SNETT TRAIL CLOSURE ADVISORY, May 11 – October 31, 2020!

We are so excited that the tunnel project under the Prospect Street in Franklin is on schedule! Please read the advisory below about the trail closure. We also suggest to follow our Facebook page for any updates, as well as the Town of Franklin, Franklin Police and Franklin DPW pages for any traffic advisories for Prospect Street during the construction. Thank you!

WHAT:          Starting the week of Monday, May 11, 2020, and continuing through Monday, October 31, 2020, the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will install a new underpass at Prospect Street in the Town of Franklin along the Southern New England Trunkline Trail (SNETT).

The trail will be closed between Lake Street in the Town of Bellingham and Spring Street in the Town of Franklin, and trail users should plan to use other parts of the SNETT during this period of time.

Additionally, due to safety concerns, the public will not be allowed within the work zone area and passage around the work zone at Prospect Street in the Town of Franklin cannot be provided. Furthermore, the time period to complete the work is only an estimate, and may require additional time to complete the project.

WHERE:       Lake Street in Bellingham and Spring Street in Franklin

WHEN:          Monday May 11, 2020 – Monday, October 31, 2020

Tree Signage Installed!

It took one year from beginning to end and we are very happy to share that the tree signs have been installed today!

Darren Marino with Chris Mascio installing the first sign.

There are 34 tree signs installed along the the 2.5 miles of the SNETT rail trail starting at Grove Street in Franklin all the way to Center Street in Bellingham, MA.

It took us 3 hours to install all the signs. The Mascio crew hard at work.

There are a number of people we need to thank – the Franklin & Bellingham Rail Trail Committee volunteers who have applied for a grant (Robert Gilstein, Tony DaSilva), designed the signs and reserached the hardware (Darren Marino), managed the tree identification (Rita McCarthy, Darren Marino, Renata Gilarova), worked with the sign manufacturer and coordinated the install (Renata Gilarova) and finally our awesome install crews (Darren Marino, Rita McCarthy, Renata Gilarova and Chris Mascio with his family).

Renata Gilarova and Rita McCarthy marking the trees prior to the install.

This project was sponsored by the Franklin Cultural Council (grant in the amount of $507) and the Franklin and Bellingham Rail Trail Committee.

Kaye Kelly, FCC Co-Chair (front right) visited our volunteers during the install. Install crew: Chris Mascio with his family.

We would also like to thank Doug Williams, Director of the Stony Brook Mass Audubon in Norfolk, MA and Cary Vandenakker, DCR for help with the tree identifications and the NHS Print for manufacturing the signs.

We hope you will enjoy this latest SNETT trail addition and that you will take an advantage of the QR codes on the signs to learn more about the individual trees. Happy trails!

ALERT – Grove St. Parking Closure!

The parking lot at Grove St. in Franklin, as well as the on street parking near the trailhead will be CLOSED from Tuesday, October 13 until Friday, October 16 due to the water treatment plant construction. Please plan accordingly and seek alternate trail heads/parking areas.

You can find our parking brochure HERE.

Thank you for your cooperation.

September Group Walk Recap

Submitted by Darren Marino, the group walk leader.

We have resumed our monthly group walk on the SNETT. We were a small group of energetic walkers with two well behaved furry friends, Oscar and Jasmine. We walked to the “nearly complete” Prospect Street tunnel which was full of activity and is looking great!

Anna and Joe (DCR) working hard on removing the debris from the stone wall near the tunnel.

We also met two hard-working DCR employees, Anna and Joe, who were busy clearing the trail section leading up to the tunnel. The cooler weather today was ideal for trail use. We visited the StoryWalk(R) “The Kissing Hand” presentation near Center Street in Bellingham which will be up for your enjoyment through Wednesday, September 16, 2020!  Hope you can join us for next month’s walk. Keep an eye out on our calendar, email and social media.

Enjoy the nice weather and the trail!

New Kindness Rocks Spot

This young lady makes our 💕 happy. Thank you for your kindness!

Here is her story from her mom (shared with permission): “I know the town is extremely divided at this time given the recent news about schools, however I thought this might brighten up the town! My daughters and I have been walking the trunkline since the pandemic started. My oldest daughter loved the rail trail’s kindness rock section and quickly started making some. She has placed kindness rocks all over the town including the common, downtown area, and the rail trail. She then had an idea to make a kindness rocks section on the trunkline.

I present to you the newest kindness rocks project on the trunkline toward the rail trail. (Past the intersection of Old Grove, Spring St at Bubbling Brook entrance!”

You can learn more about Kindness Rocks Project here. #bekind

Volunteers make all the difference

We appreciate all our volunteers very much. Without their advocacy and hard work, there would be a very little progress happening. Without them, there would still be obstacles on the trail after the storms. Without them, there would be no trail events happening. Without them, the trail would be littered with trash. So thank you to all our wonderful volunteers!

Featured is our volunteer member Rita M. after trash pick up along the rail trail in Franklin and Bellingham. Thank you, Rita!

Rita M. with trash collected on the SNETT
Rita M. with trash collected on the SNETT
After storm clean up.

June StoryWalk(R) on the SNETT

We will be installing a StoryWalk(R) along the SNETT in Bellingham in the near future. Watch Facebook event page for more details as well as the calendar on our website.

The book will be Get Up and Go by Nancy Carlson. The StoryWalk(R) will start at Center Street trailhead in Bellingham and go in the direction toward Lake Street. Please keep in mind social distancing when visiting. We are looking forward to see you on the trail!

The StoryWalk(R) Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT and developed in collaboration with the Kello-Hubbard Library. StoryWalk(R) is a registered service mark owned by Ms. Ferguson.

Outdoor opportunities

We can all use some fresh air and nature during these difficult times. Below are some resources on where you can go.

Few things to remember: Please practice social distancing of 6 or more feet. Dogs must be leashed in many of the places, so please be courteous to other users. Carry in/carry out policy also applies.

As of 3/31/2020 DCR Parks and Trails remain open. Please follow DCR Guidelines when visiting. Up to date information can be found here: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/massachusetts-state-parks-covid-19-update

Town of Franklin trails remain open, however playgrounds, fields and public buildings are closed until May 3rd. For trail info and maps, please go to: https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/431c30cda1e24123b5fe9795b5bae17c

All Mass Audubon and Trustees properties are closed to public until further notice.

For more hiking trails ideas, visit Marjorie Turner Hollman’s Easy Walks blog or Facebook page.

Please make sure to check online before you head outdoors, if trails are still open to public, as things can change quickly.

Be safe and well!

Grant Received – Interpretive Signage

We are happy to announce that we have received a grant from the Franklin Cultural Council for Interpretive Signage for the SNETT rail trail.

The interpretive signage will serve as a tree identification along the section from Grove Street to Spring Street in Franklin.

Stay tuned for more details.

FCC Grant Recipients
FCC Grant Recipients, photo courtesy of FCC.

Grove Street Parking Lot Closure

Please be aware that due to the construction of the new water treatment facility, the Grove Street parking area will closed on Thursday 2/13/2020 and Friday 2/14/2020 from 7am to 3pm (from the Franklin DPW).

Please feel free to hop on the trail from our other parking locations at Lake St or Center St in Bellingham. Thank you.