By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter
Region – Members of the Boroughs Loop Trail Committee are in the final stages of work that has been in the making for almost 10 years. The Boroughs Loop Trail (BLT) will open this fall with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Friday, Oct. 4, and a guided hike Saturday, Oct. 5, followed by guided hikes on sections of the loop throughout the month of October.
The 33-mile trail links existing trail systems in Marlborough, Northborough, Westborough and Southborough and includes a mix of wooded walking and aqueduct trails. Some sections allow for mountain biking and dog walking. Those with mobility issues are encouraged to look for the paved bike paths.
Notable features include the Panther Trail in Marlborough, the Sudbury Reservoir Trail in Southborough, the Charm Bracelet in Westborough, and about 20 miles of trails in Northborough.
“In 2010 the Economic Development group in Marlborough said that we should figure out how to promote all of our open spaces in this region. We went big and then we [scaled] back to just the Boroughs,” explained Priscilla Ryder, conservation officer in Marlborough. “The idea of it was connecting all of our green spaces and to let people know what green spaces are available in their communities.”
A feasibility study was conducted by the Marlborough Economic Development Corporation and then a committee was formed comprised of representatives from each community, local trail committees, and staff from the Sudbury Valley Trustees (SVT).
“We received a Recreational Trails Grant through the state’s Department of Conservation and Recreation in the amount of $39,000 and that’s been helping us buy all the signage, build boardwalks and trails,” Ryder noted. “The Marlborough Rotary Club stepped in to help us pay for someone to build boardwalks and they have also helped with volunteers.”
She added that the SVT has been a really great partner, as well as the four towns and the Westborough Community Land Trust.
“It’s a cool project and it was the brainchild of a bunch of different people,” she said. “It’s been a great team effort and working with these other communities has been really fun.”
Volunteers are still needed to help with construction of the last boardwalk on Boundary Street and bridge work in Marlborough.
The committee is working every Saturday to be ready for the October ceremony.
To volunteer or to obtain more information, contact Ryder at [email protected]; Don Burn from the Westborough Community Land Trust at [email protected]; Mia McDonald, conservation agent in Northborough at [email protected]; Melissa Danza, Southborough conservation agent, at [email protected]; or Kathryn McKee, Southborough conservation agent, at [email protected].
For general information about the Boroughs Loop Trail, visit www.svtweb.org/blt.