- Massachusetts Department of Transportation
Boston — The Massachusetts Trails Team (MassTrails) is pleased to announce the release of a new interactive Priority Trails Network vision map for current and future shared-use path projects throughout the Commonwealth. The map provides a centralized inventory of key rail trail projects that will help support an envisioned comprehensive statewide transportation trail network. The map specifically identifies approximately 320 miles of trails that have been constructed and are in use, 24 trails that are currently under construction, and another 60 miles of proposed paths that have been funded but not yet constructed. Additionally, the map lists priority shared-use path project locations that either have been proposed for consideration or will be pursued for funding and development to help address key gaps in the network.
“MassDOT is pleased to make available this new interactive priority map to highlight shared-use paths that are open to the public, currently under construction, or are newly identified areas for consideration in communities throughout the Commonwealth,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Gina Fiandaca. “These paths are an important part of the travel network in the state and provide residents with safe, accessible and convenient routes whether people are traveling for fun or for work.”
“Our network of trails offers an important way for our residents to get around, cut down on car use, and enjoy our beautiful outdoors,” said Rebecca Tepper, Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs. “The Priority Trails Map enables the Healey-Driscoll Administration to identify ways to grow our trails system and, ultimately, reduce transportation emissions.”
“This Priority Trails Network puts forth identified locations which the MassTrails Team seeks to partner with stakeholders for in order to enhance and create an extended network,” said Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “The map gives a good visual idea of where gaps exist and where many trails already lead to key destinations.”
“DCR manages a vast trail network that connects communities across the Commonwealth, including iconic trails like the Cape Cod Rail Trail and the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail, which help us build healthier families through outdoor recreation and support tourism and economic opportunity,” said DCR Commissioner Brian Arrigo. “The Priority Trails Map will help identify areas where we can expand our trail network and create new trail connections, working with state and local partners, as well as with funding through the MassTrails grant program, to bring these benefits to even more residents around our state.”
The interactive map can be found at https://www.mass.gov/guides/masstrails-priority-trails-network-vision, and allows users to click on any segment to view trail name, municipality and MassDOT Project Information page, if applicable. The map includes paved, ADA-accessible shared-use paths, most of which are off-road rail trails or greenways. Where off-road facilities do not exist, high-comfort on-road infrastructure is proposed such as separated bike lanes with sidewalks or side paths. Since 2019, numerous MassTrails grants have focused on extending and connecting existing trails to one another, with the ultimate goal of having all trails statewide connect to this envisioned network.
The Priority Trails Network exemplifies the continued collaborative work of many of internal and external stakeholders and advocates including state and local leaders, statewide municipalities and community members, local organizations, private partners, foundations, local businesses, and regional planning agencies that are pursuing an individual segment in their community.
Trails shown on the map include:
- Ashuwillticook Rail Trail
- Mohawk Bicycle/Pedestrian Trail
- Columbia Greenway Rail Trail
- Southwick Rail Trail
- Southampton Greenway Rail Trail
- Manhan Rail Trail
- Mass Central Rail Trail
- Northampton Bikeway
- Titanic Rail Trail
- Connecticut River Walk and Bikeway
- Southern New England Trunkline Trail
- Twin Cities Rail Trail
- Assabet River Rail Trail
- Bruce Freeman Rail Trail
- Yankee Doodle Bikeway
- Border to Boston Trail
- Wakefield-Lynnfield Rail Trail
- Methuen Rail Trail
- Lawrence and Manchester Rail Trail
- Concord River Greenway
- Middlesex Canal Trail
- Reformatory Branch Rail Trail
- Minuteman Commuter Bikeway
- Chelsea Greenway
- Mary Ellen Welch East Boston Greenway
- Dr. Paul Dudley White Bike Path
- Mystic River Reservation Bike Path
- Boston Harborwalk
- Neponset River Greenway
- Watertown-Cambridge Greenway
- Bay Colony Rail Trail
- Upper Charles Trail
- Blackstone River Greenway
- Quequechan River Rail Trail
- Cape Cod Rail Trail
- Shining Sea Bikeway
- Bourne Rail Trail
The interactive map also highlights shared-use paths in the Priority Trails Network that are under consideration and/or in construction as follows:
- The Mass Central Rail Trail that when completed will span 104 miles from Boston to Northampton and intersect with 17 existing trails.
- The Bruce Freeman Rail Trail which will travel through eight communities over 25 miles between Lowell and Framingham.
- Nine inter-state connections to Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Vermont.
- Cape Cod paths that would create a seamless 88-mile connection from the canal to Provincetown.