The Big-3: Cambridge

The last of my Big-3 rail trail communities is Cambridge Massachusetts. The Alewife Circle neighborhood is the junction of 3 old railroads. The first was the Bedford to Cambridge commuter rail line, that was abandoned in 1981. Construction of the Minuteman Rail Trail started in 1991, but the last section that extended it into Cambridge was not finished until 1998. It essentially ends after it comes out of the rail tunnel under Route-2 and stops in front of the Alewife Red Line Parking Garage.

The branch off to the east of this intersection is the Somerville Community Path. This is a rail trail that has different names in different places. The west end is part of the Alewife Linear Park and connects to the Minuteman Rail Trail. The middle section is usually called the Somerville Community Path. The east end is the Grove-Cedar Bike Path and was built in 1992. There is an extension from Cedar to Central Street that is proposed, but held up by the Green Line extension delay.

The branch that goes off to the west, is called the Fitchburg cut-off. Which is an odd name for a rail trail that doesn’t come within 40 miles of Fitchburg! Only the first mile in Cambridge is done, but extending it west into Belmont is proposed.

About AssabetRiverRailTrail

Tom Kelleher is the president of the Assabet River Rail Trail 501(3)(c) non-profit and a 25-year resident of Acton MA.
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