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: https://www.franklinbellinghamrailtrail.org/2019/09/13/big-news-prospect-st-tunnel-funding-approved/

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: https://www.franklinmatters.org/2020/11/the-franklin-bellingham-rail-trail.html

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.

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.

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.