Douglas State Forest
107 Wallum Lake Road
Douglas, MA 01516
Franklin State Forest
c/o F. Gilbert Hills State Forest
45 Mill Street, Foxboro 02035
The Southern New England Trunkline Trail (SNETT) runs approximately 22 miles from the Franklin State Forest on the east, to the Douglas State Forest on the west. It passes through the towns of Douglas, Uxbridge, Millville, Blackstone, Bellingham, and Franklin, and is one of the longest trails in southern Massachusetts. The trail corridor is owned by the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), which works with the towns and various non-profit organizations to improve the trail.
Most of the six towns have clearly marked trail entrances, but a large portion of the trail is unimproved. The trail is currently utilized by bicyclists, cross-country skiers, equestrians, and hikers, but in places, it can be overgrown, wet, and rutted. Off-Highway Vehicles (OHVs) are not allowed on the SNETT. DCR’s OHV rules and policy are available at Off-Road Vehicles . A list of trail access points is available through the Friends of the SNETT.
The SNETT connects to many existing and proposed state and interstate trails. The SNETT comprises the eastern-most section of the larger Titanic Rail Trail, which will extend from Blackstone to Palmer in the Pioneer Valley. To the southwest, the SNETT in Douglas is the main connection to the inter-state Airline Trail, starting in Thompson, Connecticut. In the towns of Uxbridge, Millville, and Blackstone, the SNETT is concurrent with the Blackstone River Bikeway, which will connect to Worcester in the north and Rhode Island to the south. Within Douglas State Forest, the SNETT intersects the Mid-State Trail, one of the Commonwealth’s long-distance hiking trails.
SNETT Trail Map file size 2MB
The Douglas trailhead is located on Route 96 off of Route 16 in south central Massachusetts.
From the West and East:
Take MASS PIKE (Route I-90) to exit #10 in Auburn.
Take Route 395 South to Exit #2, Route 16.
Turn onto Route 16 East and follow for 6.7 miles.
Turn right onto Route 96 at STOP and continue south ½ mile to trailhead parking on right-hand side of road.
The Franklin trailhead is located on Grove Street off of Route 140 and I-495 in metro west Massachusetts.
From the West and East:
Take MASS PIKE (Route I-90) to exit #11A I-495S.
Take I-495 South to Exit #17, Route 140.
Turn onto Route 140 West.
In 0.5 miles, turn left on Grove Street.
Continue south two miles, trailhead parking on the left.
A list of community access points is available from the Friends of the SNETT.
State Parks in the Area
The railroad line that is now considered the Southern New England Trunkline Trail (SNETT) was built in stages, ultimately connecting towns in south central Massachusetts with Connecticut and operating for approximately100 years. The first leg of the railroad, from Franklin to Blackstone, was completed in 1849, and the leg from Blackstone to the Connecticut border was completed in 1854. Built by separate companies, both sections came under common ownership in 1854, passing to the New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad Company. The railroad then extended into Connecticut along what was first a passenger rail line, and later a freight line; the abandoned bed is now part of the Connecticut state park system. After a 1969 Blackstone bridge collapse, the route in Massachusetts all but shut down, the only continuing operation being a weekly freight run to East Douglas, handling mostly grain and animal feed shipments.