (Southern New England Trunkline Trail) of nature, landscapes, people on the trail.

Note: A signed release from any recognizable people in your images is required, and you must be able to provide copies of those releases to the Franklin & Bellingham Rail Trail Committee upon request.

How to enter: Take a photo on the SNETT rail trail and post on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter only) with a hashtag #SNETTPhoto2021. Then email the photo (including the photo caption and photo location), and your name to Photos should be jpg/jpeg files no larger than 10MB (no screen shots). One photo per contestant.

When to Enter: Contest runs June 1 – June 30, 2021.

Judging: Top 3 finalists (1st place, 2nd place, 3rd place) will be selected by a panel of the FBRTC volunteer members. All decisions made by the judges are final.

Prizes: The winner will receive a $50 Think Franklin First gift card. 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners will all receive FBRTC’s free one year membership.

Rights: By entering this photo contest, you hereby grant to the Franklin & Bellingham Rail Trail Committee (FBRTC): Non-exclusive, worldwide, irrevocable publication rights for your photos in all FBRTC’s publicity materials (print or electronic), and the right to use your name in such publications. This includes the right to use your photos on our website, social media, in print and electronic advertisements and promotions. 

All photographs will be credited with the caption “©Person’s Name.”

Franklin & Bellingham Rail Trail Committee reserves the right at our sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the photo contest.

Here is a link to the #SNETTPhoto2020 contest, if you need inspiration. We are looking forward to receiving many wonderful photos!

SNETT Rail Trail at Lake St crossing in Bellingham MA looking east. ©Renata Gilarova

2020 – Year In Review

What a year 2020 has been! Despite Covid-19, we have gotten a lot accomplished and because of Covid-19 the trail has seen a huge increase in usage. We hope you were able to take an advantage of this local open space resource. 

Please click this LINK to read our annual report.

We are looking forward to 2021 and to your continued support, whether you volunteer with us or support us financially by becoming a member or renewing your current membership.

Wishing you a happy and most of all healthy New Year and we will see you on the trail or at one of our events!

The Franklin & Bellingham Rail Trail Committee

SNETT Trail Featured on Finding Easy Walks

Marjorie Turner Hollman, a personal historian, author of several books on Easy Walks in MA and RI, and an avid walker and nature lover recently visited the SNETT rail trail with Access Bellingham-Mendon TV and one of our volunteers Tony DaSilva. We hope you will enjoy learning more about the trail in this episode of Finding easy Walks Wherever You Are.

New episode about the Blackstone River Greenway that runs concurrently with the SNETT trail for about 3.5 miles between Blackstone and Douglas was just filmed.

You can also find more blog posts about the SNETT rail trail by Marjorie Turner Hollman on her website and more Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are episodes HERE.

Happy Trails!

#SNETTPhoto2020 – and the winners are…

We are excited to announce the winners of the first annual photo contest #SNETTPhoto2020!

We would like to thank everyone who entered and we are looking forward to your participation again next year.

1st Place – Under 18: John Foley – Our Neck of the Woods

© 2020 John Foley – Our Neck of the Woods

1st Place – Over 18: Carina Bischoff – Snowing Leaves

© 2020 Carina Bischoff – Snowing Leaves

2nd Place – Over 18: Danielle Morin – Peaceful

© 2020 Danielle Morin – Peaceful

3rd Place – Over 18: Eileen Ridgway – Peaceful Easy Feeling

© 2020 Eileen Ridgway – Peaceful Easy Feeling

Honorable Mentions – Over 18 (in no particular order)

Laura Klowan – 2 Tired Pups

© 2020 Laura Klowan – 2 Tired Pups

Chris Fauteux – First Snow Fat Bike Ride on the SNETT

© 2020 Chris Fauteux – First Snow Fat Bike Ride on the SNETT

Lindsay Jeter – A Shepherd Sunrise

© 2020 Lindsay Jeter – A Shepherd Sunrise

Francesca Feola – October Winter Wonderland

© 2020 Francesca Feola – October Winter Wonderland

Congratulations to all!

You can view all the submitted images on Flickr.

The winning photographs will be published in The Country Gazette in the upcoming weeks. Once they are, this post will be updated with a link.

Prospect Street Tunnel Open!

On October 30, 2020 a small group of local and state officials and FBRTC representatives gathered on a snowy day at the newly finished Prospect Street tunnel in Franklin, MA for an official ribbon cutting ceremony.

We are beyond excited about this tunnel providing a great connectivity between the the SNETT trail in Franklin and Bellingham (and beyond)! We are already seeing substantial increase in the trail usage by both the pedestrians and the bicyclists and we hope you are enjoying this wonderful nature resource in our communities as much as we are.

We are very grateful to all involved who made this project happen. Thank you for your time, effort and perseverance! Countless hours and years of work are behind the improvements you see on the trail.

We would like to use this post to gather a collection of materials about how this tunnel project came to fruition, who helped along way etc. Below please find links for you to browse at your convenience.

Happy Trails!

PS. We will have an event to celebrate with all of you when circumstances allow.

FBRTC Tunnel Approved Announcement:

Milford Daily News: A tunnel bridging a troublesome gap along the Southern New England Trunkline Trail (SNETT) has been reconfigured and is open once again.

The journey to upgrade the tunnel – Franklin Matters:

Jeff Roy: Facebook post (history of the project funding in photos)With good synergy, great things can happen.

MetroWest Daily News: Photos – SNETT Tunnel Celebrated in Franklin

FBRTC Photos: Tunnel opening on Flickr.