Not too long ago an inactive old rail corridor extended south from the MBTA Green Line D branch through Newton Upper Falls, overgrown and collecting debris. Sometime in the summer of 2014, this corridor will have been transformed into the Upper Falls Greenway, a safe, car-free trail for walking, jogging, bicycling and general recreation, with easy access to the commercial areas on adjacent Needham Street for shopping and commuting. The really nice touch – the project is being built for almost no money.
The plan works like this:
- The MBTA owns the land; they gave a long term property lease (99 years) to the city for a $1.
- The city enlisted Iron Horse Preservation Society, a nationally known rails-to-trails non-profit, to create the trail.
- Iron Horse is currently removing the obsolete tracks and railroad ties, selling them for scrap, and using the proceeds pay for the construction of the trail.
- Corporate donors provide additional funding for enhancements. See information in News about donations from Clark USA and Trip Advisor.
The Upper Falls Greenway Trail is a mile-plus linear park terminating at a scenic overlook of the Charles River. The trail map to the right gives additional detail. (Click on the map to enlarge.) The trail surface itself is rolled stone dust, a nice surface for walking and bicycling.
Here's what the trail looks like in May 2014.
A future trail connection to Needham, Dover,and Medfield via the proposed Bay Colony Rail Trail may later provide the residents of Newton a chance to enjoy an off-road experience rivaling the popular Minuteman Bikeway in Lexington.
CLICK MAP TO ENLARGE